I fully formatted a hard drive in NTFS on Linux from a completely empty (zeroed) drive and it is not recognized by Windows 10. It is not listed in the Windows File Explorer nor with the fsutil fsinfo drives command. However it is listed in the disk management utility and in the device manager : Screenshot of the disk management utility

When I try to click on delete the volume it even says "The selected partition wasn't created by Windows". Windows see that it is a GPT partition table but doesn't seem to see that it is a NTFS file system. I have others GPT/NTFS SATA hard drive connected and it works.

Here are the steps I made for formatting the hard drive on Linux :

  1. I cleared the HDD with zeroes with Gnome Disk Utility
  2. I used Gparted to create a GPT partition table
  3. On Gparted I created a single "unformatted" partition on the HDD taking the whole space
  4. I used the mkfs.ntfs command to create the NTFS file system like that : mkfs.ntfs -c 2097152 -f /dev/sdg1 (2097152 bytes = 2 MiB and it is the maximum cluster size indicated in the mkfs.ntfs man page)

I know I could just delete the partition and recreate it with Windows but I'd like to know why a NTFS partition formatted on Linux isn't recognized by Windows. Do I have made a mistake or miss an important step ?

This kind of questions seems to have been already asked but either they are very old or the answer just suggest to reformat it on Windows or it wasn't even answered at all or it wasn't exactly like my problem. So because I'd like to know how to format a working hard drive in NTFS on Linux I asked a new question.

  • Have you set the partition type to HPFS/NTFS ? Jan 19, 2020 at 22:07
  • @EugenRieck What do you mean by that ? I have used the mkfs.ntfs command on Linux to set a NTFS filesystem on the partition 1 as mentioned above.
    – Nicryc
    Jan 19, 2020 at 22:27
  • 2
    When creating the partition, you set a partition type - if this is "Linux File System" (as standard with gparted) Windows might not use it. Jan 19, 2020 at 23:07
  • @Nicryc: check out out the partition type as referred to by Eugen. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table It should be a "basic data partition": EBD0A0A2-B9E5-4433-87C0-68B6B72699C7 If you did not set it, it might be still a series of zeros.
    – r2d3
    Jan 22, 2020 at 11:59
  • For me unix.stackexchange.com/questions/252625/… fixed it
    – xeruf
    Dec 5, 2021 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


The manual page for mkfs.ntfs I just looked up states a maximum cluster size of 64K. Also, it's only more recent versions of Windows 10 that even support a larger cluster size.

  • On my Windows 10 computer I can format hard drives with allocation unit size up to 2048 KB (what I suppose to be 2048 KiB) so I guess my version of Windows support it. For the documentation of mkfs.ntfs, it's true that when searching on the web man pages some said up to 64 KiB but I've supposed it was just outdated documentations cause I checked the man page on my Debian 10 computer and it explicitly says 2097152 bytes (2 MiB).
    – Nicryc
    Jan 20, 2020 at 15:45

The problem is likely that the partition table type is "Linux filesystem", which you can verify in fdisk with the p command to print the partition table.

The partition table can easily be updated with the t (change a partition type) command to the partition type 11 (11 Microsoft basic data EBD0A0A2-B9E5-4433-87C0-68B6B72699C7)

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