So you should be able to access your drive. May have been a bug or limitation of one or more of the packages (OS, apps, or libraries) of whatever Linux distro you are using. I've always had excellent experiences with Knoppix in this regard.
I have had some issues where the ntfs3g driver wasn't quite working with the installed apps (Mint 9, gparted, mountmanager, and whatever the default installed mount manager is called), but I got it mounted with a short bit of typing in terminal. I couldn't make the partitions writable (an ntfs and a fat32), but Mint isn't meant to be run live as a rescue CD. It is meant to be run live as a method to check it out, then install if you like it. I'm sure it would work fine once installed (and I create a root account so I don't have to do 60 things with sudo or sudo su in terminal).
Rambling, aren't I?
But basically, all the drivers are on the live CDs, just as they are on an install CD. The live CDs check your system just like a normal setup for install, they just install to RAM like a normal system startup.
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