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Dual Boot + Storage Partition = Video Errors

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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May 27, 2012 9:20:10 AM

Hello! I recently built my first computer, and successfully set up my hard drive to dual boot Win 7 and Ubuntu 12.04, with a separate NTFS partition accessible from both OS's to store all of my music/videos/photos and the like.

After the initial set up, I copied the files from my old hard drive into the storage partition on my new one, and the only issue that I have come across so far is regarding seemingly random video playback errors from windows.

I use VLC media player on both OS's. For some reason when I am using Windows, some video files will give me various errors, including "...could not open the file..." and "...refers to a location that is unavailable..." or (with win media player) "...encountered a problem playing the file..." etc. Some of them open up and then just don't play at all, with no error message.

The videos that are "broken" are random... for example, if I have a full season of a tv show, only a few episodes will give me errors while the rest of them play back fine, even though all the episodes are of the same file type and in the same location and were downloaded at the same time. I know the files are whole on the hard drive, because they all work fine when accessed through Ubuntu.


Does anyone have any idea what might cause Windows to have trouble with some of my videos and not others, or (more importantly) how to get it to play them properly? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks. :) 
May 27, 2012 11:18:45 AM

My first thought was codecs. I'm not a big download head but I have seen two sequential podcasts encoded using different tools so I'd imagine you might get some differences even when you think you're getting everything in the same format. The file extension is really nothing more than a hint at the real underlying format of the data; I can play some .wmv files but not others due to codec issues.

My second thought is connected to the drive. Did you format the NTFS media drive from Windows or Linux? If you have a file that will not play under Windows have you tried copying it to the C: drive and playing it from there? If you can then it's likely to be related to the drive.

My final thought is that you have some data corruption. I copied my ~90GiB music archive from an old IDE disc to my SATA data drive when I built my rig some time back. Despite using rsync to do the copy I lost about 1GiB worth of files in the process. Tracked it down to corruption on the source disc which I could read OK from Ubuntu but using the IFS driver under Windows would just not work.

So...

1. Test if you can play affected media from local copy on C: drive
2. Install codec pack
3. Run a disc check on the media drive

Let us know how you get on and we can take it from there.
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May 27, 2012 5:53:19 PM

Hm... I think you are right about the corruption. Now I'm noticing some file errors regarding a broken/missing AVI index, or something.

I think part of the problem might be caused by the fact that I copied all of the old files to the storage partition with Ubuntu... I ran Ubuntu on my old external where the files originally were, so Windows doesn't even see it. I can't access the originals from Windows.


All videos I've added since (downloaded straight to new hard drive, as opposed to copying from old hard drive) work perfectly with both OS's, and all of the old ones work under Ubuntu... i don't know if there is any way to repair the funky ones so Win 7 can play them as well, so I might just have to deal with some of my old files not working under Windows.
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May 28, 2012 11:01:10 AM

Do you still have the disc from your old system, the one you copied them from originally? If you have then it might be worth copying them again via Windows. When you do this try and copy in batches of 5GiB or less at a time.

If your old disc is Linux formatted (ext3 etc) then let us know and we can point you at a driver that will let you read Linux formatted discs from within Windows.
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May 28, 2012 4:07:13 PM

That is the case. My old external hard drive that contains the original files is formatted for Linux, so Windows doesn't even see it when it's plugged in.

You know of a way to get Windows to read ext3 formatting?! That would be lovely. Windows might be more willing to play my files if it was the one to do the copying.
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May 28, 2012 5:35:00 PM

^This.

Just install the driver and read the docs. It's very simple to use and your ext3 formatted drive will appear as a new drive letter.
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May 28, 2012 6:05:13 PM

Thanks so much! I'll give that a shot and let you know how it goes.
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May 28, 2012 10:54:56 PM

I'm back again. I downloaded the latest version of Ext2Fsd, but I'm not too familiar with how to use it. My external is connected to the computer (I can see it through Ubuntu), but it is not showing up on the program's list of drives. Am I missing something? I'm still not seeing how to break into this thing.
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May 29, 2012 1:46:37 AM

Once you have installed it by running the installer you need to go into control panel in Windows, click on the IFS driver icon and then mount the drive. Once you have it mounted it shows as a drive letter in Windows.
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May 29, 2012 2:58:32 AM

Ext2Fsd FAQ

Q) How to mount an ext2fsd partition or a volume ?

A) It's becoming easy with the help of the program "Ext2 Volume Manager".
Just "right click" on the dialog list, and select "Change Drive Letter".
Then you'll see the mount point dialog, you can add, change or remove
any driver letters.


karadactyl said:
I'm back again. I downloaded the latest version of Ext2Fsd, but I'm not too familiar with how to use it. My external is connected to the computer (I can see it through Ubuntu), but it is not showing up on the program's list of drives. Am I missing something? I'm still not seeing how to break into this thing.
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