Saturday, 8 February 2014

Tips for Linux+windows8 dual boot users

So you are using your favourite linux distro in dual boot with windows 8 and you put your stuff in an NTFS partition and access it from both the OS? Here are some things to consider in order to stay out of troubles.
Problems you may face are :
1. Windows frequently keeps asking me to reapair NTFS partition. Once i repair it, the problem occurs again after a few days.
2. While using linux OS i can't see some files and folders on my NTFS partition which actually exist on the NTFS partition. They can be accessed while using windows but linux fails to show them in the partition.

Info :
This basically happens because of Windows 8 "fast startup" feature. You can google it for more information. Linux cannot handle this perfectly which results in all the problems. Also for unknown reasons the NTFS drive gets split in peculiar way as shown in figure.
windows8dualbootntfs

This is a snapshop of linux /media directory. Here 01CD1F0FE77B9960 is the name given to a NTFS partition which has 4 variants here : 01CD1F0FE77B9960, 01CD1F0FE77B9960_, 01CD1F0FE77B9960__, 01CD1F0FE77B9960___. This is the cause for second problem. Because you may be looking for your file in "01CD1F0FE77B9960" but it may be residing in "01CD1F0FE77B9960_". I guess the reason is that when linux writes to a NTFS partition it creates a different variant for it by putting an underscore to its name.
Solutions :
For Problem 2 : It is clear that your files and folders are not lost, they are at a different location .
Therefore just look for your desired file or folder in all the variants as described in "Explaination" section.
You may want to merge the variants of the partition.
For example you have four variants in the /media directory :
01CD1F0FE77B9960, 01CD1F0FE77B9960_, 01CD1F0FE77B9960__, 01CD1F0FE77B9960___
1. Backup the contents of 01CD1F0FE77B9960_, 01CD1F0FE77B9960__ and 01CD1F0FE77B9960___ into 01CD1F0FE77B9960.
2. Move 01CD1F0FE77B9960_, 01CD1F0FE77B9960__ and 01CD1F0FE77B9960___ to trash.
Thats it! At present NTFS splitting problem does not seem to be preventable, you can just cure it time to time.
Tried On : linux kali 1.0.4 + windows 8 dual boot
May work for : any linux distro + windows 8(or newer) dual boot

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