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can't write to fat32 from knoppix

Hi all,
I have a crashed XP pro system that I can't get back into.  I boot from a Knoppix 3.8.1 CD and can see all my data on my NTFS RAID-5 partition.  I'd like to copy my data to a newly purchased 400 Gb external harddrive.  The ext hdd is 400 Gb is size and came preformatted as FAT32.

Knoppix found the drive and I'm able to set that partition for write mode but when I tried to copy multiple files/dir's to it, the copy process quickly goes to "stalled" mode and nothing happens. I dont think it even copied one file.

So, I re-connected my ext HDD to another XP laptop and nuked the big FAT32 partition, and created a test 32 Gb FAT32 partition & formmatted it ('quick' mode).  I then reconnected the ext HDD to my crashed PC, & booted into Knoppix again.  I can see & write to the smaller 32 Gb partition but still get that "stalled" error when trying to copy multiple files/dir's.

So, my question is how can I copy large amounts of data to this new external HDD?!  I'm willing to format it, re-partition it, whatever it takes.  Only key point is that I must be able to read from the ext HDD from a Win XP PC later (after I rebuild the PC) to fully recover my data (thus a linux-only partition would not be suitable).

I'm not a strong linux user by any means so please walk me through any Knoppix steps/commands.

Thanks!!
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbus
Asked:
davinder_rodey_mizuhocbus
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3 Solutions
 
moshkinoCommented:
Instead of using copy try using dd. This will do a block copy of a device onto another device or a file.
dd if=/dev/<source_drive> of=/dev/<dest_drive>
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DonConsolioCommented:
If you can't get FAT working try a Linux partition and use:
http://www.fs-driver.org/index.html
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
moshkino,
At this point, the dest hdd has been repartitioned to smaller FAT32 or large NTFS so I cant do this option but it would've been a good thing to try before.  Maybe I'll try this after I recreate it as EXT2 partition as suggested by DonConsolio.

DonConsolio,
Sounds like a good idea.  How would I delete existing FAT32/NTFS part's and create one big EXT2 partition within Linux in the first place to get copying started?

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knollbertCommented:
fdisk /dev/<hard drive name>
then d for delete
n   :new
p   :primary
1   :partition number
<enter>
<enter>  
   :make whole size
w   :write

mkfs -t ext2 /dev/<hard drive name>1   :make sure you have the one
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DonConsolioCommented:
use "fdisk" or "cfdisk" (if you need some help)

if your external disk is "/dev/sda"

# fdisk /dev/sda
write a new (empty) partition table ("o" in fdisk)
create new partition "n"
use entire disk or "+200G" for 200 GB size ...
write ("w" command)
quit fdisk

#mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda1

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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
I will try it tonight & report back. Couldn't I have Knoppix create a large FAT32 partition (400 gb)?  
Since it can R/W and Windows can also see it, that would be easiest.
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knollbertCommented:
Linux only allows 32GB fat32 Partitions

see http://www.allensmith.net/Storage/HDDlimit/FAT32.htm
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
Hmmm.  The drive came as 400 Gb FAT32 partition and when I tried copying a lot of data to it from Knoppix, the copy immediately failed.  I was able to copy small amounts and create directories, etc.  So, to some extent, the 400 Gb size was ok with Knoppix but not stable.  Maybe because of the size, as you mentioned?
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
I'm going to borrow a PC and connect the ext hard drive as a 400 Gb NTFS partition and share it over the 100 mbps network.  Assuming that works, it is the preferred copy method (hopefully fast speed using USB2 or Firewire).  

It avoids the extra work involved in making Windows read the EXT2 file system later on...  If it doesn't work, then I guess i have no other choice but to go EXT2, copy a few files, plug into Windows & test.  Then, copy the mass data.  

Gonna be a long night.
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knollbertCommented:
Very Likely
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knollbertCommented:
I've never used it but try
http://www.sysresccd.org
it supposedly has NTFS read-write support  (uses wine emulation)
I've used this method but not this distro
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I tried that. It won't boot up. I suspect it doesn't properly load my LSI RAID5 card drivers.
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DonConsolioCommented:
Another thing you could try (if you have a 2nd PC)

Connect big HDD to 2nd PC
start Knoppix on 1st PC, start Samba and share data you want to save
copy over the net from Knoppix Samba share to external HDD
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Tachyon_1Commented:
I think you need to back up here. I'm wondering what method you used to "turn or write enabling" on the partition.
If you used the properties popup from a right click on the KDE desktop icon for that device, it won't work.
You'll need to run a root shell from the start menu in the knoppix submenu.
Then do a "mount -o remount,rw /dev/<hdx>"
Then type mount by itself and make sure it's remounted read/write.

Here the relevant line from my own machine with an external USB HD with a FAT32 partition.

/dev/sda1 on /media/crossfire type vfat (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)

Now if all that's ok, then check that your USB chipset is supported and not having any problems.
typing 'dmesg' and 'lspci -v' in that same root shell and looking over your USB entries for warnings.
Also I'd type dmesg after trying to make your copy and see if there's any telling information.
I've never had a problem using Knoppix to do what you describe. In fact I did the very same thing with a Toshiba Satellite this week.
If you are having such problems I suspect a hardware problem of some kind.
Also, Knoppix and Kanotix now come with Captive which will load the NTFS drivers from your PC's Windows partition and can then be used to read and write NTFS partitions relatively safely. If the problem ends up being a problem of trying to copy from NTFS to FAT32 (ie attributes problems) you MAY be able to format the external drive NTFS and use the Captive driver to mount the external NTFS formatted drive and then do a NTFS to NTFS copy which would have the side benefit of preserving the NTFS FILESYSTEM attributes of the copied files.

Good luck, hope this helps.

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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
DonConsolio,
I tried this via USB2 and my transfer were rates were around 200kbps...way to slow for transfering my 300 Gb of data!

Tachyon_1,
Thanks for the tips.
Actually, the last few releases of Knoppix have removed the captive-ntfs drivers.  Those drivers haven't been updated in over a year and have been determined to be unstable so Knoppix removed them.  So, you can't write to NTFS anymore.

knollbert,
I was finally able to delete and re-create a new 400 Gb FAT32 partition through Knoppix using cfdisk.

Once that was done, I rebooted and let knoppix auto mount the drive.
I then changed properties to READ/WRITE by right clicking on the desktop icon and unchecking the READ ONLY icon.
The drive was connected again as USB2 but again, transfer speed was still pretty slow: 400-700 kbps - still too slow!

I repeated the process and connected the drive via Firewire.  Now, finally, I achieved the faster 10-12 mbps copy speed.

I connected the hdd to my XP laptop and it was able to read the knoppix created FAT32 partition (400 Gb) and the data on it just fine.

So, the solution has finally been reached!  Data is copying as I'm writing this.
THanks to all for helping. It's certainly been a learning experience...

(I'll split points out tomorrow.)
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
Of course, it looks like I spoke too soon.  I left it copying last night.  This morning, none of the windows were open.  Nor could I connect to my ext. HDD. So, I shutdown everything & rebooted.  Now, the ext HDD doesn't come up at all.  CFDISK shows no partitions except my internal RAID5. <g>

Last night, my RAID5 came up as SDB1 and my ext HDD as SDA1.  Today, my RAID5 is SDA1.  Not sure if that helps anything.  

More troubleshooting tonight.  I'll connect the ext. HDD to my XP laptop & make sure it's not dead.  OR, I'll try connecting it to my PC via USB2 instead of Firewire to test.  

Any thoughts?

A lesson computers insist on teaching me: Nothing works simply...

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DonConsolioCommented:
Start your computer with USB HDD disconnected
--> sda = your RAID
now connect USB/Firewire HDD
--> sdb

"fdisk -l" as root should show all partitions
mount, copy, unmount :-)

If your USB drive has 200K throughput, you probably connected it to a USB1.1 port
only USB 2.0 ports provide reasonable throughput for a harddisk
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
DonConsolio,
Thanks. I'll add it to my troubleshooting list for tonight.
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
Can you tell me the exact command to mount & unmount the ext. FAT32 HDD as read/write, please. I recall having problems with it last night so I just rebooted and let Knoppix auto-mount.

Sometimes, when I the copy job fails, I'm unable to restart it so I try to unmount by clicking on the icon and selecting umount but it says it can't because the drive is in use.  Any way to force it to umount?  I tried umount -f and umount -l but no luck so I just reboot there as well.
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DonConsolioCommented:
In my experience FAT32 tends to be much slower than ext3, so for large
amounts of data you probably are faster when you backup to/restore from ext3
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
After turning on the PC last night (after it being off for the day), the ext HDD was recognized once again.  I managed to copy some more data to it.  I notice that somewhere through the copy, the ext. HDD sometimes makes a loud clicking noise and then the copy halts.  After this, I can't reconnect to the HDD unless I power off/on everyhing.  It's a new ext. HDD but maybe it has some problems....?

Also, later that night, after a reboot, the ext. HDD no longer showed (again).  Reconnecting it via Firewire didn't do anything.  Connecting via USB2 caused Knoppix to re-discover it although I couldn't mount the partitions.  Again, I had to power everything off for a while.

The ext. HDD & data is till recognized fine from Windows.  
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
Oh, one other thing: I re-partitioned the ext. HDD (through Knoppix) when I started the work last night. I now have two 200 Gb FAT32 partitions. I figured that may help alleviate any problems associated with such a big FAT32 partition (400 gb) but that didn't go so well...
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DonConsolioCommented:
loud clicking noise from harddisks usually means trouble :-)
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davinder_rodey_mizuhocbusAuthor Commented:
ha, yeah...  just my luck.

Fortunately, I think I've got most of my data off.  Just waiting for a new internal HDD to arrive and then I'll rebuild & restore and end this fiasco.
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