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'Chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista' Fixes

Updated on Jun 20, 2019 by Abby Haines to Resource

Summary:
When there is DBR corruption or physical damage on your hard drive, you will get the 'cannot open the volume for direct access' error message if you try to run CHKDSK to repair it. Here we will show you the most effective way to fix the issue without any data loss.

Overview of 'chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access' Error

The CHKDSK command can be used as a hard drive repair tool since it allows you to repair corrupted USB drive, external hard drive or Micro SD card. But sometimes, when you use it to schedule a disk check, you may receive the 'cannot open the volume for direct access' error message. This issue may happen in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008 or any other Windows version and prevent you from fixing the corrupted SD card, USB or external hard drive.

Then why cannot CHKDSK open the volume you are going to check for direct access? There are two possible reasons:

  • The DBR (DOS Boot Record) of the hard drive is corrupted
  • The hard driver physically is damaged and thus inaccessible

chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access

If you are now bothered by this issue, read on to follow the most effective method to have a try.

How to Troubleshoot 'chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access' 

Some say disabling the third party application or service that may lock the partition is helpful to fix the error "chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access". Because they think you are not able to run CHKDSK and cannot open volume for direct access due to a third party application such as a virus checker or disk monitor tool locking the partition. However, the method is not verified. So its effectiveness is not promised. Actually, the way to fix "chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access" is quite similar to fix a RAW hard drive. That is to recover files from the problematic disk first and then format the hard drive.

First, Recover Data from the Corrupted External Hard Drive/SD Card/USB Drive:

When your hard drive gets corrupted, you cannot access the files on it as usual. Fortunately, you can access the files with the help of the hard disk recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Besides, since formatting hard drive will remove all the existing files on your device, it's advisable to recover data from the problematic hard drive or external storage device in advance using data recovery software.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is one of your best choices based on its great performance. It allows you to retrieve data from an inaccessible hard drive, external hard drive, USB, SD card, and more. Get it and recover files from your corrupted device right now.

Step 1. Connect your device to PC.

If you lost data on an external hard drive, USB or SD card, connect the device to your PC firstly.

Step 2. Run the data recovery software and scan lost data.

1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC.
2. Select the device where you lost data under "Hard Disk Drives", "External Devices" or "Specify a location".
3. Click "Scan" to start scanning the lost data now.

Run data recovery software.

Step 3. Preview and restore data.

1. After the scanning, you can double-click each file to preview them from below tabs:

  • Delete Files: All your deleted files are listed here.
  • Drive (with your device name): It loads found files here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if your hard drive is formatted or partition gets deleted.
  • Extra Files: All files that lost names or paths on your drive can be found here.
Preview lost data.

After this, you can even use "Filter" or "Search" to quickly find all your lost data.

2. Finally, you can choose those lost data and specify a safe location on your PC to complete the data recovery process by clicking "Recover" now.

Restore lost data.

Then, Repair the Corrupted External Hard Drive/SD Card/USB Drive by Formatting

When you use CHKDSK to run a check on your hard drive partition and see the notification "Cannot open volume for direct access", you should realize that the file system of your device is corrupted. Thus, to bring your hard drive or external storage device back to work, assigning a new file system to the device by formatting is helpful. Formatting a storage device can be achieved in different ways:

Method 1: Use File Explorer

Step 1. Open "This PC".

Step 2. Find and right-click the device or partition you need to format.

Step 3. Choose "Format".

Step 4. Choose a new file system and set up the remaining options.

Step 5. Wait for the process to finish.

Fix CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access - method 1

Method 2. Use Disk Management

Step 1. Go to "This PC" > "Manage" > "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click the partition you want to format and click "Format".

Step 3. Set up the options and start the formatting process.

Fix CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access - method 2

Method 3. Use Third-Party Software

You may think it's unnecessary to format your hard drive with a third-party tool. Actually, with the free partition software - EaseUS Partition Master, you can do many other things to manage your computer better. Similar to CHKDSK, the "Check File System" feature of the tool will help you check and repair your disk issue. It can also work as a formatting tool to help you format your local hard drive partition, external hard drive, USB, SD card, etc. Besides, it also has other features like OS migration, disk cloning, partition merging, and more that will help you a lot while managing your computer.

Download EaseUS Partition Master here and follow the see how to use it.

To check partition with EaseUS Partition Master:

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS free partition software

Step 2. Right-click the external hard drive, USB or SD card and click "Check File System".

Fix chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access error using an alternative software

To format a partition or device with EaseUS Partition Master:

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS partition software. Right-click the USB drive you intend to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Click "OK" if you see the Warning window. Since you have recovered from the device in advance, you don't need to worry about data loss.

Step 4. Click the "Execute operation" button first, and then click "Apply" to format the USB drive.

Fix chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access error by formatting

The Bottom Line

Fixing the error "chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access" can be quite easy as long as you find the right software to help. When your files on a storage device become inaccessible, using a data recovery tool to rescue data is the first thing you should is to protect your data. And EaseUS Data Recovery, trusted by millions of users, is a good option for you. Don't hesitate to give it a try.