[Fixed] Windows Cannot Run Disk Checking on This Volume Because It Is Write Protected

Abby Haines updated on Jan 09, 2020 to Resource | How-to Articles


The error message "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected" may appear when you try to use the chkdsk command to check and repair disk errors. When you see the error, it means you can't run this command successfully. Here we will detail the "chkdsk write protected" related matters and show you how to recover data from your hard drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard when necessary.

4 Methods to Remove "Windows Disk Write-Protection" Error
  • Method 1. Run chkdsk E: /f /r /x command by running Command Prompt...More Details
  • Method 2. Run list volumeselect volume X, attributes disk clear readonly to remove write protection...More Details
  • Method 3. Find "WriteProtect" key and change the value to "0" in Registry Editor...More Details
  • Method 4. First, recover files. Next, format the problematic drive...More Details

Symptom and Causes

"Tried to boot up my computer this morning and was given the message: 'Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically.' And it wouldn't let me boot into the Safe Mode. Having no system restore points, then I ran the chkdsk command. But it gave me the 'Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected' error message. Is there any way to fix the issue? I'm running Windows 10 Professional." 

Chkdsk is a built-in Check Disk utility for Windows PC to help you fix disk errors or startup issues. But usually, when you run 'chkdsk /r' via a Command Prompt after getting the message: 'Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically', it will not work and at most times will give you the error message reads: 

'The type of the file system is NTFS. 
Cannot lock current drive.
Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected'.

windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected

Why did you receive this error message? Generally, there are two common causes of this situation:

  • As the message indicates, the hard drive partition is write protected, which means you have set the volume attribute as read-only. It might be changed either by yourself or by a virus.
  • The file system of the partition is corrupted or damaged. If that's the case, you won't have entries to your files and thus chkdsk will fail.

If you happened to be caught in one of the two situations where you were unable to run CHKDSK to check and repair your disk, don't get frustrated. We will show you effective ways to cope with it.

Solutions to Windows Cannot Run Disk Checking Due to Write Protection

Depending on the reason why you receive "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected", the solutions to the problem vary.

Situation 1. Chkdsk Fail Because the Hard Drive is Write Protected

To make sure chkdsk can run successfully, you just need to remove write protection from your hard drive. Follow to learn how to remove write protection on a hard drive and make CHKDSK work properly in Windows 10/8/7. Except for PC hard disk, the tutorial is also applicable to an SD card, USB drive or other external memory devices. 

Method 1. Remove Write Protection via CMD

Step 1. Press "Windows + X" buttons to bring up the power users menu. 

Step 2. In the power users menu, select the "Command Prompt (Admin)" option.

Step 3. Click "Yes" when you are presented with a UAC window requesting permission to launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 4. In the new Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r /x and press "Enter". Here you should replace "E" with the drive letter of your PC hard drive, SD card or USB drive.

Click to copy

This command will unmount the disk, SD card or USB drive and remove any write protection status on the device. In this case, you can get CHKDSK working again and will no longer see 'Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected' error message.

If this tip won't work, no worry. There are other ways to remove write protection.

Method 2. Remove Write Protection via Diskpart

Via diskpart, you can clean the read-only attribute on your hard drive.

Step 1. Run "Command Prompt" as an administrator.

Step 2. Enter diskpart and click "Yes" in the prompt asking for notification.

Step 3. Enter the following command in order:

Click to copy

Step 4. If you get the message "Disk attributes cleared successfully", enter exit and then go back to CMD to run the chkdsk command. This time, you will be able to check and fix your disk error easily.

If you are not professional in computing management and not familiar with command lines, don't worry. EaseUS R&D team has promoted a fresh kit for helping you resolve the write-protection issue on your hard drive, external hard drive, USB or SD card, etc., devices.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to the command line. 

Use this one-click tool to solve the write-protection issues on your own:

Step 1: DOWDLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M for free.

Step 2: Run EaseUS Tools M on your PC, choose "Write Protection" mode.

Step 3: Select the device which is now "Write-Protected" and click "Disable" to remove the protection.

Remove Write Protection from storage devices.

Method 3. Clear Read-Only in Registry Editor

Method 2 still won't work? Don't get upset, here is another way worth trying.

Step 1. Press "Windows + R" simultaneously and enter regedit. In the window asking for permission, click "Yes".

Step 2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies.

Step 3. Find and right-click the "WriteProtect" key and set the value as "0".

Don't see "StorageDevicePolicies" in the specific path? No worry, follow the steps below to achieve the same goal.

Step 1. In Registry Editor, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control.

Step 2. On the right pane, right-click in the space and choose "New" > "Key". Name it as "StorageDevicePolicies".

Step 3. Make sure "StorageDevicePolicies" is selected. Go to the right pane, right-click and choose "DWORD (32-bit) Value".

Step 4. Input the name as "WriteProtect" and set its value as "0".

Fix Windows cannot run disk checking due to write protection - registry editor

These are all the possible ways to remove write protection on a hard drive. In most of the cases, using one of the methods above could help to solve the issue "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected". If the issue remains after trying the fixes, you should consider whether the chkdsk reports write protected due to file system errors or hard drive corruption.

Situation 2. Chkdsk Cannot Run Disk Checking Due to File System Error

Since the ways to repair corrupted hard drive have been provided, here you can only find the fixes for a hard drive with file system errors. When the file system of your hard drive is corrupted or damaged, you have no access to the data on it. It's likely that you will receive the message "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected" in such a case. To make your hard drive work normally again, you need to assign a file system to the hard drive by formatting. However, since the formatting will erase all the existing files on your disk, you are recommended to recover files first.

Procedure 1. Recover Files from Hard Drive

With the hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you are able to retrieve files from disk with file system errors like disk becoming RAW, file system missing, and more. This professional software can rescue almost all existing file types from a computer, external hard drive, USB, memory card, and more after deletion, formatting, file system becoming RAW, etc.

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the partition, external hard drive, USB, or memory card where you want to perform erased data recovery, and then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select the files you want to recover.

When the scanning has finished, select the deleted files you want to recover. Double-click the file to preview its content if you need to.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

After choosing the data, click "Recover" and choose a location on another drive to save the deleted data.

Recover lost data

Afterward, you can format the hard disk reporting the error "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected" by formatting, without being troubled by data loss.

Procedure 2. Format the Volume

As you may know, there are many ways to format a hard drive. The easiest one is:

Step 1. Go to "This PC".

Step 2. Find and right-click your problematic hard drive partition.

Step 3. Choose "Format".

Step 4. Set the new file system and other options, then click "Start".

CHKDSK write protected fix - format disk


The causes leading to "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected" are relatively specific. Thus, the ways to fix the error are clear, either by removing write protection or fixing file system errors. Hope one of the methods above can help you fix your problematic hard drive perfectly.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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