Access Windows 7 Files from Ubuntu 12.04

This is a common problem. You just installed Ubuntu 12.04 on your computer. After you did all the initial setup, you need a file from your windows 7. but… wait… I can’t see my NTFS windows partition! so most of us just email the file to ourselves and keep on going… but for people who needs a more permanent solution, I’ll show you how to excess your Win7 partition files easily: first, open the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and then type:

sudo fdisk -l

When prompted, insert your password. The output will be something like this:  This is the information about all your physical drivers and their partitions. On this snapshot you can see I have 6 partitions. When comparing to the windows partition manager (start menu -> right click on my computer -> manage -> go to the Disk Management tab) you can see:

You can see my Win7 partition is the 3rd from the left. This usually means the equivalent in the fdist list is sda3.

Problems & Solutions

The last column in the fdist -l table should be the partition’s format type. If you want to mount your windows partition (in my case sda3), the partition type can’t show up as “unknown”. If that what you see (like in the picture above) follow the next steps:

  1. If you’re running your Ubuntu partition as a VM (Will make a tutorial on how to do that later), then start over while running your actual partition. You can’t excess your Win7 files while running Ubuntu in a VM inside Win7 (OS-ception :-P). The right way to do that if that’s what you’re looking for is installing VMware tools (or the equivalent tool in Oracle VM VirtualBox).
  2. First you need to install GParted Partition Editor. You can do that by typing the next command in the terminal (if you already have GParted installed, you can skip this step):

sudo apt-get install gparted

When prompted, insert your password. After installation is complete, you need to run GParted. Use the following command in terminal:

gksu gparted

GParted will open up (with a graphical interface).

Sometimes, just openning GParted can fix the problem. run (in another terminal instance) sudo fdisk -l again and check if now you see the system as NTFS. If not, right click on the Win7 partition and click on ‘check’. The GParted window should split in two and look something like this:

click on the green check mark at the top () and click apply. This should fix the problem. (close GParted ofc)

Now, if you want to mount the Win7 partition permanently, run this command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-config

This will install a tool called NTFS configuration tool. after you finished installing, run this command:

sudo ntfs-config

This will open a configuration window. check here if you want to be able to write to the Win7 partition.  Caution: I think it’s not recommended to enable write operations on the drive since you don’t want to accidentally destroy one of your Win7 OS files.

If you have any errors you guys encountered while following those instruction or maybe you got any suggestions or requests, you’re more then welcome to comment 🙂

Cya at the next post!

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