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I feel like this is a really simple and fundamental function that Windows should have, but so far Google has been telling me it isn't possible. How can I mount an NTFS partition read-only in Windows?

Everett's answer works! (Thanks.)

Additional info about diskpart:

  1. If you have multiple volumes in a disk, neither detail vol nor attr vol shows the correct read-only status. It shows the read-only status of the last modified volume. Try these: sel vol 1, attr vol set readonly, sel vol 2, attr vol clear readonly, sel vol 1. Now detail vol shows that volume 1 is not read-only, but it actually is.

  2. If you modify a volume with Linux's ntfs-3g and then bring it to Windows, it cannot be mount read-only.

  3. If you run attr disk set readonly, none of the disk's volume can be mounted.

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up vote 37 down vote accepted
  • Switch off "automount" by running mountvol.exe /N
  • Connect disk to Windows (do not mount the disk)
  • Run diskpart
    • Enter list volume
    • Enter select volume X (where X is the correct volume number from the previous command)
    • Enter att vol set readonly
    • Enter detail vol and ensure the read-only bit is set

Now you can mount the volume and it will be read-only.

See also:

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Note: those attributes are persistent and stored on the partition, so this is a bit different from the "read-only mount" notion on Linux (ie. simply putting the hard drive back in the original enclosure won't make the partition read-write, and Windows won't be able to boot on it). – Damien B Jul 12 '12 at 21:03
To re-enable automatic mounting of new volumes use mountvol.exe /E. To remove the readonly flag, select the volume in diskpart (use the commands in this answer) and enter att vol clear readonly. – Ronald Dec 5 '12 at 23:52
Thank you Everett, this also answers my question. I wrote a PowerShell script according to your explanations, may be useful for someone else. – mmdemirbas Mar 23 '13 at 21:03
it also works for volumes mounted on directories instead of dos units! thanks! – user1586274 Jul 27 '13 at 5:18
Under Windows 8.1, mountvol /n did not prevent drive from being automounted. One should consider using this beforehand: – Ivan Vučica Feb 5 '14 at 21:19

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