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Some of my data is on a drive that a Windows VM used, but I'd rather continue my work under a flavor of Linux. What is the foolproof way to mount this drive if it was formatted with an NTFS file system?

Here is an old answer suggesting ntfs-3g for this but with an unresolved question in a comment, which makes me hesitant to play around without any risk of data loss.

(I guess there is no other way to get the data onto a disk that is more easily mounted by Linux flavors of GCE, and of course, I cannot reformat the drive keeping the data intact. Or if I can, let me know in a comment and I can ask a separate question for that answer.)

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Irrespective of how accurate an answer might be is highly recommended to try any suggestion /or recommendations outside of your production environment to avoid any potential data loss or downtime. i.e. using a temp dev VM to test the suggestion prior to implementing them.

Since you are already on GCP, you can create a snapshot of the instance, create a dev instance from the snapshot, and you are good to start testing.

With regards to mounting the NTFS disk, you can create a file system as noted in the following document

$ mkfs.vfat /dev/sdX2

Creates a new partition, without creating a new file system on that partition.

Command: mkpart [part-type fs-type name] start end

Similar question has been answered in this thread.

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