The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty [SOLVED]

Jaden updated on Jan 11, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

There can be many reasons behind the error with your external hard drives, and you don't have to worry as several solutions are available too. Stick with the article to learn more about the "Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty" error and ways to solve it.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Solution 1. Error-Checking The recommended method to solve error 0x80071AC3 by Windows is CHKDSK...Full steps
Solution 2. Disable ReadyBoost ReadyBoost is a Disk Caching feature that improves the performance of USB disks...Full steps
Solution 3. Reinstall The Driver Outdated disk drivers can be why Windows displays the "Volume is Dirty" error...Full steps
Solution 4. Modify Registry  Use the Registry Editor to remove the error 0x80071AC3 and resolve issues in your...Full steps
Solution 5. Run CHKDSK Here is a solution when the PC shows you the error. That solution is to run the CHKDSK...Full steps

External storage devices like USB, SD Card, SSD, etc., are prone to many errors due to different situations. However, Windows won't let you perform any action on the data in your storage device and shows you the "Error 0x80071AC3: The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty" prompt. Thus, if you have to repair corrupted external hard drives with important data, and now, when you connect it to your system, you can't seem to do anything about it.

The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume Is Dirty

You won't be able to perform any action on the data present in your external storage device because of an error called "Error 0x80071AC3: The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty." When this error occurs, windows cannot read or write data from your external storage device. The dirty volume this error refers to is not the physical condition of the external drive but the dirty bits inside it. These bits are what the processor uses to change the read and write permission and check each block of storage for any modification.

what is error 0x80071ac3

The "The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty" is not an error of the Windows operating system but a hard drive. You will not be able to perform copy, paste, cut, delete or any other read or write operation on an external hard disk unless you resolve this error. Continue to read the article to find different reasons behind the error 0x80071AC3.

4 Reasons: Why It Says the Error 0x80071AC3

The reasons behind the Windows showing you the "The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty" error are multiple and are primarily concerned with the external hard drive. Since it is not an OS error, there is a high chance that either your external storage drive is damaged or something is wrong with the USB port or disk drivers. Below are the four most common reasons behind error 0x80071AC3 explained for your understanding:

Reason 1. Windows is Unable to Read or Write the Data on the Disk

One reason behind the "Volume is Dirty" error could be that something in your Windows system files is stopping it from performing the read or write functions in an external hard drive. It could be a bug or virus or some feature that conflicts with the processing of the external hard drive. There is also a chance that the external storage device is infected, and Windows cannot read or write the data on the drive.

Reason 2. Outdated or Defective Hard Drivers

It is necessary to keep your device drivers updated when dealing with external hard drives. If the external hard drive not showing up or recoginized, the error 0x80071AC3 can occur. If the device driver is incompatible with your external storage drive, you will not be able to perform read and write operations.

Reason 3. Damaged USB Drive Port

There is a chance the USB port you are using to connect to your external storage device to your system is damaged or the USB flash drive not working properly. It can affect your external drive and the data stored in it. When trying to access an external drive that is connected to a defective USB port, the system can give you "Volume is Dirty" if you try to move some data into or from it.

Reason 4. Bad Sectors

Bad sectors are parts of the hard drives that got permanently damaged for some reason. It could be physical damage or a malware attack that resulted in bad sectors on a hard drive. The data present in those bad sectors also gets lost. It is possible that the reason behind you seeing the error 0x80071AC3 is the bad sectors present on your external hard drive.

5 Solutions: How to Fix the Error 0x80071ac3

To resolve the issue of the "The Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume is Dirty" error, Windows allows you to run multiple solutions. Unless your external storage device is severely damaged or the issues are related to hardware, these solutions can solve the 0x8007AC3 error for you.

There are many ways you can use to resolve this issue, and we will summarize 5 most common and useful methods and their working below for you:

Solution 1. Inspect the Drive With the Error-Checking Tool

The recommended method to solve the error 0x80071AC3 by Windows is CHKDSK. You will need to run it in Command Prompt. If you are uncomfortable with that, you can use the graphical (GUI) version of CHKDSK, known as the Error Checking Tool. These are the steps you should follow to use Error Checking Tool:

Step 1. Use Windows Explorer to access "This PC" and select the external storage drive you are trying to fix. Afterward, open its "Properties" by right-clicking on it.

Tap on Properties

Step 2. Navigate to the "Tools" tab and press "Check" in the "Error Checking" section. Now tap on "Scan and Repair Drive" to start the repair process in Windows 10. Wait for the repair process to finish, as it will take some time. When the process is completed, confirm if the issues have been solved.

Scan And Repair the External Drive

Solution 2. Disable Readyboost

In Windows, ReadyBoost is a Disk Caching feature that improves the performance of USB disks. However, it can also lead to the error 0x80071AC3 sometimes. If your external hard drive is a USB and has ReadyBoost enabled, follow these steps to disable it:

Step 1. Find your targeted external hard disk in "My Computer" and right-click on it to select "Properties."

Access the Properties

Step 2. When in the "Properties" window, go to the "ReadyBoost" tab and select the "Do not use this device" option. Now click on "Apply," close the window and check if the error 0x8007AC3 still exists.

open ReadyBoost tab

Solution 3. Reinstall The Driver

Outdated or defective disk drivers can also be why Windows displays the "Volume is Dirty" error. You can uninstall the defective disk drivers and download and update USB drivers again to end the error. These are the steps needed to reinstall the defective disk drivers:

Step 1. To uninstall the defective drivers, open the Device Manager using "Settings" or pressing the "Win + X" key and selecting Device Manager. In Device Manager, look for "Disk Drives" and click to expand it.

Launch the Device Manager

Step 2. Look for the defective driver and right-click on it to select the "Uninstall device" option. Next, press "Uninstall" to start the uninstallation process and reboot your system once it is completed.

Uninstall the Disk Driver

Step 3. Restart your computer and again open the Device Manager. Tap on "Action" from the top toolbar and click on "Scan for hardware changes" to reinstall the disk driver. When the installation is done, close the Device Manager and check the external drive to see if it works properly.

Tap on Scan Hardware Changes

Solution 4. Modify the Registry Configurations in the Right Order

Another way is to use the Registry Editor to remove the error 0x80071AC3 and resolve issues in your external hard disk. Remember to be careful when using Registry Editor, as one wrong modification can cause serious problems in your Windows. Follow these exact steps to modify Windows Registry configurations:

Step 1. Open the Run dialogue box using the "Win + R" key and type "regedit" to open Registry Editor. You can also use the search bar to open Registry Editor.

Access the Registry Editor

Step 2. When the Registry Editor is opened, paste the following command into the address bar and press the "Enter" key:


Execute the Registry Editor Address

Step 3. In Control, find the "StorageDevicePolicies" and access it. Double-click on the "WriteProtect" string value and change its data value from 1 to 0. After that, close the Registry Editor and reboot your system.

Change the Value to 0

Solution 5. Run CHKDSK to Resolve Error 0x80071ac3

When Windows shows you the error 0x80071AC3, it also recommends a solution. That solution is to use CHKDSK to fix the corruption problem. Follow these steps to run the CHKDSK command:

Step 1. The pre-requirement of this method is to launch the Command Prompt as an Administrator. You can use the "Win + X" key and select "Command Prompt (Admin)" or use the Run dialogue box and type "cmd" to open it. If you are using the "Run" to open the CMD as admin, press this combination after adding the command "Control + Shift + Enter."

Launch the Cmd as Admin

Step 2. In the Command Prompt, you need to run the command "chkdsk X: /f /r" to resolve the error 0x80071AC3. Here "X:" represents the external hard drive. Use the name of your external storage device here.

Use the CHKDSK Command

Final Thoughts

External storage devices are extremely important when storing your essential data outside of your system and creating backups of your system data. So, the errors like "Error 0x80071AC3: The operation could not be completed because the volume is dirty" can be troublesome for your work. The resulting data loss due to this error can be even more damaging. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you recover data from the dead hard drive.

Operation Could Not Be Completed Because the Volume Is Dirty FAQs

If you have any other questions, we have also answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding error 0x80071AC3 from the internet.

1. How do you fix the operation that could not be completed because the volume is dirty in Windows 7?

If you are a Windows 7 user and have received the error 0x8007AC3, you can use the solution mentioned above in the article to resolve the issues. All the solutions, like running CHKDSK, Error Checking Tool, Registry Modification, Disk Driver Reinstallation, etc., can be performed on Windows 7.

2. How do I check the disk for errors using CMD?

When using CMD or Command Prompt, you can run CHKDSK to repair errors in your hard drive. To resolve errors, open Command Prompt and run the "chkdsk g: /f /r” command. In this command, "g:" refers to the name of the targeted hard drive, which you need to change according to requirements.

3. How to fix "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error"

  • Check the device Connection.
  • Update the device driver.
  • Fix I/O device error external: change transfer mode.
  • Send for manual repair.
  • Fix it in Command Prompt.

4. How do I know if my hard drive is corrupted?

You can see many signs indicating that your hard drive is failing. When a hard drive is getting corrupted, the most obvious signs are random and jumbled files and folder names, disappearing files and folders, failure to open certain files, etc. The other signs which can indicate hard drive damage include the blue screen of death, strange noises, computer freeze, etc.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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