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Thread: I cannot see Windows hard drive on Knoppix desktop

  1. #1
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    I cannot see Windows hard drive on Knoppix desktop

    I'm new to Knoppix and I've been trying this for a couple of days but I cannot get around it. I tried to look for the answers in this forum but I cannot seem to find it - maybe I am not searching better, maybe there's a solution already posted, but please someone help me.

    I have a 5-year old Sony VAIO laptop (PCG-FX300), and one day it stopped running while on sleep mode. Each time I tried to boot it, it said that they could not find NTLDR file or NTOSKRNL file, or "Operating System Not Found". I thought that all the files would still be in the hard disk, so I am trying to recover the files, but all I had was System Recovery CD that came with the laptop, which would erase my C partition. One day my friend told me that I could run Knoppix from CD and that way I may be able to backup most of the data in the disk, and that's how I started this.

    On the first day, I could not boot Knoppix from CD completely despite several attempt. This morning, I tried again, and at the second attempt today, it finally fully booted. I see Knoppix desktop. But, I am missing my hard drive from the desktop. I see Knoppix CD icon at the top, floppy icon the second, "Hard Disk [sda1]" the third, Knoppix info icon the fourth, and the trash can at the bottom, and that's it. In the "Hard Disk [sda1]", there's nothing related to my hard drive. I think it's just Knoppix. I tried to mount my hard drive, but I do not know what I am doing - I mounted from Konsole:

    mount /dev/hdc

    but I didn't think I mounted Windows hard drive. It was mounted on /media/hdc, but I did not see my hard drive. I don't know what I am doing. I also tried:

    ls /dev

    and tried to see hardwares, but I did not find anything listed in there that makes me guess that would be the hard disk.

    Please help me! I need to recover my files from Windows hard disk, so I can end misery with this laptop...

  2. #2
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    Re: I cannot see Windows hard drive on Knoppix desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by Crimpshrine
    ....mount /dev/hdc

    but I didn't think I mounted Windows hard drive. It was mounted on /media/hdc, but I did not see my hard drive.
    First, understand that Knoppix can't fix all windows problems. If windows screws up one of it's own partitions so bad that it or Linux can't read it, then it is not Knoppix's fault that the information can not be read. That said, Knoppix can often read data that windows cannot on windows own file systems. But that you are not seeing desktop icons for the partitions makes me suspect that there is something very wrong with the drive.

    Next, you need to underderstand the difference between a drive and a partition. In general, you don't mount a drive, you mount a partition on a drive. Even if the drive only has one partition, you mount the partition, not the drive. Normally the first IDE hard drive is hda. hdc would be the thrid IDE device, often an optical drive but sometimes a hard drive. Since a hard drive can have 4 physical partitions, the partitions on hdc, if it is a partitioned hard drive, would be named hdc1, hdc2 hdc3 and hdc4. If there is an "extended partition" on the hard drive you would not mount the extended partition, you would mount the "logical drives" contained in the extended partition. For drive hdc these are named hdc5, hdc6, hdc7 and so on, and there is no hdc4. In most windows systems you either just have hdc1 or you have hdc1 and an extended partition that contains hdc5, hdc6 and so on, and there usually is no hdc2 or hdc3 (unless you have multiple OS's on the disk).

    If you can't mount hdc1 and you really think there is a physical partition on the hard disk that you want to mount, the partition table might be mucked up (happens in windows a lot more than it ever should). There is a utility in Linux called gpart that will try to guess the partition table for you based on what it finds on the hard drive, see man gpart for details.

  3. #3
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    Re: I cannot see Windows hard drive on Knoppix desktop

    [quote="Harry Kuhman"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Crimpshrine
    ....mount /dev/hdc

    If you can't mount hdc1 and you really think there is a physical partition on the hard disk that you want to mount, the partition table might be mucked up (happens in windows a lot more than it ever should). There is a utility in Linux called gpart that will try to guess the partition table for you based on what it finds on the hard drive, see man gpart for details.
    Thank you for your prompt reply. I will try finding the partition by using the utility first. I had only one hard drive that was partitioned to C: and D: - and I think they are still there though Windows cannot start - I will try look for the partitions and try mounting them if the utility can find them.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Good luck. I hope you paid attention to what I said about hda and hdc, I really think you want to be trying to mount or recover hda1 and hda5 partitions on drive hda.
    ---
    Verifying of md5 checksum and burning a CD at slow speed are important.

  5. #5
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    I think I found the partition, but I cannot mount

    Thanks to your help, I used gpart and searched for the partition I was looking for. I think I found my Windows C: drive and D: drive (for some strange reasons, it was not partitioned and shown altogether). When I asked "gpart /dev/sda" it said:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Begin scan...
    Possible partition (DOS FAT), size (28607mb), offset (0mb)

    *Warning: short read near sector (58604931), 64512 bites instead of 66048. Skipping...

    End scan.

    Checking partitions...
    Partition (DOS or Windows 95 with 32 bit FAT, LBA): primary
    Ok.

    Guessed primary partition table:
    Primary partition (1)
    type: 012(0x0C)(DOS or Windows 95 with 32 bit FAT, LBA)
    size: 28697mb #s(58588992) s(63-58589054)
    chs: (0/1/1)-(1023/254/63)d (0/1/1)-(3646/254/63)r

    Primary partition (2)
    type: 000(0x00)(unused)
    size: 0mb #s(0) s(0-0)
    chs: (0/0/0)-(0/0/0)d (0/0/0)-(0/0/0)r

    Primary partition (3)
    type: 000(0x00)(unused)
    size: 0mb #s(0) s(0-0)
    chs: (0/0/0)-(0/0/0)d (0/0/0)-(0/0/0)r

    Primary partition (4)
    type: 000(0x00)(unused)
    size: 0mb #s(0) s(0-0)
    chs: (0/0/0)-(0/0/0)d (0/0/0)-(0/0/0)r
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    so, after this, I tried to mount the drive, however it said:

    mount: can't find /dev/sda in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

    I also tried searching for the partition with /dev/hda (including 1, 2, 3, 4) or /dev/hdc (including 1, 5, 6), but non of them seemed to be not existing or not Windows partition.

    I am stuck again. It's like the partition is there but it's not there. I think I am almost there but lost. I don't know. Can you give me any suggestions?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Don't forget that gpart will try to scan and guess your partitions but will not actually write out the new partition table. You have to actually instruct it to write. And after writing, you have to reboot to be able to see the rescued partitions.

    Try using testdisk. testdisk is also included with Knoppix. It does the same thing as gpart but has a easier to use interface. Just run testdisk from the root shell. Just like gpart, testdisk needs you to explicitly instruct it to write out what it has recovered, and again you need to reboot.

    Regards.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacky
    Don't forget that gpart will try to scan and guess your partitions but will not actually write out the new partition table. You have to actually instruct it to write. And after writing, you have to reboot to be able to see the rescued partitions.
    Sorry, I am really lost with what you explained to me. I am really new to this and I am wondering maybe if you could explain in detail? It's just that I am afraid of doing anything to the hard disk and I need to understand exactly what I am going to be doing so I won't mess up the laptop any further. I am also afraid of rebooting the laptop because it took me 2 days and maybe 20-some times of attempt to completely boot from Knoppix CD. It kept hanging during boot and I finally got to the Knoppix desktop, so unless it is very necessary, I don't want to reboot...

    Please help.

  8. #8
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    Allow me to illustrate with an analogy. Partitions are like fences between houses/properties. Because of these fences, the mailman knows whose property begins where and ends where, so he knows how to deliver the mail. One day the fences are lost (on the disk, the partition table is corrupted), so now the mailman is confused. You call in a surveyor to figure out where the fences used to be (this is what gpart or testdisk does). But these surveyors are very cautious. They will not set up fences without your permission. They survey the land, and then report to you that they have guess that a fenceline is here...and here.... If you agree with his report, you tell him to go ahead, and he will set up the fences. The reason why the surveyor waits for you to direct him before he sets up the fences is because he doesn't always get it right.

    In your case, gpart has surveyed the disk and has reported to you that he thinks you have a 28-29 GB Fat32 partition on the disk (and that's all he found). If you agree, you can instruct gpart to write it to the disk (i.e. set up the new fence). This is done using the -W option. See lower down on the manual page, or else here is a better explanation of how to use gpart:http://www.stud.uni-hannover.de/user/76201/gpart/

    Testdisk is the same. Run testdisk, select the disk (in your case /dev/sda) and the partition type (usually Intel) and select the "analyse" option. Testdisk then gives you his survey results. You can choose to "proceed" and you will come to a place where you can choose to ask testdisk to "write". I suggest you try testdisk because the interface is slightly easier to use. If you like, come back and show us your testdisk "analyse" results and we can take it from there.

    You are very right. You must try to understand exactly what you are going to do before proceeding. Try also googling for gpart and testdisk. You might find examples and tutorials.

    On your reluctance to reboot, I can understand, but I really don't know how to make the new partitions take effect without rebooting. May be we should solve the boot up problems also. What did you see when the boot up hung?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacky
    Testdisk is the same. Run testdisk, select the disk (in your case /dev/sda) and the partition type (usually Intel) and select the "analyse" option. Testdisk then gives you his survey results. You can choose to "proceed" and you will come to a place where you can choose to ask testdisk to "write". I suggest you try testdisk because the interface is slightly easier to use. If you like, come back and show us your testdisk "analyse" results and we can take it from there.
    Sorry, I did not have time to get back to this sooner.

    I tried using testdisk as you instructed, but it ended up finding /dev/sda to be my Lacie USB removable hard drive, not my laptop hard drive. Maybe I am not finding my hard drive. I don't know why. Any suggestions?

  10. #10
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    As this topic concern I've to report something has happened to me recently.
    Currently I'm running knoppix by 3 years in something as 15 desktops (for personal and working use) and never had happened what some days ago was with a brand new my friend's laptop. The laptop run correctly windows reporting two hard disks (C: and D:, one twice partioned I guess), but when booted with knoppix (vers. 3.7) no hard disks was detected. I repeat, never happened to me before! So what I was drived to think was two scenarios:
    1. missed specific hd drivers in knoppix.
    2. something locked due to drm stuff or so.

    The Crimpshrine case is anyhow strange, too old laptop for both drm stuff and missed drivers in knoppix.

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