Can’t Mount NTFS drive “The disk contains an unclean file system”

If you are encountering the “The disk contains an unclean file system” error message when trying to mount an NTFS drive in Windows, it usually means that the drive was not properly ejected or shut down, resulting in potential file system corruption.

To fix this error, you need to mount the drive in read-only mode and then boot into Windows and run a full shutdown. This will clear the cache and allow Windows to properly clean up the file system.

can't mount ntfs drive “the disk contains an unclean file system”

An unclean file system can occur for various reasons, such as a sudden power outage, system crash, or improper shutdown of the computer. This can result in the file system being marked as “dirty” and prevent it from being mounted.

Well, it can be the most annoying error while using Ubuntu in dual boot mode with Windows.

This could be caused by a faulty hard drive, a bad sector on the disk, or a number of other computer problems. As an example, I have had the error after a sudden shutdown and before restarting the computer. If you getting this error while accessing disk drives in Ubuntu 16.04 you can fix it very easily.

Unclean file system

All you need to do is log off of Ubuntu and boot from Windows.

Now shut down Windows using the Command Prompt with the following command:
shutdown /s

Now boot into Ubuntu. The error must be gone.

If you are still unable to mount the drive, the file system may be corrupted. In this case, you may need to reformat the drive and restore your data from a backup.

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Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and freelancer.com. When not working, he plays Valorant.

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