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Accessing Windows Files from Linux

Accessing Windows Files from Linux
This article is an extract from Rais' Linux book Linux for the Rest of Us 2nd Ed..

If you are a beginning Linux user and need more help,then please review our Full List of Beginner Help Articles.

Before you can Use it, you need to Mount It

When you install Linux on a system with an existing operating system like Microsoft Windows™ it is easy to make those files and directories available under Linux. Often installations of Linux even auto-mount certain things like floppy drives, cd-roms, etc. for you. However, it is often common for your Windows disk/partition not to be automatically mounted for use.

To be able to get access to your Windows drive/partition under Linux you will need to perform two steps.

1) Create a directory under Linux that will link to your Windows drive/partition
at the prompt type (only do this once):
mkdir /mnt/win

2) Then mount your Windows drive and link it to this new directory under Linux at the prompt type exactly:
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/win

NOTE: If you are using Windows NT, 2000, 2003, or XP you need to instead use this command:
mount -t ntfs /dev/hda1 /mnt/win

HOWEVER, NOTICE that for those mounting a Windows NT File System it is possible to corrupt the NTFS when writing to it from Linux. Therefore most of the time the mount will only mount the Windows drive as read only!

3) Now try changing directories to your Windows drive/partition by typing
at the prompt:
cd /mnt/win and then typing: ls -all

Notice that the actual disk or partition information in this example is /dev/hda1.  This is usually the case if you have installed Linux onto a system with existing Windows.  The hda1 refers to the first partition of your master (1st) hard drive.  However, in some cases you may be using a system where Linux is on the hda1 and your Windows drive is actually something different.  If you have an error, check what drives and partitions are already mounted by simply typing the command: mount

If you get the Error Message  "Filesystem Unsupported"  your Linux installation may not have included the needed NTFS (NT, Win 2000, WinXP) driver.  This requires either a reinstall or Kernel compile.


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