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Accessing Windows NTFS partitions from Linux on a dual-boot system

I dual boot Windows 10 and Kubuntu 16.04 Linux. Recently, after upgrading to Windows 10, I noticed that I was unable to mount my exFat and NTFS partitions from the Linux side.

The exFat problem is easy to resolve. Start up the terminal of your choice and type...

sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse

That will install the exFat drivers for your Linux system. From now on you're good to go regarding exFat. If you don't know about exFat, it is the best format for flash drives. It is supported on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux (after you install it) unlike FAT32, and doesn't have the 4GB limitation that FAT does; which makes it perfect for using one drive across all of your operating systems.  

But this isn't the exFat issue. It is the problem of not being able to mount an NTFS partition from Linux, which has always been a no-brainer.If you get an error like this when you try to mount an NTFS partition, then you know what I'm talking about...

An error occurred while accessing 'Home', the system responded: The requested operation has failed: Error mounting /dev/sda1 at /media/9C9445DC9445BA12: Command-line `mount -t "ntfs" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid,uid=500,gid=500,dmask=0077,fmask=0177" "/dev/sda1" "/media/9C9445DC9445BA12"' exited with non-zero exit status 14: Windows is hibernated, refused to mount. Failed to mount '/dev/sda1': Operation not permitted The NTFS partition is in an unsafe state. Please resume and shutdown Windows fully (no hibernation or fast restarting), or mount the volume read-only with the 'ro' mount option.

The problem is caused by new functionality in Windows 10 (and Windows 8, which I never used) that causes the default shutdown behavior to be to hibernate your PC rather than actually shutting it down. It is called "Fast Startup" and is supposed to make Windows 10 "feel" faster than it really is. In order to access these NTFS partitions on Linux, you need to disable Fast Startup and hibernation as follows...

  • Boot to Windows 10.
  • Click your start menu and type "Power Options" in the search box and select Power Options from the search results.
  • On the left side, click "Change what the power buttons do".
  • Scroll to the bottom (you may have to unlock the page - Look for a link to unlock options at the top), and de-select the "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" and "Hibernate" options.

This will probably fix the issue, but in case it doesn't, you can force the issue by executing the following command in a windows terminal window (command prompt) running as Administrator...

powercfg.exe -h off

Shut-down Windows normally now, and re-boot into Linux. You should then be able to access your Windows 10 NTFS partition normally.

Good luck!