NTFS drive wont mount - "unknown filesystem"?

Preston Hagar prestonh at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 23:33:23 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 5:11 PM, David McNally <david3333333 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi again.
> Looks like I shouldn't try formatting to NTFS, considering that I
> still need the data on the hard drive.
> I tried what Preston said, and this happened:
> david at david-desktop:~$ sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdf1
> [sudo] password for david:
> Mounting volume... Failed to startup volume: Invalid argument.
> Attempting to correct errors... FAILED
> Failed to startup volume: Invalid argument.
> Volume is corrupt. You should run chkdsk.
> david at david-desktop:~$
> Not really sure what to do now. It does say that I should run chkdsk.
> Anyone know how to do that exactly?
> --
> David McNally
> david3333333 at gmail.com
> Linux Kernel 2.6.31-17-generic
 Usually when a drive is in this state, only a windows check disk will save
it.  If you have a Windows machine available, I would recommend connecting
the drive to it, going to My Computer, right-clicking the drive, go to
Properties, then the Tools tab, then Check Now in the error checking section
(that is for Win XP, it may be some where a little different for Vista or
7).  Make sure to check the "Automatically fix file system errors"  Once you
are done, make sure to either shut Windows down completely, or right-click
the drive in My Computer and click Eject to before removing it.

If you don't have a Windows computer around anymore you can either download
the Ultimate Boot CD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ burn it, boot to it, and
run one of the check disk utilities there (there are several and they are
kind of hit or miss)  They also don't always recognize USB or SATA devices,
so you may have a little trouble with it.  Another option would be to boot
to a Windows CD and go to the recovery console and try chkdsk /r

Honestly though, the easiest solution (if the NTFS file system can be saved)
would be to hook it up to a Windows machine and let it try to fix it.  Once
you get it fixed, I would try to find a way to get the data off and reformat
using ext3 or another Linux file system.  You could possibly just copy your
most important files off, or split them across several other hard drives, or
shrink the NTFS partition where it only has a few hundred MB free and then
create another ext3 partition on the same drive and move some of the data
that way.

Anyway, good luck.

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