NTFS drive wont mount - "unknown filesystem"?

Preston Hagar prestonh at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 23:03:49 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM, David McNally <david3333333 at gmail.com>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
> --
> David McNally
> david3333333 at gmail.com
> Linux Kernel 2.6.31-17-generic

Format as NTFS will wipe out any data on the drive.   The few things I know
of to try to help out NTFS file systems in Linux involve the command line.
Open up a Terminal (I think it is in Accessories in the Gnome menu, I use
XFCE so I am not exactly sure where it is)

First, make sure you have ntfsprogs installed:

sudo apt-get install ntfsprogs

This will install ntfsprogs if you don't already have it, or just print a
message saying it is already there if you do.

Next, I would try ntfsfix:

sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdf1

If you get any error messages from this command, post them back to the list.

Lastly, try mounting it read only.  First make a mount point:

sudo mkdir /mnt/ntfsDrive

Next, try to mount it read only:

sudo ntfs-3g /dev/sdf1 /mnt/ntfsDrive -o ro

If the doesn't display any errors, you should be able to go to
/mnt/ntfsDrive and read you data and at least copy off the most important
stuff.  If it works, you could then unmount the drive with this command:

sudo umount /mnt/ntfsDrive

and then remount it like you normally do.

Hope this helps.

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