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NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

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gregorylock
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NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#1 Postby gregorylock » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:57 pm

I'm not currently using MX linux. I got nothing against it, I like it, but I drifted away from it. I remember you are all very helpful. This is not a specific MX question. Rather it is an issue I've ran into on multiple distros. Manjaro, MX, Linux LIte, and even Linux Mint. Not only on multiple distros but also on multiple computers connected to different hard drives!

My problem is with copying files over to NTFS formated hard drives. I've tried to do google searches but I haven't found anything good to read about the issue I've run into.

All this past year I've been copying my data to a USB flash drive formated to FAT32, and then attaching it to a Windows Laptop to copy the file over to my 3 external back up hard drives that are formated to NTFS.

I need to be clear about something. The issue I run into does not happen every single time. But it happens often enough that I don't want to trust Linux with writing to my NTFS drives.

Several times I copied to a NTFS drive I couldn't delete the file from Windows Vista or 7. The last time I ran into trouble, I copied a file over to NTFS from Linux, I couldn't copy, move, or delete the file from Windows. I had to boot into Linux Mint and then delete the file that way. I wish I knew what went wrong. Windows could see the file and even play the mp3, but when I tried to do those things: It gave me an incorrect path error.

Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

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dolphin_oracle
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#2 Postby dolphin_oracle » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:13 pm

nice seeing you gregorylock...been awhile.

tricky...normally the defaults on ntfs-3g are to set such that permissions are ignored or at least bypassed when accessing ntfs devices.

I would check the default permissions setup for each distro that you are using ntfs-3g on. sometimes, ntfs-3g is set up to preserve linux user permissions (contrary to the popular belief that ntfs can't store permissions, it in fact can...). If this is the case, you could rapidly descend into permissions hell...not knowing what OS has done what to which USB stick.

there is also a very strange case that I have encountered twice on internal partitions but I have no idea if it would affect a removable ntfs device. Let's say you have a device plugged into a windows computer and you "shut down" the machine with the device still attached. Its possible that the ntfs filesystem will be locked, producing all sorts of weird behavior under linux. this normally happens if fast boot is enabled, because a windows shutdown isn't a real shutdown anymore, but a glorfied hibernate, and it does something to ntfs partitions to keep them safe and ready for restart. A similar scenario can also happen when windows is in the middle of a system upgrade, say you shutdown with updates but don't reboot right away. The ntfs device can be locked pending installation of the windows updates on reboot. Again, I have no idea if that could happen to removable media, but I've seen it on my internal partitions. In these scenarios, sometimes my devices are totally inaccessible, but usually I can see and mount but the drives are read only. Once I did a manual read/write mount and totally screwed up my ntfs filesystem, resulting in data loss...
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Old Giza
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#3 Postby Old Giza » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:05 pm

Have you looked at this article? Perhaps you are sometimes copying to a too deep path exceeding MAX_PATH characters.

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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#4 Postby Scott(0) » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:28 pm

Hello Gregorylock,

This happened to me many years ago. The problem? When naming the file in linux a colon was somehow allowed in the filename - a colon is a reserved character that is not allowed in NTFS so when attempting to access the file in Windows it would work as long as I didn't try to rename the file. I'm guessing the problem doesn't always happen for you because a reserved character is probably not used in the filename every time.

In my situation the problem could have happened via copy and paste. I was using copy and paste to rename files quickly and sometimes the copy function can pull in lots of undesired characters. I never tested this.

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linexer2016
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#5 Postby linexer2016 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:06 am

You have described that you have usually copied the Linux file onto an usb which then was (after a reboot and you went into Windows?) attempted to be accessed by the Windows platform. Assuming I have read that correctly, have you ever simply tried to mount the Windows HDD in Thunar? Again, I may be off the mark as to exactly what you are doing but if you are indeed dual-booting then it would be interesting to try to mount the Windows drive and copy directly across to that drive without using the usb.

Edit: just re-read your original post and it seems you are not dual-booting. Perhaps however, you could install Linux on one of the other machines in a dual-boot configuration and see if the above suggestion can assist?

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gregorylock
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#6 Postby gregorylock » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:58 pm

@dolphin_oracle
@Old Giza
@Scott(0)
@linexer2016

Everyone of you gave me things to think about.

I don't think it has anything to do with what characters my files are using. I'm aware that some characters don't work on NTFS drives. I can't remember exactly which file I had trouble with. But I remember what audio book I had trouble with. All the files are named exactly the same way. Here is an example: 17 I'm No Angel (Unabridged) [File 17 of 58].mp3

The last time I dual booted was in the summer of 2016. I was using a desktop computer. I had windows installed on one hard drive and mx15 on the other. I used the grub boot manger on mx15 to control which OS booted. The Windows Vista hard drive was formated to NTFS. The MX15 hard drive was formated to EXT4.

The last time I came across this issue happened to me back in late 2016. I was using two different computers running two different OSes. My Dell Desktop was running Linux Mint 17.2 or 3. My Lenovo laptop was running Windows 7. (By this time I suffered a big problem with Windows Vista on my Mapletronics desktop running both Vista and MX15. I couldn't boot into my MX15 drive either. I got rid of Windows and put Linux Lite on it.)

The NTFS usb hard drives is used as my back ups for music, audio books, and other documents. I share this stuff with all of my computers regardless what OS they are running.

After the last time found a problem I started copying the files to fat32 sandisk usb drives and then I used a Windows 7 laptop by Lenovo to make the file transfers to the ntfs backup usb hard drives. It is an inconvenience but at least it kept the issue from happening.

I posted about my issue in the linux mint forum, and here. Plus I took a chance and posted in the Arch Linux forums. I got two responses and then the moderator closed my thread. The first response was a question. "Are you using NTFS-3G" The second was from the moderator who said He would not trust NTFS formated drives with Linux because it is backward engineered. I check synaptic package manager and both Linux lite and Linux Mint is using ntfs-3g. However I don't believe they are running the latest. I don't currently have mx linux running on anything. But if I did I would check that too.

I kinda wanted to solve this issue. But I felt it is important to let as many people in the linux community know that I ran into this problem, so that you can be aware that it might be still happening to some people.

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asinoro
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#7 Postby asinoro » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:35 am

Check from Linux if you have install fist the:

Code: Select all

ntfs-3g

Find you ntfs partition:

Code: Select all

sudo blkid

And then run the command where sdxx is your ntfs partition. Pay attention to unmount first your ntfs partition.

Code: Select all

 sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdXX

Reboot and check from Windows if you can access and modify your ntfs files.
If your case is solved edit [Solved] to your initial post title to help other users.
Don’t forget to Backup your system
Fix your Grub

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MX-16_fan
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#8 Postby MX-16_fan » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:07 am

@gregorylock:

gregorylock wrote:(...) I don't think it has anything to do with what characters my files are using. (...)


Don't think so either. Here's a list of forbidden characters: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/librar ... onventions.


Greetings, Joe

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gregorylock
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Re: NTFS - Does anyone got any ideas on what could be going wrong, and how to avoid it.

#9 Postby gregorylock » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:13 am

asinoro wrote:Check from Linux if you have install fist the:

Code: Select all

ntfs-3g

Find you ntfs partition:

Code: Select all

sudo blkid

And then run the command where sdxx is your ntfs partition. Pay attention to unmount first your ntfs partition.

Code: Select all

 sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdXX

Reboot and check from Windows if you can access and modify your ntfs files.


I would need to make a whole new drive just for testing this. Those things cost around 60 dollars around here. I'm already creating ext4 drives that I intend on eventually replacing the ntfs drives with. Because once Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft, I want to be on Linux completely.


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