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I replaced a buggy Windows Vista installation with Ubuntu. All works fine except that the main HD where I had all my files are now inaccessible. Here is the error message I get:

Error mounting: mount exited with exit code 13: ntfs_attr_pread_i: ntfs_pread failed: Input/output error
Failed to read NTFS $Bitmap: Input/output error
NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a
SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows
then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very
important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate
it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g.
/dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the 'dmraid' documentation
for more details

Is it necessarily a hardware problem? If not, is there a way to repair the HD from Ubuntu?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

chkdsk /R is a pretty important command when things get hairy with NTFS. Unfortunately I don't know of a Linux tool that comes close to covering everything it does. In short, to run it, you're going to need some sort of Windows recovery disk.

If you don't have one to hand, there's an ISO offered up in a thread on another set of support forums (see the first answer).

There are tools like ntfsfix (part of the ntfsprogs package) that can do surface checks on NTFS disks but they don't tend to be able to fix the drives.

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You could install VirtualBox and an XP on it. Prevent the drive mounting in fstab, (if USB mount: add the USB filter in VBox so that XP sees the "raw" USB drive), mount the drive on XP and run chkdsk on it. –  ring0 Jan 6 at 2:46
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ntfsfix worked for me :

sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1

Provided in the ntfs-3g package.

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after following askubuntu.com/a/364298/50885 follow above to get USB mount :) –  Shubh Apr 3 at 10:52
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NTFS is a closed source Microsoft file system, and you'll need Windows to repair it, by running chkdsk /f, as suggested. If the problem is hardware related, you'll have to replace the hdd.

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i have encountered a similar situation once,then i kept the harddisk on windows,then a popup appeared asking to check the disk for errors.

if didn't ask goto computer,right click on the drive and then click on properties,there would be a tab "tools"

disk checking

select "check now"

this type of errors occur if you dont safely remove harddisks.

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protected by Community Jul 14 '12 at 14:05

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