Ubuntu – NTFS disk is read-only and I can’t change to read & write


I have used Windows 7 for a long time and thought to give Linux (Ubuntu) a try. I have two hard drives, one 120GB, other 1TB. First one is for OS and software, while the 1TB disk is for data and games. So I installed Ubuntu 14.04 on the 120GB disk (sda) and have done all those 10-things-you-should-do-after-installing-ubuntu. However, it did not want to mount the 1TB disk (sdb) at all saying that it's corrupted, but after two restarts it mounted (…?). I could access all my files but as a read-only disk. I installed GParted and got this message upon right-clicking /dev/sdb1 and selecting information:

Unable to read the contents of this file system!

Because of this some operations may be unavailable.

The cause might be a missing software package.

The following list of software packages is required for ntfs file system support: ntfsprogs / ntfs-3g.

Since I've been tackling this issue for about 5 hours now, I have heard and came across ntfsprogs and ntfs-3g but have only succeeded in installing ntfs-3g. ntfsprogs refuses to install for various reasons, e.g.


sudo apt-get install ntfsprogs


Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package ntfsprogs is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'ntfsprogs' has no installation candidate

What should I do? How can I make it read & write? It's an NTFS file system, but it's about 50% full and I can not lose that data. Is NTFS absolutely useless in Ubuntu (or Linux generally)?

Please help

UPDATE: Windows' disk checker said everything is normal, disk has been about 1% fragmented, and therefore defragmented, but nonetheless, the problem persisted. So I took a few days off to compress everything I had on it and transfered that data to cloud storage (Apple's Time Capsule) via Windows. I formatted the disk (to NTFS) and now it's empty and it indeed IS read&write in Ubuntu. But now I have a problem of being unable to access the Time Capsule from Ubuntu. I looked it up on the internet, but there are only solutions for earlier Ubuntu.

Best Answer

  • Ntfsprogs are included in the package ntfs-3g.

    To install it run:

    sudo su
    apt-get install ntfs-3g ntfs-config

    To repair the file system must use ntfsfix.

    Ntfsfix is a utility that fixes some common NTFS problems.

    Ntfsfix is NOT a Linux version of chkdsk. It only repairs some fundamental NTFS inconsistencies.

    To run it:

    sudo su
    ntfsfix <options> <drive> 

    Below is a summary of all the options that ntfsfix accepts:

    -b, --clear-bad-sectors
           Clear the list of bad sectors. This is useful after  cloning  an
           old disk with bad sectors to a new disk.
    -d, --clear-dirty
           Clear  the  volume  dirty  flag  if  the volume can be fixed and
           mounted.  If the option is not present or the volume  cannot  be
           fixed, the dirty volume flag is set to request a volume checking
           at next mount.
    -h, --help
           Show a list of options with a brief description of each one.
    -n, --do-nothing
           Do not write anything, just show what would have been done.
    -V, --version
           Show the version number, copyright and license

    Source: Ubuntu Manpage: ntfsfix - fix common errors and force Windows to check NTFS.