backup to NTFS USB disk

josephj at josephj at
Fri Apr 13 13:22:42 MDT 2012

Since no one has replied yet, I have one idea that *might* point to part
of your problem.  I've never had to deal with locale issues, so I have no
idea about that.

You have directories and file names with blanks in them.  In general, this
causes a lot of trouble for a lot of programs.  I'm not sure how rsync
handles them.

If no one chimes in with a more informed suggestion, you might try to find
some portion of the file tree you need to backup where there are no blanks
in file or directory names and run that as a test to see if the blanks are
getting you.

man rsync says:

       If  you  need  to  transfer  a filename that contains whitespace,
you can either specify the --protect-args (-s) option, or
       you’ll need to escape the whitespace in a way that the remote shell
will understand.  For instance:

              rsync -av host:'file\ name\ with\ spaces' /dest

This seems to only apply to actual arguments to the rsync command.

There's also a -0 option:

      -0, --from0
              This tells rsync that the rules/filenames it reads from a
file are terminated by a null (’\0’) character, not a  NL,
              CR, or CR+LF.  This affects --exclude-from, --include-from,
--files-from, and any merged files specified in a --fil‐
              ter rule.  It does not affect --cvs-exclude (since all names
read from a .cvsignore file are split on whitespace).

But that also just seems to apply to arguments from a file.



> Hello, *
> I am setting up a backup on a Linux system with Windows XP workstations.
> The
> backup goes to three alternating usb drives, each of which is NTFS
> formatted.
> The disks should be virtually identical but they do not seem to be.
> First, my mount command is this (I edited a bit for brevity)
> mount -t ntfs-3g -o locale=nl_NL.iso-8859-1,silent
> /dev/disk/by-id/usb-DiskA \
> /mnt/tmp ||
> mount -t ntfs-3g -o locale=nl_NL.iso-9959-1,silent
> /dev/disk/by-id/usb-DiskB \
> /mnt/tmp ||
> mount -t ntfs-3g -o locale=nl_NL.iso-9959-1,silent
> /dev/disk/by-id/usb-DiskC \
> /mnt/tmp
> if [ $? -eq 0 ]
> then
> <backup starts>
> So, it first attempts to mount diskA; if that fails, it tries diskB, and
> so on.
> DiskA has been running for a week without any problems or messages. Now I
> try
> to mount diskB, and I get:
> ntfs-3g: Failed to access volume '/dev/disk/by-id/usb-DiskA': No such file
> or
> directory
> Please type '/sbin/mount.ntfs-3g --help' for more information.
> WARNING: Couldn't set locale to 'nl_NL.iso-9959-1' thus some file names
> may not
>          be correct or visible. Please see the potential solution at
> LiMu Backup Disk B
> The first message is, of course, correct, because diskA is now no longer
> present. The second mount, of diskB, succeeds. Now pops up a warning, and
> I am
> not sure if it belongs to the absent diskA or to the present diskB. But
> apparently the latter is the case, because I get hundreds of messages like
> this:
> rsync: recv_generator: failed to stat "/mnt/tmp/backup/museum/adlib/adlib
> documenten voor/catalogus objecten in eigen bezit/artikelen, algemeen/8467
> wehrpa\#303\#237.doc": Invalid or incomplete multibyte or wide character
> (84)
> rsync: recv_generator: failed to stat
> "/mnt/tmp/backup/museum/documenten/bestuur/archief, niet
> geschoond/publiciteit/idee\#343\#253n website.doc": Invalid or incomplete
> multibyte or wide character (84)
> (I tried the link mentioned in the warning, bit it led me to
> and does not seem relevant)
> Now I have two questions:
> 1) why does DiskA (NTFS) accept this mount, while DiskB (NTFS) doesn't?
> 2) what is wrong with a file name like "ideeën website.doc", which is
> generated
> on an XT system, is written to an NTFS file system by SAMBA, and then
> refused
> on copying to another NTFS file system?
> --
> joop gerritse
> Mühlenstraße 11
> D-47546 Kalkar-Wissel
> Germany
> +49-2824-971487
> --
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