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Fix ntfs dirty-bit

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NOT TO BE USED AT PRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS! You have to read, understand and accept the disclaimer .

Using ntfsfix to reset the dirty-bit of ntfs-volumes is ONLY adviced, if one does have no working windows installation!

If you are able to dual-boot with windows - DO NOT USE ntfsfix, but setup your windows installation in the required way: Turn off windows fast startup feature (not to be confused with the bios fastboot-option, which is unrelated). Reboot windows once afterwards to get the modification into effect. Perform a clean shutdown of windows before switching to linux = do NOT hibernate.

Check 1st, if being affected

A typical symptom is: a ntfs-volume is accessible in read-only mode only, although used mount options (mounted "rw", no un-masking of permissions, no limiting user- or group-ID enforced) and filesystem permissions should allow read-write access. After trying to create a file or folder at the mounted volume, the last some lines of dmesg output will show some message containing "volume is in an modified state" or "dirty bit is set", naming the related ntfs-volume in this case.

What is the dirty-bit good for: The dirty-bit is used by windows to mark that the filesystem (meta-data) still does require some outstanding updates to be written to the disk (updates are kept back for performance reasons).

If Linux does detect, that a ntfs-volume is marked as "dirty" it does refuse to write to the volume to avoid data corruption and does leave a note about it at the dmesg output.

The dirty-bit is resetable from linux using the ntfsfix tool. As a consequence the outstanding (meta-data) updates of the ntfs-volume are dropped and linux would allow write-access afterwards.

To check if dmesg-output does really reference an according ntfs-volume compare it against output of:

sudo fdisk -l


If the listed information does match the error-message from dmesg (=the expected ntfs-volume) - run:

# replace sdXY with your real volume-/partition
sudo ntfsfix -d /dev/sdXY


Good luck - have fun.

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