Windows failed to format the volume as NTFS

Topics: Technical Issues
Aug 31, 2015 at 9:42 AM
Edited Aug 31, 2015 at 9:49 AM
Hi ,

I tried to create a encrypted container of 200Gb in NTFS format .
During the process in veracrypt is see that everything is going right but at the end i got the message

Windows failed to format the volume as NTFS
Do you want to format the volume as FAT instead.

When i choose NO the veracrypt container is not created
When i choose YES i got a veracrypt container but this can't store large files!


I have a I7 with 512 GB SDD and 16G RAM (and a lot of free space (400GB)
In the past i use TrueCrypt and there was no problem with the NTFS option..
I use the v1.13 (64bit version) of veracrypt

I have also tried to create a encrypted container of 5Gb with the same failure

Any suggestion?


With kind regards
Jonathan
Coordinator
Aug 31, 2015 at 10:03 AM
Hi,

I only received one similar report in the past concerning the failure to format using NTFS: https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/workitem/154#CommentContainer22

It would be good to understand what is the common point between the two report to understand the origin of the issue because the NTFS formatting obviously works for all other users.

Some questions:
  • Did you get the UAC prompt before the NTFS formatting began?
  • Do you have the same error when creating small containers (e.g. 100MB)?
  • Can you try running VeraCrypt with administrative privileges and try again? Ignore any warning message coming from VeraCrypt because of admin privileges.
  • Can you momentarily disable your antivirus and test again?
  • After formatting using FAT, are you able to manually perform NTFS formatting?
  • When the error occurs, can you please check Windows Event Viewer to see what error/warning message is traced there?
For now, the manual NTFS formatting will most certainly work for you: just create the container with no filesystem or with FAT and then format it under Explorer.

As I explained in the other post, VeraCrypt, like TrueCrypt, uses a Windows API to perform the NTFS formatting ("FormatEx" function exported by fmifs.dll). Thus, in the same configuration, if VeraCrypt fails, TrueCrypt will fail.
Hopefully, with your help, I'll be able to investigate what is causing the failure in your case. I'll try to add more verbose information about the error to also help get extra error details.

Cheers,
Aug 31, 2015 at 10:41 AM
Edited Aug 31, 2015 at 10:50 AM
  • Did you get the UAC prompt before the NTFS formatting began?
    No, there is no prompt before the format, just the messsage that it can't be formatted in NTFS
  • Do you have the same error when creating small containers (e.g. 100MB)?
    Yes i have tried 50mb and 5 mb with the same result
    -Can you try running VeraCrypt with administrative privileges and try again? Ignore any warning message coming from VeraCrypt because of admin privileges.
    I 'am already the administrator of my laptop (standalone)
  • Can you momentarily disable your antivirus and test again?
    I have already disabled my antivirus programm
  • After formatting using FAT, are you able to manually perform NTFS formatting?
    No , when i mount the FAT volume and open the explorer and try to format it in NTFS i got direct a error that it can't be formatted and i can access the volume anymore (i can mount it but no access), i have to delete it again and mount it again.
    -When the error occurs, can you please check Windows Event Viewer to see what error/warning message is traced there?
    I have cleared my event logs and create a new volume of 50mb, nog event logs are added by veracrypt
  • For now, the manual NTFS formatting will most certainly work for you: just create the container with no filesystem or with FAT and then format it under Explorer.
    This result a a failure and no access to the mounted volume
Aug 31, 2015 at 10:48 AM
Edited Aug 31, 2015 at 10:57 AM
-
Coordinator
Aug 31, 2015 at 11:37 AM
So, Windows is also unable to format the volume...this is very weird.

First question: what version of Windows are you running?

On Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10, it is not enough to be administrator. UAC is required to access extra privileges needs for some operations.
Can you please right click on VeraCrypt link and choose "Run as administrator"?

Did you disable UAC altogether? What is the configuration of "User Account Control Settings" on your machine?

Since you also have the error with Windows builtin format, can you please check the Event Viewer for logs created by the failure of Explorer formatting?
Can you post a screenshot of the Windows error you receive when you try to format it manually?

This is the first time I see such error since other user could manually format the volume. And as you may guess, the formatting is working on all Windows versions and it has been validated by many users across different configurations so clearly you have some special configuration in your machine that blocks NTFS formatting of volumes.

Anyway, I think Event Viewer will contain some information from Windows builtin formatting.
Aug 31, 2015 at 12:04 PM
Edited Aug 31, 2015 at 12:06 PM
-First question: what version of Windows are you running?
I use Windows 10 Pro

-On Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10, it is not enough to be administrator. UAC is required to access extra privileges needs for some operations.
-Can you please right click on VeraCrypt link and choose "Run as administrator"?
-Did you disable UAC altogether? What is the configuration of "User Account Control Settings" on your machine?

I have disabled UAC completely (thats the first thing i do when i install windows :)
And i run veracrypt as Administrator (right click and than run as administrator)

-Since you also have the error with Windows builtin format, can you please check the Event Viewer for logs created by the failure of Explorer formatting?
-Can you post a screenshot of the Windows error you receive when you try to format it manually?

Image

-This is the first time I see such error since other user could manually format the volume. And as you may guess, the formatting is working on all Windows versions and it has been validated by many users across different configurations so clearly you have some special configuration in your machine that blocks NTFS formatting of volumes.

My volumes are all NTFS in Windows... and remember, i use before TrueCrypt without any problems with NTFS
  • Anyway, I think Event Viewer will contain some information from Windows builtin formatting.
    I have cleanup the eventlog and do the process again (incl formatting manual as NTFS) but there are no eventlog lines (Programms and system) about this issue, There are no warnings or error events at all
Coordinator
Aug 31, 2015 at 2:08 PM
It is very suspecious that even Windows can't format a volume.

I disabled UAC on my Windows 10 Pro machine in order to test and NTFS formatting is working without any problem, either in VeraCrypt or through Windows Explorer.
I created different file containers on my desktop with different types of algorithms and hashes and it succeded everytime as expected.

So, we can rule out any UAC impact on VeraCrypt.

Since even Windows can't format a volume, the issue must be located somewhere in a system layer.

At this stage, I will be interested to see how TrueCrypt behave on the same machine. I'm sure you'll get the same error is you install TrueCrypt and do the same test.

Also, are you able to format using NTFS normal external drives?

Just out of curiosity, what antivirus are you using? There have been issues with Symantec and Trend Micro caused by bugs from there side and that were causing errors when accessing encrypted volumes (even if the antivirus is turned off). I believe Symantec has issued an update to solve this.
Aug 31, 2015 at 2:17 PM
  • Also, are you able to format using NTFS normal external drives?
    Yes i can format a USB drive as NTFS drive
-At this stage, I will be interested to see how TrueCrypt behave on the same machine. I'm sure you'll get the same error is you install TrueCrypt and do the same test.
Before VeraCrypt i had TrueCrypt on this machine without any problem

-Just out of curiosity, what antivirus are you using? There have been issues with Symantec and Trend Micro caused by bugs from there side and that were causing errors when accessing encrypted volumes (even if the antivirus is turned off). I believe Symantec has issued an update to solve this.

I'am using AVG antivirus, but i have disabled it and later uninstalled it completely..
Aug 31, 2015 at 2:20 PM
some extra info...

I use a macbook pro with Windows 10 installed with bootcamp
Maybe that is the problem with veracrypt?
Coordinator
Aug 31, 2015 at 4:21 PM
Ah...again Apple Bootcamp drivers...
I guess I should have asked you before since users already discovered that BootCamp drivers were causing issues with VeraCrypt on Windows 10.

can you please try the solution that worked for the other issue with Apple Bootcamp drivers and that is described here: https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/workitem/177#CommentContainer22

Does disabling this Apple driver solve the issue?

For now, I have no idea what this driver is trying to do with VeraCrypt volumes...I will probably add an option to try to disable some features in VeraCrypt and see if it makes Apple drivers happy but definitely VeraCrypt is doing what is supposed to do.
Aug 31, 2015 at 5:08 PM
Yes when i disable this driver and reboot i can create a encrypted container in NTFS format !..

But, i can't accces my apple partitionin Windows 10 because this driver is not started. :)

My Question.. Why does TrueCrypt works fine with this driver enabled and VeraCrypt not?
Maybe push you this in the right direction
Aug 31, 2015 at 5:16 PM
for your info...

When i enable the Apple Hfs driver and reboot again and try to mount the NTFS container it will mount but i can't access the NTFS volume
Coordinator
Sep 1, 2015 at 1:02 PM
Thanks for the information.

I have implemented in the latest version an additional functionality in the driver in order to make VeraCrypt volumes correctly report device information through STORAGE_PROPERTY_QUERY IOCTL. This makes VeraCrypt volumes resemble more closely to physical drives.
Of course, VeraCrypt doesn't support the full range of physical drives IOCTL and normally applications should be able to handle gracefully the unsupported values by VeraCrypt.

It appears though that Apple driver intercepts all hard drive communications on Windows, acting like a proxy between Windows and VeraCrypt volumes and it fails to correctly handle VeraCrypt response that same parameters are not supported.

Can you please help in trying to find a fix for this?
The first thing that you can do is install the latest 1.14-BETA which adds support for an additional property. The installer is here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/veracrypt/files/VeraCrypt%20Nightly%20Builds/

If this doesn't work, then two things can be done:
  • Add an options to enable/disable support for extra device information in the driver
  • Implement additional device parameters to try to see if it makes Apple drive happy.
If you can help do tests using beta builds, it will be much appreciated.
Coordinator
Sep 1, 2015 at 1:06 PM
And last point: can you try using the free Paragon HFS+ drivers as suggested by a user in the link above?
They provide the same functionality as Apple drivers and they seem to be more stable. Here is the link: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows-free/
Sep 1, 2015 at 1:55 PM
I have installed the 1.14 BETA version and reboot my computer.
After rebooting i have try to create a encrypted container in NTFS format
I got the same error....

Now i will try the paragon HFS driver