I backed up an entire 32GB NTFS partition to a raw image with with dd. The file-system on the partition in accessible under Debian after mounting with:

$ sudo mount -o ro,loop /media/Path/To/ImageFile.img /tmp/IMAGE/

After remounting this image, without specifying ro, can the NTFS file-system safely be modified (such as editing files, copying new files, deleting files, etc.)?

I know GNU/Linux can read/write NTFS file-systems -- my question is whether the NTFS file-system in the image can safely be modified after mounting the image as read/write.

  • 1
    There is no real difference in safety between a file mounted using loop and a partition. – Omnifarious Nov 19 '12 at 20:43
  • Understood. As I need to delete files from the file-system, leaving only the ones I want, it might be easier/safer to mount the image as read-only and simply copy off the files I want to keep, and then I can delete the image. – SabreWolfy Nov 20 '12 at 11:48

My experience has shown that most times it's safe to modify NTFS partitions using the ntfs-3g FUSE driver.

But if you're using it a lot or if the computer hangs/gets rebooted forcefully while there's IO on the NTFS partition, you might get into trouble (e.g. IO errors while trying to access files)

So, to conclude:

  • If you just mount it writable to change some specific files and then remount it in ro mode, you should be fine.
  • But if the ntfs-filesystem is used frequently, you might need a windows installation to fix the filesystem issues (which in this case is impossible as you're not using a real partition)

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