NTFS drive wont mount - "unknown filesystem"?

Donatas Fetingis fetdonatas at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 22:57:08 UTC 2010

On 2010.01.20 00:45, David McNally wrote:
> Hi Karl.
> Thanks for getting back so quick, but I have a little problem with
> that. The partition on the broken hard drive is bigger than my
> internal hard drive, or any hard drive that i own. That might not work
> so well. Also, I'm not too good with opening hard drives or computers.
> I'm good at fixing software, but I'm no use for fixing broken
> hardware.
> However, I noticed in GParted that it allows me to "Format as NTFS". I
> didn't actually do it, but I was wondering what would happen if I did.
> Does format strictly mean that it will erase everything on the hard
> drive, or will it just make the hard drive into an NTFS partition? If
> it just makes it into an NTFS partition, then I could probably try
> that, right?
> David

It will format to NTFS and of course delete Your data. You won't be able 
access it directly, unless you will use some recovery software, which i 
don't think will recover 100% of your data.  You can backup the 
documents You need, not all the contents (system files etc) of broken HDD .
Also linux has some flag when formating (after backing up data) hard 
drives with bad sectors, while they are skipped when formating.


> On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 5:27 PM, Karl F. Larsen<klarsen1 at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> David McNally wrote:
>>> Hi Everyone.
>>> Back when i used windows i got a 700 GB USB external hard drive. It
>>> was formatted with NTFS because it was first set up on windows. I've
>>> been using it since then on Ubuntu, without any problems. i never
>>> bothered to reformat it as a better filesystem because the NTFS worked
>>> well enough, and I didn't want to mess with it. However, it isn't
>>> working properly anymore. Maybe someone here can help me.
>>> I opened up GParted to see if i could find a problem with it. When i
>>> go into GParted and select the hard drive, it tells me that the file
>>> system is "unknown". Next to the word "unknown" is a black square. It
>>> is able to determine the correct size (698.64 GiB), but can not tell
>>> me how much is used and how much is unused. Under partition, it says
>>> "/dev/sdf1" and then has a little orange triangle with an "!" in it.
>>> When i go into Nautilus, the hard drive is not listed or mentioned in
>>> any way.
>>> I can tell that this isn't good, but I was hoping that someone had
>>> maybe seen this before and might know how to help. It looks like the
>>> rest of the computer is working just fine. Ubuntu boots from the
>>> internal hard drive properly, so I'm still able to use the computer
>>> like normal, but the external hard drive isn't working at all. I did
>>> have quite a lot of important stuff on it, so it's pretty important
>>> for me to be able to use it again.
>>> Thanks in advance!
>>         I have a big hard drive in a plastic box that connects to my
>> computer via a USB port. It works fine, but do not have more
>> than one partition! If you have trouble with it, take the hard
>> drive out of the box and connect it into your computer. Then
>> look at it with all your tools.
>>         If the hard drive is bad, consider using dd to copy it all
>> from the bad to a partition on your computer. I had lots of
>> good luck with dd on a bad HD.
>> 73 Karl
>> --
>>         Karl F. Larsen, AKA K5DI
>>         Linux User
>>         #450462   http://counter.li.org.
>>          Key ID = 3951B48D
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