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I’m right now on a Ubuntu Live CD and need to copy 500GB of several big files (videos) from an Ext3 file system to a NTFS file system (it’s an emergency backup since the Ext3 is doing weird noises).

What’s the fastest way to do this, unattended, I mean, skipping errors, etc?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Newer Ubuntu distributions have the ntfs-3g driver already installed, so we can probably mount the drive:

mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt

if it's a SCSI or SATA type disk it will be sd*. sda for the first drive, sdb for the second, and so on. If it's an IDE drive it will be hd*. hda for the first, hdb for the second, and so on.

now copy the folder recursively:

cp -R /path/to/videos /mnt
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It's worth noting that Linux treats SATA drives like SCSI ones, so SATA disks also show up as /dev/sdX – Dentrasi Jan 11 '10 at 17:36
Adding -o big_writes to the ntfs-3g mount operation (I recommend using the ntfs-3g command instead of mount) will speed up significantly the writing! – David Balažic Aug 23 '14 at 12:33

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