Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mount is denied because NTFS is marked to be in use

This is an interesting tidbit. I was trying to pull some data off an older, ntfs-formatted IDE hard drive (an 80GB Western Digital WD800, circa 2003), so I connected it up to my Adaptec external USB enclosure. I am running Fedora Core 6 and have installed ntfs-3g ( in order to access my ntfs partitions.

When I plugged in the USB and turned it on, it was read fine by the system (see post: /2007/07/failed-external-usb-ide-drive-as.html). But here's the message I received when I mounted the external drive as a file system:
[root@computer]# mount -t ntfs /dev/sdc1 /mnt/external/
$LogFile indicates unclean shutdown (0, 0)
Failed to mount '/dev/sdc1': Operation not supported
Mount is denied because NTFS is marked to be in use. Choose one action:

Choice 1: If you have Windows then disconnect the external devices by
clicking on the 'Safely Remove Hardware' icon in the Windows
taskbar then shutdown Windows cleanly.

Choice 2: If you don't have Windows then you can use the 'force' option for your own responsibility. For example type on the command line:

mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/external/ -o force

Or add the option to the relevant row in the /etc/fstab file:

/dev/sdc1 /mnt/external/ ntfs-3g defaults,force 0 0

Ever the swashbuckler, I went ahead and forced a mount:
[root@computer]# mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/external/ -o force
$LogFile indicates unclean shutdown (0, 0)
WARNING: Forced mount, reset $LogFile.

OK. So, I got a bit of a hand-slap there, with the "unclean shutdown." Even though I did receive this warning, I was able to access the files on the drive and copy off the couple hundred megs of audio files I needed. Hooray!

Update 7/22/07: After accessing the files on the drive, I reinstalled the drive as the primary system drive of my older XP system. The disk booted fine and it continues to serve as my backup PC.

As an aside, I also got this warning:
WARNING: Deficient Linux kernel detected. Some driver features are
not available (swap file on NTFS, boot from NTFS by LILO), and
unmount is not safe unless it's made sure the ntfs-3g process
naturally terminates after calling 'umount'. If you wish this
message to disappear then you should upgrade to at least kernel
version 2.6.20, or request help from your distribution to fix
the kernel problem. The below web page has more information:

If you read the message, it seems to me that my kernel does not the have at least two features:
  • swap file on NTFS
  • boot from NTFS by LILO

I run a releatively recent, fairly non-customized standard kernel for Core 6:
Linux computer 2.6.19-1.2911.fc6

so be aware that you may get a similar message if you have a standard kernel. You may need to recompile your kernel if you want these messages to go away. I have a post on how to do that here:

FYI from your host,
The Tech Answer Guy.


toto said...

Its been very useful to me.
Thanks for sharing, dude!

Cacasodo said...

Glad to be of service, brother!
thumbs up!

Unknown said...

Im staring right at the forcemount prompt haha. . I am ever the swashbuckler but not on someone's server :P

Ill go ahead and forcemount! - thanks for posting this

Cacasodo said...

Tally ho, then me hardy!

DrPheltright said...

You gave me the balls to go ahead and force this, and I got a hand slap too, but I prefer that to an a** f*** any day!

Thanks so much!!

Cacasodo said...

100% agreement. Thumbs up!!

Feel free to drop me a line or ask me a question.