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I'm doing a bit of investigating into the file system of Windows (in this case, Windows 7), and there's been a few times now where I've had to alter something in System32. For those times, I've booted into a Linux live CD that I have lying about and edit it through that, but I was wondering if there was a simpler option? I'd rather not have to boot into a full graphical environment just to edit one thing. Ideally, I'm looking for something that is basically a console that I can boot to that has access to the other mounted partitions and can perform all the basic stuff like renaming files, copying files etc.

Is there anything like that out there?

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Alternatively just use a really lightweight Linux distro that supports ntfs read-write (or install ntfs-3g) instead of a full fledged one like Ubuntu – cutrightjm Dec 29 '13 at 11:17
Mmm, I usually use Kali Linux for this sort of thing, do you know if Damn Small Linux or similar could get NTFS read-write? – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 3:47
Puppy Linux is about 170-200 MB. You could install DSL on a flash drive with "persistence" and apt-get install ntfs-3g. Persistance would make ntfs-3g stay between reboots – cutrightjm Dec 30 '13 at 3:59
Fair enough, I'll have to give that a go, thanks. – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 4:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Since your working with Windows 7 which uses NTFS dos can't handle it well. There is third party tool, but there is an easier way. Take your windows install DVD and boot it. Then click english and then repair. Finally, command prompt. You can make your windows DVD into a bootable USB stick also.

Download Windows 7 Integrated SP1 ISO Images

Windows 7 Home Premium x86 SP1 (bootable) Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 (bootable) Windows 7 Professional x86 SP1 (bootable) Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (bootable) Windows 7 Ultimate x86 SP1 (bootable) Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1 (bootable)

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Thanks for the reply, I'd rather not have to rely on the install disk (mine is rather scratched and quite iffy), but it's good to know that this is an option. – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 3:50
@arandompenguin You can make a system repair disk from within Windows – cutrightjm Dec 30 '13 at 3:56
I remember on Windows XP you could do that with the i386 folder, what would it be for Windows? – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 4:00
I have edited the answer to include a spot to download a brand new ISO you can use with the corresponding retail key. You can go into repair mode with no cd-key at all. – cybernard Dec 30 '13 at 4:07
Thanks, I'll check them out. – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 4:25

You can build a USB bootdisk that boots into DOS, and do your work from there. Hopefully that's powerful enough for your needs.

Something like the software above might suit your needs without a reboot.

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Thanks for the reply. I followed the instructions and ended up with a nice little USB stick that I can boot freedos from, plus I installed NTFS4DOS with it. However, I keep getting this issue where if I cd to a directory, it won't actually put me in the directory, and if I try to, say, rename a file, it will say that the file doesn't exist, despite the fact that it just listed it as existing through the dir command. Any ideas what's up? – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 3:53
Are you on the right drive? It's likely that the drive which is C: in your windows environment will be E: or F: or some other letter. – Nate Bergeron Dec 30 '13 at 6:51
Aye, I'm in drive C:, I can (for instance) run dir C:\Windows\system32 and it will do that just fine, it's just when I'm trying to cd to it, it will stay in drive A:, and trying to rename a file will say that it can't find the file. – arandompenguin Dec 30 '13 at 18:04
Start by typing C: and hit enter before trying any other commands. You need to start by being in the right drive in DOS, then you should be able to cd to your directory just fine. – Nate Bergeron Dec 31 '13 at 1:03

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