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issue with "read only" NTFS partitions

Posted on 2004-04-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Good day everyone,
i have this problem that everytime i install my mandrake 9.2 distro, it mounts all my NTFS partitions as read only file systems.  I'm what you might call a "Linux Newbie", is there any way to revert this? so i can write data to NTFS partitions?
I'd really appreciate any help i might get...
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Question by:redzkull
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:troopern
ID: 10839973
To write to a NTFS partition, you need to have kernel 2.6.x, but it's not recommended to use the WRITE support for NTFS partitions since it can mess with the integrity of files. Usually the permissions get messed up.
But to enable NTFS write support you need to recompile the kernel with write support for it.
After this you will need to change the mount options for your NTFS partitions in /etc/fstab.

Be adviced that enabling write support for NTFS can inflict damage on your already existing files.
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by:da99rmd
ID: 10839989
I think there is a path that solves this but i read in another questione about this and dont think they solved it so i think you have to live with the read only NTFS. At least untill some one have writen a better driver for NTFS.

By the way why are do you need to write to the NTFS partition?
If you wnat some thing from linux just mount the linux partitions in windows there is programs fore that f.ex. explore2fs.
http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/explore2fs.htm

/Rob
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prof666 earned 50 total points
ID: 10840206
Nope you don't have to live with read only NTFS.

Go to:
http://www.jankratochvil.net/project/captive/

download and follow the instructions and you can mount all NTFS as RW under kernel 2.4.XX

I have used this for a long time and never had a problem with it.

Da Proff
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LVL 8

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by:da99rmd
ID: 10840233
Oki nice i thought it only worked in 2.6 kernels.

/Rob
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by:karlwilbur
ID: 10845181
I have used NTFS rw in both 2.4.x and 2.6.x and have not had any problems.  Keep in mind, howewer, that the write capabilities are still somewhat experimental and considered a no no in many cases.  Is is offically recommended _against_ using NTFS write.

"The original driver, in 2.4 has some write code in it, but it is extremely dangerous to use it. The possibility of destroying your filesystem is very high." (from Linux-NTFS Project Docs link below)

If you are still considering using NTFS write, re-read troopern's post and then read this links:
(From LinuxQuestions.org last month)
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/history/158157
(Linux-NTFS Project Docs)
http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/info/ntfs.html#3.1
(Linux-NTFS Project Home)
http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net

It is possible to read and write to an NTFS partition without destroying it. Again, I have been doing it myself for over a year now with no problems, but you must understand the risk.  Make sure that you read the documentation available at the Linux-NTFS Project. (The drivers are available there too.).

-Karl
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by:karlwilbur
ID: 10845201
I want to clarify something.  You can use NTFS write in a 2.4.x kernel.  I have done it without problems.  So you do not "need" a 2.6.x kernel but the NTSF write has been further developed in the 2.6.x kernel.  Even so, you can get the better drivers for 2.4.x as well.
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Expert Comment

by:SciGuy
ID: 10850219
Also, the safest way to write to NTFS is to write to an existing file and to not increase the file's size.
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Author Comment

by:redzkull
ID: 10854042
i want to thank everyone for their support, and specialy prof for the cool link for captive.  i already downloaded it and mounted my partitions with no problem.
i'll keep in mind the high risks that everyone advised.
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Expert Comment

by:cxxxcxxx
ID: 11684773
I've downloaded and run the captive rpm mentioned above onto my system, but now how do I use it?  The instructions on the site are not enough for me.  It says run captive-install-acquire.  I guess I'm just too much of a Linux newbie to understand.  I can't get mine to mount.  Any special instructions I need to follow to make this work?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Kryztoval
ID: 12935445
captive has some problems, i talked to the developer and admited the problems too, wich of course are too messy to fix (one of the hardest ones being that it generates a VirtualMemory for the full size of the file, even if you are just reading the first byte out of it....) all this needs a flush, so i am still stuck to not using ntfs as a write partition or my whole system will drain down. All of which are really technicallyties and can be ommited, and you should have no trouble if you use it for small files (1MB or so)

however... i even considered converting from ntfs to fat, but since my partition is 160G+ it can't be converted... really stuck here :D

So, good luck, and the captative driver is great, i wish ntfs would had an open standard

Best Regards
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