How to Mount Windows 8’s OS Partition in Ubuntu (12.10 & 12.04), After ‘Hybrid Boot’ is Used?


Windows 8 comes with a new feature called ‘fast start-up’ (also called ‘hybrid boot’), which is based on the ‘hibernation’ feature that came with older versions of Windows. ‘Hybrid boot’ lets Windows 8 to boot really fast, and it is also enabled automatically when you shut down your computer too.

If you dual boot your Windows 8 computer, say with Ubuntu, then with this feature comes a drawback as well. For example, after shutting down Windows 8, if the next time you boot into Ubuntu and tried to access Windows 8’s OS partition, then ‘Nautilus’ (file manager) will give you a warning saying that, that partition is hibernated etc and won’t let you mount it.

Not just in Windows 8, you will get this error message if you use Windows 7, Vista, XP and tried to access its NTFS partition after hibernating too. But if you use Windows 8, then you should see this quite often as hibernation (‘hybrid boot’) is enabled by default in Windows 8.

Ubuntu 12.10 giving mounting error for Windows 8 volume that has 'hibernation' enabled

Because it is quite frustrating, if you have been looking for a way to permanent disable this error message and mount that partition, then this post is for you.

What are the options ?

Well, if you want to mount it in Ubuntu, then basically you have 4 options.

1. You can reboot back to Windows 8 and then choose ‘Restart’ as when restarting, Windows 8 automatically disables the so called ‘fast start-up’ feature.

2. Or, you can press and hold the ‘Shift’ key while choosing ‘Shut down’ in Windows 8 as this too disables the ‘fast start-up’ for that session.

3. Or, you can completely disable the ‘fast start-up’ feature of Windows 8.

4. Or, you can change a setting in Ubuntu so it will manually remove the ‘hiberfile.sys’ file on the OS partition, thus enabling you to access its data with read-write permissions.

As you can see, when considering everything, this fourth option is the best one. Also, Windows 8 unlike previous versions, does not save ‘user session’ data while shutting down, therefore, other than the delayed usual boot (‘cold boot’) you will not really lose anything either.

Lets do it …

For Ubuntu 12.10 users

Step 1:

Doing this in Ubuntu 12.10 (and newer) is very easy thanks to the changes that has landed into the disk manager. So first of all, search for below term in Unity’s dash and open the disk manager as shown below.

disks

Searching for 'Disks' utility in Ubuntu 12.10

Step 2:

Now choose your hard disk drive from the list to your left and from your right, choose the Windows 8’s OS partition. Usually the OS partition is the 2nd one, but that can change depending on your configuration.

Choosing-Windows-8s-OS-partition-using-disks

Step 3:

Then, click on the small ‘gears’ icon below it and from the menu chose ‘Edit Mount options…’.

Accessing advanced options in 'Gnome Disks'

Step 4:

In the ‘Mount options’ window, make sure the ‘Automatic Mount Options’ setting (at the top) is turned off, otherwise you won’t be able to edit these settings.

After that, copy and paste the below code into the mount options field (shown below).

,remove_hiberfile

Adding 'remove_hiberfile' optoin to Disks

Step 5:

Now click on the ‘OK’ button at the bottom, and when asked, enter your user password (you have to have administrative privileges to do this). That’s it, now open ‘Nautilus’ file manager, click on the partition’s icon and it will be mounted without any errors!.

If you use Ubuntu 12.04 and below …

Step 1:

Open your Terminal window and enter the below command.

sudo mkdir /media/t

You can change ‘t‘ into any name you like.

Step 2:

Before we processed further, it is necessary for you to find the device id (or ‘device file’) assigned for the Windows 8’s OS partition. And finding the device id of that partition is very easy.

For that, enter the below command in your Terminal window.

sudo blkit

This will output a list of partitions and few of their details (‘Device file’, ‘Label’ and the file system used).

Step 3:

My output of this command is shown in the below screenshot (I have 4 partitions). The ‘device id’ of each partition is listed at the beginning of each line.

Finding the 'device id' of the Windows 8's system partition in Ubuntu 12.10

While installing Windows (Vista, 7 and 8), if there were no partitions on your HDD, then the setup first creates a small partition called ‘System Reserved’. Usually the partition next to it is Windows OS’s partition. But those can change according to your configuration.

So have a look at the output ‘blkit’ command gives you and identify the ‘device id’ of the partition where Windows 8 is installed, and copy it (in this example it is ‘/dev/sda2‘).

Step 4:

Now copy the below code and simply replace the ‘/dev/sda2‘ with the device id of your Windows 8’s OS partition (in ‘Step 1′ if you had chosen a different mount point, then make sure to replace that with ‘t’ as well).

/dev/sda2 /media/t ntfs-3g remove_hiberfile

Step 5:

Then open your Terminal and enter the below command.

gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

Step 6:

This will open a configuration file that lets you mount file system automatically at system’s start-up called ‘fstab’. Now go to an empty area and create a new line (by pressing the ‘Enter’ key) and simply paste the code in the ‘Step 4′ into that empty area, as shown below.

Adding new mounting option (remove_hiberfile) to 'fstab'

Then save your changes and close this file.

Now reboot your computer and from now on, you won’t be bothered by that annoying message while trying to mount Windows 8’s system partition in Ubuntu. That’s it!

Note: Not only if you dual boot with a GNU/Linux OS, according to this ‘Ghacks.net’ article, the ‘fast start-up’ can also corrupt your data on numerous other occasions too!. Hopefully Microsoft will work something out, till then, be careful.

38 thoughts on “How to Mount Windows 8’s OS Partition in Ubuntu (12.10 & 12.04), After ‘Hybrid Boot’ is Used?

  1. Alexandre Hackerwirelles

    o que deu certo no meu foi este diretamente pelo windows 8.Os outros não deram certo pelo Ubuntu 12.10.Thank you sorry for the English translator. Greetings from Brazil. Congratulations Hackerwirelles GG 56 AU. SOUTH AMERICA BRASIL

    1. Gayan Post author

      Hmm, that’s strange ‘Alexandre’, this works perfectly well in my Ubuntu 12.10. Oh, you’re welcome by the way :).

    1. Gayan Post author

      Hi Ronny,

      I cannot say this for sure. But as I pointed out in this article, Windows 8 comes with a feature called ‘Hybrid Boot’. So what happens is that, if prior to installing Ubuntu, you had shutdown Windows 8 (rather than rebooting), then there’s a high possibility that Gparted (partition manager in Ubuntu) simply decided to not show the Windows 8 partition (again, just a guess though).

      Since you don’t seem to care whether you lose data or not, the best thing to do is to, first disable ‘secure-boot’, then re-install Windows 8 & re-partition the whole disk.

      Then, once you’re logged into Windows 8, rather than shutting it down, reboot it. Then when the PC reboots, boot into-it using the Ubuntu media (DVD/USB …) & try installing Ubuntu. If things go according to plan, you should see Windows 8 being recognized by the Ubuntu’s partition manager.

      Please remember that I cannot test any of these as my notebook does not support these features.

      1. Nikola Djuza

        Strangely now it works. I rebooted after doing your steps for Ubuntu 12.10 and newer, and now it works somehow. I’ll get back to you if it fails mounting it again.

        Thanks for the fast response and your will to help out, cheers!

        1. Gayan Post author

          Hi,

          This error occurs while trying to mount NTFS partitions, other than the one where Windows 8 is installed. And the only way to bypass this error is by either booting into Windows 8 & select Rebooting or by using any other method that disables the ‘Hybrid Boot’ feature.

          Or, you can also, as the error suggests, add ‘ro’ option in the ‘Disks’ utility for that partition & then you should be able to access it. If you do that however, then you will only be accessing it with read-only permissions.

          Also please remember that, in this post, I wanted to show how to mount the Windows 8’s OS partition only, under Ubuntu.

          Anyhow, although I cannot be certain about this, perhaps if you had mounted the Windows 8’s OS partition first (which removes the ‘hiberfile’) and then tried to mount other NTFS partitions, then you might not get this error. Again, it is only a suggestion.

          So the next time, try that method (you’re more than welcome to let me know if it works :) ).

          P.S: I can’t test it out because due to a GPU driver issue (I think), ‘Hybrid Boot’ has stopped working on my Notebook PC.

          1. Nikola Djuza

            Thanks again for fast response.

            Well I get the same error with trying to mount Windows 8 partition :(

            Anyways, I gave up and now I shut down Windows 8 while holding shift key and everything works like a charm :)

            Thanks a lot for your support and fast responses! Cheers mate :)

  2. REM

    I have an EEEPC with Ubuntu 13.04 and Win8 evaluation.
    And it does not let me boot Windows. I can use the ‘ro’ mount and can mount the volume read-only. Unfortunately, ‘remove_hiberfile’ does not work. And I need to be able to boot Win.

    I read that this comand may do it : ‘mount -t ntfs-3g -o remove_hiberfile /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot-sav/sda1′
    But I don’t know how to use this comand

    1. Gayan Post author

      Hi REM,

      1. First of all, enter the below command (this creates a folder for mounting the paritition), oh and, you’ll need administrative privileges to do these.

      sudo mkdir /mnt/temp

      2. The first partition is ‘sda1′, however, if the HDD was partitioned using Windows 7 or 8 installer, then the first paritition is not where Windows gets installed. So you should be mounting the ‘sda2′, if you haven’t changed anything else.

      So to do that, enter the below command.

      sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o remove_hiberfile /dev/sda2 /mnt/temp

      As you mentioned, since you can’t mount the windows parition, I’m not sure this will be of any help. Good luck.

  3. TheKisama

    Thank you very much! I was endlessly looking for a workaround. However, as I was testing, I found that you can’t move a file to trash(can only permanently) but maybe that’s just my case.

    I used option 4 btw.
    Ubuntu 13.04

  4. Daniele

    You didn’t missed nothing in step 4? I think that “/dev/sda2 /media/t ntfs-3g remove_hiberfile” is not a sane terminal command… no?

  5. Jake

    This does not work in Ubuntu 14.04

    If you add “,remove_hiberfile” to the mount options in Disks and try and mount it it comes up with the same error about the partition being hibernated. So does this only work in Ubuntu 12.04?

    I need to mount my Windows partition read/write, I cannot boot Windows and need to do it in Ubuntu. I am running Windows 8.1 which should be the same as 8.

    Gayan, please tell me how to make this work.

    1. Gayan Post author

      Jake, did you reboot the PC after adding that line ? (you have to reboot the PC in order for the changes to occur). I’m currently using Linux Mint 17… so can’t test this out in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but I cannot see why it shouldn’t work in it…

      1. Jake

        Thanks for the reply,

        Do you mean reboot Ubuntu? I am running a live USB so it probably won’t remember after the restart.

        I cannot reboot Windows because it’s corrupted and won’t boot which I why I am trying to mount the drive in Ubuntu.

        1. Gayan Post author

          Ahh, there’n lies the problem. As far as I can see, there are two solutions. The first & probably the easiest is to create a new Live USB with ‘Persistent mode’ enabled (if you’re using Ubuntu for creating the live USB then enable and enter a preferred size under the option ‘Stored in reserved extra space’ of the Live Startup creator utility that comes with Ubuntu, you can achieve the same thing using other tools, they simply lists it differently). And then once you boot into the desktop change the mount option and reboot and from the next time you should be able to access the Windows partitions.

          If it does not work or, you want to try the second method… just boot into a Live Ubuntu desktop using your existing USB drive and then,

          *. Follow the steps listed in this article under the sub heading ‘If you use Ubuntu 12.04 and below …’

          *. When you come to ‘Step 4′, add ‘sudo mount’ to the command that I have listed. For example, the command that you should now be using is:

          sudo ntfs-3g -o remove_hiberfile /dev/sda2 /media/t

          P.S: I’ve slightly changed the above command.

          Again, make sure to replace ‘/sda2′ accordingly.

          Now open the mount point and you should be able to access the windows partition (follow the same steps for mounting other partitions as well). If the file manager gives you issues, then open it with root privileges using the below command.

          sudo nautilus

          I hope this helps.

  6. Jake

    All persistant Ubuntu USB’s I make do not work. Either with Live Startup Creator or Linux Live USB Tool in Windows.

    Because those programs do not format the USB correctly for use with UEFI & GPT. Only Rufus does it correctly but has no option for persistence.

    All terminal command’s I have tried including the one you posted don’t work, it just says the same thing about it refusing to mount.

    1. Gayan Post author

      Sorry about that Jake, I edited the command again and now it should work. However, I just tested it on LM 17 and ‘ntfs-3g’ still failed to mount my Hibernated windows 8.1 partitions using this method. That said, on one occasion, after trying a few times, it suddenly mounted the Windows partition! (with read/write permissions). Then I rebooted the computer and tried to mount it again, but couldn’t do so afterwards. So I guess it’s probably an issue with the ‘ntfs-3g’ driver (just a guess).

      Anyhow, there is another solution that works flawlessly. Have you ever heard of a tool called ‘Active@ Boot Disk’ ? It’s a utility (once installed into a CD or a USB) that lets you boot into a Windows live desktop session and from there you can deal with files just as you would do under a installed Windows operating system. And yes, it lets you copy/move files that are on hibernated partitions (I just tested it, to be sure).

      There’s a free demo version which is free to use for 10 days, although there might be few limitations, I think it’ll give enough time for you to get out of this mess :) . Below is the link.

      http://www.lsoft.net/bootdisk.aspx

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