I am writing this article, because recently a friend of mine brought me his Windows laptop to backup some of his files and reinstall the O.S. I was having trouble because he had a Blue Screen of Death that wouldn’t let me boot into Windows, so to backup the files, I decided to use an Ubuntu Live CD and look for them in there. In Ubuntu I found out that the hard drive wasn’t being mounted, and figured out it was because the computer was turned off the hard way (power button pressed for a few seconds, or AC power cord disconnected).
To mount it I found out that running a very simple command in the terminal would force Ubuntu to mount it, or if you have access to the Windows O.S., simply restart your computer the correct way, and it you won’t need to force mount it.
Difficulty level: Easy
1. We first need to know what’s the path of the HDD we want to mount. To do this we need to execute this command in the terminal as root user:
sudo fdisk -l
We will get something like this:
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes Disk identifier: 0x000f1a4e Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 1 12749 102400000 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sda2 12750 24906 97651102+ 83 Linux /dev/sda3 25150 60802 286374912 7 HPFS/NTFS
2. Let’s say our not-mounted HDD is /dev/sda3, we see it’s a NTFS drive, which most Windows drives are. To mount it, we simply type this command in the terminal as root user too:
mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda3 /media/mymounteddrive -o force
ntfs-3g <- Specifies the drive is NTFS
/dev/sda3 <- The drive we want to mount
/media/mymounteddrive <- Where it will be mounted
force <- We are forcing it to mount
3. That’s it, you can now access your hard drive.
If your drive is FAT32, instead of typing ntfs-3g in the -t (type) parameter, we will type vfat, and also in the -o (option) parameter, we will add umask=000. It will look something like this:
mount -t vfat /dev/sda3 /media/mymounteddrive -o force,umask=000
That’s pretty much all to successfully force mount your Windows drive in Linux if it was incorrectly shutdowned. Any questions, comments, problems, etc, please do not hesitate to comment or contact me.
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