How to fix error 0x80071ac3 ‘Volume is Dirty’?

Encountering a hard disk error when you’re in the middle of completing some task can be infuriating. For instance, Windows users often report about receiving “Error 0x80071AC3: Volume is dirty” when trying to copy files on the disk or deleting any files from the disk.

The exact error message reads as follows:

An unexpected error is keeping you from copying the folder. If you continue to receive this error, you can use the error code to search for help with this problem.

Error 0x80071AC3: The operation could not be completed because the volume is dirty. Please run chkdsk and try again.

Error 0x80071AC3

If you’ve encountered Error 0X80071AC3, let’s understand about the error, its causes, and solutions.

What is ‘Error 0X80071AC3: Volume is Dirty’, and its impact?

‘Error 0x80071AC3: Volume is Dirty’ means that your system cannot read or write data to the disk. You may receive this error due to the following reasons:

  • Bad sectors on the drive
  • Damaged USB port
  • Outdated or defective device drivers
  • ReadyBoost disk caching feature is enabled

When ‘Error 0x80071AC3’ occurs, you won’t likely be able to copy, paste or delete anything to and from a drive.

How to fix error 0x80071AC3 (the operation could not be completed because the volume is dirty)?

Caution: The below-discussed methods, if not executed properly, may corrupt the files on the drive or result in permanent data loss. So, in case if you don’t have the required technical proficiency or can’t afford to lose the data in any situation, it’s highly recommended to reach out to professional data recovery service providers in the first place.

Let’s discuss in detail about the probable causes of ‘Error 0x80071AC3’, and its solutions:

Cause 1 – Bad sectors on the drive

Events such as forced system shutdown or interrupted power supply to the system due to power surges, abrupt system shutdown, etc. can cause bad sectors on the drive.

Solution – Use the chkdsk utility to determine bad sectors

You can determine if ‘error 0x80071AC3’ is caused by bad sectors by running the Windows built-in chkdsk utility. The utility helps scan every sector on a disk volume for bad sectors.

Also, the chkdsk utility attempts to fix soft bad sectors and marks the hard sectors as ‘bad’ to prevent Windows from using them again.

To run the chkdsk utility, follow these steps:

NOTE: Command prompt commands won’t work unless you have admin rights.   

1: Open the Run window by pressing the ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ keys together

2: In the dialogue box that appears, type cmd to open a command prompt


3: Press Enter

4: In the command prompt window, to repair errors and scan for bad sectors, type the following command:

Chkdsk volume: /r



  • Here volume is the letter of the drive you wish to repair. For example, if the affected drive volume is ‘C:’, then type chkdsk C: /r.
  • The ‘/r’ command helps in locating bad sectors as well as in recovering readable information.

Step 5: Press Enter once again and wait for the scanning process to finish.

Cause 2 – Damaged USB port

Copying files to a USB drive or an external hard drive, which is connected to a damaged USB port can also result in “Error 0X80071AC3.”

Solution – Plug in your drive to another USB port

Use a different USB port to plug in the targeted drive to your computer and check if it fixes the problem. If it does, then there is a problem with the initial USB port – it might be damaged. But, in case, you’re still getting the ‘Error 0X80071AC3’, then try updating the driver.

Cause 3 – Outdated or Defective Device Drivers

An outdated or defective device driver may prevent your computer’s operating system from communicating with your disk drive. This may result in ‘Error 0X80071AC3: volume is dirty’.

Solution – Re-install drivers by using Device Manager

Open Device Manager and check that your system does not contain any outdated or defective drivers. If it does, uninstall driver software and reinstall the software. Here’s how:

1: Press the Windows Key and ‘X’ key together to open the Windows Menu

2: From the dialogue box that appears, select Device Manager

Device Manager

3: From the Device Manager dialogue box, expand the contents of the Disk drives category.

4: Right-click the affected external drive or USB device, and then click

5: When prompted for permission to uninstall the device, click OK.

6: Disconnect the device from PC

7: Restart PC

8: Open the Device Manager window again, and click the Action tab

9: Choose Scan for Hardware Changes and Windows will now reinstall the drivers.

Once you’ve completed this process, check if the error has been resolved.

Cause 4 – ReadyBoost prevents Windows from reading or writing from the disk

ReadyBoost is a Windows built-in ‘Disk caching’ feature that helps improve system performance, by storing data as cache in a USB device.

Once activated, this feature may prevent Windows from reading or writing from the disk, leading to ‘Error 0x80071AC3’.

Solution – Disable the ReadyBoost Disk Caching Feature

You may try disabling the ReadyBoost feature to resolve ‘Error 0x80071AC3’. To do so, follow these steps:

1: Locate the affected external storage device and select Properties

2: From the dialogue box that appears, click the ReadyBoost tab

3: Select the ‘Do not use this device’ radio button, and click Apply

4: Click OK


Hopefully, the above-discussed solutions will help you fix the ‘Error 0x80071AC3: volume is dirty’. But, if none of them works, you may choose to format your storage disk as the last resort. But, keep in mind, formatting the drive can overwrite the data, thereby making it impossible to recover data from your drive.

So, if your data is critical and you can’t afford to lose it, it is advised to seek the help of professional data recovery service providers such as Stellar® Data Recovery to ensure safe and quick recovery of your valuable data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *