April 22, 2024
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I plugged in a thumbdrive into my Windows 7 laptop yesterday and got an error I hadn’t seen before.

Error 0x80071AC3: The operation could not be completed because the volume is dirty.

dirty volumeI tried copying and plugging and unplugging a few times and finally gave up and used another thumb drive. This could have been a real problem though so I thought I would research it a bit today and find out what this was all about.

It seems this is the “dirty bit” made famous by the Black Eyed Peas and I didn’t even realize it. The problem is that the thumb drive had originally been plugged into a computer and unplugged without finishing reading or writing some kind of information so it was left in a bad state and this Dirty Bit was flipped to show it as an unreliable drive (in computer speak the drive is called a volume by the Windows or any other operating system)

How to Fix Error 0x80071AC3

Open the Command Prompt by going to the search bar at the bottom of the start menu and typing in cmd and hitting the enter key.

fsutil dirty query F: ” (with being the drive letter for the thumb drive. This will tell you if the drive is marked dirty.

If it is, then do this: open the Command Prompt and type: ” CHKNTFS /X m: ” . This will tell Windows NOT to check the drive on the next restart. Then manually restart the computer (keep the external connected).

You should get into Windows without an messages about the drive.

Once in Windows, now run chkdsk on the drive. At the Command Prompt type: ” Chkdsk /f /r m: ” . Chkdsk should go through all 5 stages of it’s test.

When it’s done then check the disk by running ” fsutil dirty query m: ” again. If all went well the Windows will confirm that the dirty bit is not set on that drive.

Does this work for you? Any other problems? Sometimes you need to be running the command prompt as an admin and you may not be an admin. What you need to do there is when you type in the cmd in the first step don’t hit enter, instead right click on that icon and select “run as administrator”