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Thread: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Vancouver BC
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    Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Hello,
    My Windows laptop won't boot and I think it could be the harddrive. I thought I might be able to boot Ubuntu from a USB disk and then use Ubuntu to check the health of the laptop's drive. However, when I run the Drive app, it only gives me access to the usb disk.
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    only lists my usb drive. Should I expect my main HDD to show as well?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    126

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Hi

    I suggest Gparted to show available drives.

    If it does show a hard disk you will want to note the partitions names and numbers in case there is a possibility to mount and repair/copy/clone or whatever.

    /dev/sda1 efi boot
    /dev/sda2 reserved
    /dev/sda3 windows

    read man fdisk

    fdisk [options] device

    fdisk -l [device...]

    sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

    If in doubt please ask.
    CONDITION: Something loose in cockpit.

    SOLUTION: Something tightened in cockpit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Beans
    17

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Yes. Normally, Ubuntu isn't permitted to access the main disk, but because GParted runs with root permission, it can see it. GParted also make a Linux distro specifically for running off a USB and diagnosing the main disk. You can pick it up http://gparted.org/download.php]here[/url]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    5,891

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Since you only have windows installed, have you tried using the Repair option on your windows installation DVD or recovery CD? Which version of windows are you using? What output do you get from fdisk and if you run GParted, you might post an image here of the output. Do you get any error messages?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Howdy,

    You cannot use Linux to repair NTFS disks.

    Google for BartPE instead.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    17

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanAB View Post
    Howdy,

    You cannot use Linux to repair NTFS disks.

    Google for BartPE instead.
    I beg to differ; NTFS drivers are available and some distros support them out of the box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Al Ain
    Beans
    9,884

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    Yes, there are NTFS drivers on all Linux and BSD distributions, but you cannot use it to *repair* a NTFS disk.

    Get BartPE.

    (BartPE is a CD or USB bootable version of Windows. You can also a PE version from MS, but that costs money.)
    Last edited by HermanAB; July 16th, 2017 at 04:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    5,891

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    I beg to differ; NTFS drivers are available and some distros support them out of the box.
    Drivers to read/write to ntfs partitions are not the same as software to repair damaged filesystems. ntfsfix can do some very minor repairs on an ntfs filesystem and that's about it. There would be no reason for any Linux developer to spend their time writing software to repair the proprietary/commercial windows systems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Beans
    32

    Re: Use Live USB to check health of a Windows Harddrive?

    I booted the live USB for GParted and the only device that it is seeing is the USB drive. In terminal:
    fdisk -l

    only listed the usb flash drive. I then got my hands on an external drive enclosure and cable connected the questionable harddrive to another windows computer. Nothing appears in windows explorer.

    In windows Disk Manager I get the following:
    diskmanagement.jpg

    So either it's not reading because it has an OS on it, or the drive is (likely) shot.

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