I have an external drive used by Windows and Linux. It suddenly stopped working, suggesting that I should format it before use. I lost all of the data, name of the drive, and it doesn't even display the size.

Fortunately, Ubuntu sees everything. I looked for a Windows fix, but chkdsk can't access the drive.

I'm a new Linux user, is there an Ubuntu alternative? If so, how do I execute it?

Follow-up question:
In case I fail, how can I quickly create a live USB? My Ubuntu is installed on VirtualBox, and it doesn't accept any USB 3.0 ports. So in case I can't fix it, I'll need to back up my data with a live USB.

1 Answer 1


The linux command to check disks is fsck. See here for a rather complete reference list on what you need. My guess you will have to look for the ntfs section.

You also have to figure out which drive is which, see this post, basically fsck -l. You will feed the right drive name/number to the fsck utility.

If you have a working windows machine to install from, see this help entry.

Good luck, let us know how you fare!

  • the fdisk -l shows cannot open /dev/ram0 ...and all the other rams cannot open /dev/loop0 cannot open /dev/sda cannot open /dev/sdb all of them PERMISSION denied. Could it be a virtualbox issue? i tried doing ntfsfix on sda and sdb anyway, but they are not accessible so its not even attempting to fix Sep 6, 2016 at 16:23
  • ok, i tried it with sudo, we're getting somewhere, ill keep you posted Sep 6, 2016 at 16:33
  • Cant access the drive on ubuntu anymore ;/ HELP Sep 6, 2016 at 16:54
  • any command i put returns volume is corrupt, run chkdsk Sep 6, 2016 at 17:00
  • indeed it is sudo
    – Jeroen
    Sep 6, 2016 at 19:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.