How to Check a NTFS Partition on Linux

Written by patrickh
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How to Check a NTFS Partition on Linux
Most Linux distributions have native NTFS support. (admin 3d sign image by from

NTFS is the default file system for any Windows distribution from Windows NT to Windows 7. While Linux usually uses different file systems, it does provide tools for interfacing with NTFS volumes, including the ability to fix and check the integrity of those volumes.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Make sure that the NTFS volume is unmounted properly. If it is a native Windows drive, shutting down properly will unmount it correctly. If it is a thumb drive or similar removable media, under Windows you must "remove hardware" in the Taskbar before unplugging it. Under Linux (as root), type "umount /dev/devicename" into a terminal, where "devicename" is the name of the device, such as "hda5" or "sda2."

  2. 2

    If you do not already have it, download ntfsprogs by using your native package manager, such as apt-get or emerge. If that does not work, download the source at the link under Resources ( Then cd to the download location and type

    "tar -xvzf ntfsprogs-version.tar.gz && cd ntfsprogs-version && ./configure && make all," where version is the version number, such as "2.0.0."

  3. 3

    Log into a terminal as root and type "ntfsck /dev/devicename," where "devicename" is the same as above. If unsure about devicename, type "cfdisk" to find out.

Tips and warnings

  • Ntfsck is also known as "fsck.ntfs."
  • Some distributions of the ntfsprogs package do not include ntfsck. In this case, "ntfsresize -fi /dev/devicename" does the same thing.
  • It is always best to check your NTFS partition from within Windows via the chkdsk utility.
  • Always back up any data before checking a partition where that data is housed.
  • Checking an NTFS volume may take time, depending on its size.

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