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need help ASAP with veiwing linux partitions on hdd

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I had someone break into my garage, but they should have been caught on camera. The problem is that my DVR is having trouble reading the HDD inside of it. I have figured out that the HDD inside the DVR is using a Linux partition. How can I look at the files on the Linux formatted HDD with my windows 7 PC? I have all the cords to do it and can see the HDD I just can't look open or see anything on it at all.

Any help would be great, it may help me to catch the idiot that robbed us for about 7K worth of generators and tools.
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post #2 of 9
The best option would be to use a Ubuntu (or other linux flavor) live CD/ USB Drive. This way you can view the files, and not have to worry about installing Linux on a PC.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Could you recommend one?
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post #4 of 9
I use Ubuntu for my live image needs, it is the simplest to use and has no problem reading Windows drive partitions so you can copy over your files to any other disks you have.

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/try-ubuntu-before-you-install

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok I've booted up ubuntu and can now see the HDD. I can only see the small partition though. The 6.4gb one that shows the text logs for each day it has been recording. I can't get it to see the second 496gb partition that has the videos on it. I can see it on my mac but can't access it, but when I booted up in ubuntu it only shows the small partition.

Any ideas on why the large partition is hidden? And if so how can I be able to see it so that hopefully I can watch the videos that are on it and find out who the thief is?
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post #6 of 9
What format is the partition in?
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post #7 of 9
the commands "df" & "mount" should serve you well.


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post #8 of 9
As you are a linux newbie I suggest a live distro that lets you log in as root. It just make it easier to do what you need to do. If not then you'll have to use the 'sudo' command example sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/mymountpoint

Boot up under linux then open a linux console. There is usually one somewhere in the menu system of the desktop. You need to find out what device number the OS has given the target drive Example: /dev/sdX where X is the letter associated with your target drive. You can usually find this with the 'dmesg' command example dmesg | less OR sudo dmesg | less. Note that is a vertical bar (console pipe command) between dmesg and less. The dmesg command will show the log of the kernel boot messages. Piping the output of dmesg to less lets you scroll forwards and backwards through the output. You'll have to read through it to find the section naming your hard drive.

Next at a root prompt or using sudo type fdisk /dev/sdX. Use the internal fdisk help command 'm' to get the menu look at the list of partition types 't' and then use the 'p' command to print out the partitions for the drive. With the handy list of partition types and the print out of the drives partition table you should be able to figure out which driver you need for any partition type that might be on the drive. Use the q command to quit fdisk.


WARNING when using fdisk to check partition types under NO circumstances use the 'w' command as it will rewrite the partition table to your drive.

As root or using sudo create a new mount point for your drive mkdir /mnt/mynewmountpoint

then at a root prompt or using sudo: mount -t PARTITION TYPE /dev/sdXx /mnt/mynewmountpoint where PARTITION TYPE is the Linux mount name of the partition type garnered from the fdisk command above and the small x is the partition number 1=first partition from the partition list and 2=second partition etc.

you may need to look up what letter or name to place after the -t argument to the mount command here's a handy list....

-t, --types vfstype
The argument following the -t is used to indicate the filesystem type. The filesystem types which are currently supported include: adfs, affs, autofs, cifs, coda, coherent, cramfs, debugfs, devpts, efs, ext, ext2, ext3, ext4, hfs, hfsplus, hpfs, iso9660, jfs, minix, msdos, ncpfs, nfs, nfs4, ntfs, proc, qnx4, ramfs, reiserfs, romfs, squashfs, smbfs, sysv, tmpfs, ubifs, udf, ufs, umsdos, usbfs, vfat, xenix, xfs, xiafs. Note that coherent, sysv and xenix are equivalent and that xenix and coherent will be removed at some point in the future - use sysv instead. Since kernel version 2.1.21 the types ext and xiafs do not exist anymore. Earlier, usbfs was known as usbdevfs. Note, the real list of all supported filesystems depends on your kernel.


I realize that the above is pretty damn technical but I've been using linux for over 10 years. To me that stuff above is pretty easy. For you on the other hand it might be a little daunting. Give it a try if you have any question PM me. I'll be glad to help. As a further thought since most video files for security devices are looped I'm wondering if they used some sort of raw data writing scheme to the partition in question.
Edited by sparkeyjames - 5/17/13 at 3:51pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkeyjames View Post

As you are a linux newbie I suggest a live distro that lets you log in as root. It just make it easier to do what you need to do. If not then you'll have to use the 'sudo' command example sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/mymountpoint
.... Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Boot up under linux then open a linux console. There is usually one somewhere in the menu system of the desktop. You need to find out what device number the OS has given the target drive Example: /dev/sdX where X is the letter associated with your target drive. You can usually find this with the 'dmesg' command example dmesg | less OR sudo dmesg | less. Note that is a vertical bar (console pipe command) between dmesg and less. The dmesg command will show the log of the kernel boot messages. Piping the output of dmesg to less lets you scroll forwards and backwards through the output. You'll have to read through it to find the section naming your hard drive.

Next at a root prompt or using sudo type fdisk /dev/sdX. Use the internal fdisk help command 'm' to get the menu look at the list of partition types 't' and then use the 'p' command to print out the partitions for the drive. With the handy list of partition types and the print out of the drives partition table you should be able to figure out which driver you need for any partition type that might be on the drive. Use the q command to quit fdisk.


WARNING when using fdisk to check partition types under NO circumstances use the 'w' command as it will rewrite the partition table to your drive.

As root or using sudo create a new mount point for your drive mkdir /mnt/mynewmountpoint

then at a root prompt or using sudo: mount -t PARTITION TYPE /dev/sdXx /mnt/mynewmountpoint where PARTITION TYPE is the Linux mount name of the partition type garnered from the fdisk command above and the small x is the partition number 1=first partition from the partition list and 2=second partition etc.

you may need to look up what letter or name to place after the -t argument to the mount command here's a handy list....

-t, --types vfstype
The argument following the -t is used to indicate the filesystem type. The filesystem types which are currently supported include: adfs, affs, autofs, cifs, coda, coherent, cramfs, debugfs, devpts, efs, ext, ext2, ext3, ext4, hfs, hfsplus, hpfs, iso9660, jfs, minix, msdos, ncpfs, nfs, nfs4, ntfs, proc, qnx4, ramfs, reiserfs, romfs, squashfs, smbfs, sysv, tmpfs, ubifs, udf, ufs, umsdos, usbfs, vfat, xenix, xfs, xiafs. Note that coherent, sysv and xenix are equivalent and that xenix and coherent will be removed at some point in the future - use sysv instead. Since kernel version 2.1.21 the types ext and xiafs do not exist anymore. Earlier, usbfs was known as usbdevfs. Note, the real list of all supported filesystems depends on your kernel.


I realize that the above is pretty damn technical but I've been using linux for over 10 years. To me that stuff above is pretty easy. For you on the other hand it might be a little daunting. Give it a try if you have any question PM me. I'll be glad to help. As a further thought since most video files for security devices are looped I'm wondering if they used some sort of raw data writing scheme to the partition in question.

I love how you say "as you're a linux newbie [snip] just make it easier to do what you need to do." then proceed to give him a page of instructions on how to use the command line - which is anything but easy to do - when you could have just pointed him to gparted instead. tongue.gif
Edited by Plan9 - 5/17/13 at 5:49pm
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