Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mounting a Windows Hard Drive on Linux

Today, I had problems with my Windows hard drive. The operating system (XP) refused to start up and was complaining about corrupt system files. I wanted to back up my files in case things got worse. Luckily, I have a USB external hard drive enclosure and an Ubuntu Linux netbook so this is what I did:
  • I took out the hard drive from my Windows laptop.
  • I inserted it into my Akasa Integral External Enclosure and plugged it via USB into my Ubuntu netbook.
  • Ubuntu wasn't about to mount it automatically and gave me an error saying that the hard drive had problems and that I should "force" it to mount using a command.
  • I opened a terminal and typed the following commands to mount the disk manually:
  • $ sudo mkdir /media/disk
    $ sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb1 /media/disk -o force
    $ cd /media/disk
  • I was then able to browse the contents of the Windows drive and back up important files.
  • Finally, I unmounted the drive as follows:
  • $ sudo umount /dev/sdb1

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