Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1620 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Read-only NTFS Disks?
On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 4:34 PM, Lew Wolfgang <wolfgang@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Folks,

I've got a customer who requires data to be delivered to
him via multiple 2TB NTFS SATA disks. I've been labeling,
building NTFS filesystems, and delivering his data for years
using openSuSE. But he has a bad habit of not making copies
of the data and has actually screwed things up to the point
where I have to redo the data-sets and resend to him. He's
now asking me to make the disks "read-only" to protect his
data from himself. He doesn't want the admin on his end to
mount the partitions read-only, he wants something inherent
in, on, or around the disks to protect them.

To the best of my knowledge, this isn't possible. Some really old
IDE disks might have had read-only jumpers, but that was 20-years
ago. I also found a read-only SATA flag using hwinfo, but
even though set, both Linux and Win-7 ignore it and write
anyway. There are also external forensic analysis write-block
boxes that can be used, but I don't think the customer wants to
go that far.

Does anyone has any suggestions besides finding a new customer?
Is there some kind of an immutable read-only flag in NTFS that
might be twaddled if mounted on Windows?


No NTFS flags I know of.

I would strongly consider using a Cool Gear write-blocker ($50):

It can be directly connected to a SATA drive on one side and has a
USB-3 port on the other side.

It has a physical read-write / read-only switch. If needed, I guess
you could mount both the write-blocker and a drive in a bigger
enclosure. I have a couple here if you want to ask questions about

If you don't like that and the client is running Linux, you could try
this (not tested):

Create a single large file that almost fills up your main filesystem:

touch big_file
dd if=/dev/zero of=/big_file bs=1G seek=1999 count=1

Then format the file:
mkfs.ntfs big_file

Then mount it loopback to fill it up:
mount --loop big_file /mnt

When your done, umount it and change the permissions on big_file to read-only.

Hope that helps,
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