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Now that I have my bootable USB key set up with all kinds of tools via Yumi (see this question), how do I copy off local files? I'm am a Linux novice, trying to rescue files from a Windows computer.

My hang up right now is how do I get the local hard drives (using NTFS file system) to mount and then how do I access the files on them?

I have FreeDOS running from the USB key but have access only to the "A:" drive which is FreeDos virtual drive, and the "C:" drive which is the USB key itself. Would love a simple way to copy certain files over to the USB key.

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For the majority of *nix installations I have seen (all be it, not looked for the past 2-3 years), I found that the majority of Live disks are designed for the sole purpose of experimenting and "messing around" with Linux, without the risk of doing any damage to the hard drive.

As for Freedos, this most likely is down to NTFS support.

So, either find an NTFS driver for Freedos/*nix (if it did not come with one) or the easiest solution would probably be to find a better live *nix distribution that allows local hard drive access.

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FYI, I only know why it doesn't work, I can't actually recommend a distribution as I a not an expert here and it would be pure guess work. Hopefully someone else can recommend you one. – William Hilsum Apr 11 '11 at 22:07
Its probably lack of dos support. No one really seems to have one around at the moment tho – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '11 at 22:08

You're probably going to want to use a linux based system - with NTFS-3g in it. If its a reasonably modern system, ubuntu is probably a good bet. Assuming that since the files need rescueing, you'll likely have to force mount the drive.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've found a couple of solutions to this that make it very easy. Puppy Linux has built-in support for NTFS and has been seamless and easy to use.

Also, Hiren's Boot CD has something called MiniXP built in that is just really slick to use. I'm not sure the licensing for HBCD is totally on the up and up so I won't link to it, but it does have a ton of very handy utilities.

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