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Thread: Mounting USB NTFS drives

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  1. #1
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    Mounting USB NTFS drives

    I am trying to mount an NTFS USB drive. I am able to connect a FAT32 drive to the same port, so I am sure it is not the port. I have installed ntfs-3g.

    Now when I run fdisk, I get:

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0005519e
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *           1       37595   301981806   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2           37596       38913    10586835    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5           37596       38913    10586803+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 300.1 GB, 300090728448 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 36483 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00000000
    
    Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table
    Next I tried mounting the drive

    Code:
    sudo mount /dev/sdb /media/external_ntfs/ -t ntfs-3g
    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount '/dev/sdb': Invalid argument
    The device '/dev/sdb' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
    If I understood this correctly, /dev/sdb is a 'device' whereas there should be a '/dev/sdb1' which is 'partition' which can be mounted. However, I do not see any partitions under /dev/sdb1 etc under /dev.

    What am I missing here?

  2. #2
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    Re: Mounting USB NTFS drives

    You want to link/mount the partition, not the main drive.
    Try using /dev/sdb1 instead of /dev/sdb

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Mounting USB NTFS drives

    Quote Originally Posted by srajama View Post
    I am trying to mount an NTFS USB drive. I am able to connect a FAT32 drive to the same port, so I am sure it is not the port. I have installed ntfs-3g.
    Automount of external ntfs drives works out of the box. You don't need to install anything.

    But here's your problem:


    Quote Originally Posted by srajama View Post
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    
    <snip>
    
    
    Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table
    Unless you edit the partition table or reformat that device, you won't be able to mount anything.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Mounting USB NTFS drives

    It looks like it could be a blown hard drive. I am running testdisk on the device to see if I can recover at least some data off the drive. I'll see how this goes.

    Any suggestion on utilities other than testdisk to run on this drive?

  5. #5
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    Re: Mounting USB NTFS drives

    I tried running testdisk and both quick search and deep search are not showing me any partition data.

    At this point I am mostly interested in recovering a few folders off the drive. Is there any way I tool by which I can do something like this - "assume NTFS and read disk" ?

  6. #6
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    Re: Mounting USB NTFS drives

    Part of testdisk is the Photorec recovery utility which can find and recover certain data files (not just photos). From the package description:

    PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover
    lost pictures from digital camera memory or even Hard Disks.
    It has been extended to search also for non audio/video headers.
    It searchs for
    * Sun/NeXT audio data (.au)
    * RIFF audio/video (.avi/.wav)
    * BMP bitmap (.bmp)
    * bzip2 compressed data (.bz2)
    * Source code written in C (.c)
    * Canon Raw picture (.crw)
    * Canon catalog (.ctg)
    * FAT subdirectory
    * Microsoft Office Document (.doc)
    * Nikon dsc (.dsc)
    * HTML page (.html)
    * JPEG picture (.jpg)
    * MOV video (.mov)
    * MP3 audio (MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1) (.mp3)
    * Moving Picture Experts Group video (.mpg)
    * Minolta Raw picture (.mrw)
    * Olympus Raw Format picture (.orf)
    * Portable Document Format (.pdf)
    * Perl script (.pl)
    * Portable Network Graphics (.png)
    * Raw Fujifilm picture (.raf)
    * Contax picture (.raw)
    * Rollei picture (.rdc)
    * Rich Text Format (.rtf)
    * Shell script (.sh)
    * Tar archive (.tar )
    * Tag Image File Format (.tiff)
    * Microsoft ASF (.wma)
    * Sigma/Foveon X3 raw picture (.x3f)
    * zip archive (.zip)
    You'll have to search the forums/google for a howto. It's a bit fiddly and it's been a long time since I used it, so I don't want to mislead you with misremembered information. It's very good, but be warned: the recovered files do not have their original names. You'll get (possibly) many thousands of files in dozens of folders all with incomprehensible filenames.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Re: Mounting USB NTFS drives

    Thanks for the tip - I did not know photorec could run on a unformatted volume like this! Very cool!

    I'll know how it goes in another 4 hrs and 21 mins...

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