If you reboot Windows 8 / 8.1 and boot into a Linux distribution, you'll notice that you can't access the Windows partition and an error similar to the one below is displayed:
Here's a screenshot too:
Error mounting /dev/sdb2 at /media/username/FC56938B569344F4: Command-line `mount -t "ntfs" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid,uid=1000,gid=1000" "/dev/sdb2" "/media/username/FC56938B569344F4"' exited with non-zero exit status 14: Windows is hibernated, refused to mount. Failed to mount '/dev/sdb2': Operation not permitted The NTFS partition is in an unsafe state. Please resume and shutdown Windows fully (no hibernation or fast restarting), or mount the volume read-only with the 'ro' mount option.
This occurs because of a features in Windows 8 called Fast Startup which is enabled by default. Using this, Windows doesn't completely shutdown and instead it uses a hybrid shutdown, which is like (partial) hibernating, allowing Windows 8 to boot faster.
Forcing this partition to be mounted as read/write is not recommended since the saved Windows session will be lost and it might even cause Windows to crash stop working.
There are three ways to get around this (well, there are more, but these are the safest) and get the Windows 8 NTFS partition to mount in Linux:
A. Boot into Windows and restart it.
Since hybrid shutdown is only used well... on shutdown, restarting Windows is enough to get the Windows 8 NTFS partition to mount in Linux.
B. Disable Fast Startup.
This may not be a good idea since disabling Fast Startup means Windows 8 will take longer to boot. That said, here's how to disable it.
Open Control Panel and go to Power Options > Choose what the power buttons do > Change settings that are currently unavailable > uncheck the "Turon on fast startup" box > Save changes.
Here are a few screenshots with these steps:
After this, Windows should perform a full shutdown instead of a hybrid shutdown. If it still doesn't work, you may need to completely turn off hibernation by opening a command prompt as administrator and typing:
powercfg /h off
C. Mount the Windows NTFS partition (in Linux) in read-only mode
If you only need to view or copy some files from the Windows partition, you can mount it in read-only mode (you won't be able to modify or copy any files to the Windows partition), using the following command:
sudo mkdir -p /media/$USER/windows sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o ro /dev/sdXX /media/$USER/windows
Where "sdXX" is the partition Windows is installed on (you should see this in the error message displayed when trying to mount the partition using a file manager - see the error message from the beginning of the article), e.g.: "sda1", "sdb2", etc.