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I'm trying to use Ubuntu 12.04 to transfer data from an unbootable hard-drive in Windows XP to a usb. Does the partition need to be mounted beforehand? Also, I read I could use ddrescue to perform the transfer but it doesn't seem operational on ubuntu 12.04. Any suggestions

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1 Answer 1

You have two issues here, so I suggest you open a new question about ddrescue.

To perform any disk operation you need to mount the disk beforehand, because Ubuntu needs to know that the disk is in the computer to handle it. Being the disk with Windows XP unbootable does not mean you can not mount it, so if the disc is not already on your computer, do so.

After restarting your Ubuntu, it should recognize the new hard drive and mount it for you. If this is true, then simply just browse it with Nautilus and copy to USB you need.

If not, you need to manually mount the disk. If you do not know which device is the disk with Windows XP, type in terminal:

sudo fdisk-l

and you should end up with an output like this:

joao@lightsaber:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disco /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 cabeças, 63 setores/trilhas, 60801 cilindros, total de 976773168 setores
Unidades = setores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Tamanho do setor (lógico/físico): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Tamanho da E/S (mínimo/ideal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Identificador do disco: 0x0002cd22

Dispositivo Boot Início Fim Blocos Id Sistema
/dev/sda1   *        2048      208895      103424   83  Linux
/dev/sda2          208896    93956095    46873600   83  Linux
/dev/sda3        93956096   972859391   439451648   83  Linux
/dev/sda4       972859392   976771071     1955840   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disco /dev/sdc: 7927 MB, 7927234560 bytes
244 cabeças, 62 setores/trilhas, 1023 cilindros, total de 15482880 setores
Unidades = setores de 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Tamanho do setor (lógico/físico): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Tamanho da E/S (mínimo/ideal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Identificador do disco: 0x00023ebe

Dispositivo Boot Início Fim Blocos Id Sistema
/dev/sdb1   *        2048    15482879     7740416    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Certainly your output will be different, mine is in Brazilian Portuguese; nevertheless it is perceived that it is listing two disks, one on /dev/sda and the other on /dev/sdb. Probably the disk with Windows XP should be the second on your system, so your partition will be /dev/sdb1.

To mount it, first create a folder for that Ubuntu can view its contents:

sudo mkdir /mnt/windows

Then mount the disk with

sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/windows

With this the disc content be available to be copied to an USB device.

I hope I have helped you.

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