I want to backup my windows 7 partition on a dual boot system. I'd like to do the backup from the linux side so the windows files can't change during backup. I have a backup drive formatted in ntfs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if

cd windows_partition_root;
tar cfp - . | (cd backup_ntfs_partition; tar xvfp -)

will preserve my windows ntfs permissions?

  • My first instinct is: Yes, permissions will be preserved. The -p flag in tar preserves permissions.
    – Peschke
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 22:22
  • dd or a partition-imaging tool will serve you better for this task. note when using tar the -p flag behavior is very different between BSD tar and GNU tar.
    – quixotic
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 6:18

1 Answer 1


In general, no, a backup of an NTFS partition made under Linux won't restore permissions properly. NTFS can encode access control lists that Linux doesn't support; the NTFS-3g documentation gives some information about what is supported. As far as I know, Windows does use ACL that Linux doesn't support, at least in some setups (though maybe not on the low-end “home” editions).

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