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.
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
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.
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.
Then, click on the small ‘gears’ icon below it and from the menu chose ‘Edit Mount options…’.
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).
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 …
Open your Terminal window and enter the below command.
sudo mkdir /media/t
You can change ‘t‘ into any name you like.
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.
This will output a list of partitions and few of their details (‘Device file’, ‘Label’ and the file system used).
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.
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‘).
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
Then open your Terminal and enter the below command.
gksudo gedit /etc/fstab
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.
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.