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How to Fix Drive Is Not Accessible in Windows 10/8/7 [Real Fix]

Is your drive not accessible? Easy solutions are offered here to help you fix the inaccessible drive with different error messages in Windows 10/8/7. Try the one you like to regain access to the files and folders on your external hard drive or USB devices.

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Table of Contents

Quick Fix to the 'Drive is not accessible' Error:

Fix 'Drive is not accessible

If you see an Access is denied error message, then it could be that you need to adjust the Owner's status in Windows. This doesn't sound very easy, but it's pretty simple. Here's what you need to do.

  • Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive and select Properties.
  • Go to the Security tab, hit Advanced, then click the Edit button.
  • On the Owner tab, modify the ownership of the specified account.

Drive is Not Accessible on Windows 10/8/7

Sometimes hard drives, external storage, and USB flash drives can be affected by viruses or power failures, rendering them inaccessible by Windows. If the disk has become corrupted, reformatting the partition can be a quick fix. However, all data on that partition will be erased during the reformatting.

drive is not accessible on drive f

As the "Drive is not Accessible" error doesn't allow you to open any files on the disk, you cannot back up the data stored there. So, you'll want to hold off reformatting the partition until your files are safe.

Should you have already reformatted your drive and lost the data, you may still be able to get the files back. When you delete something on a PC, the files aren't destroyed, but the space they occupy on the disk is made available to the system so it can write over them. it's essential then that you don't use your PC at all, as writing anything to the disk could overwrite your files. Instead, download the EaseUS hard drive recovery software and use it to recover formatted partition data.

Common Error Messages for Drive Not Accessible

With this particular problem, you'll often have the primary error message location is not available, followed by a secondary one pointing at the type of issue the PC is experiencing. These can be very helpful when working out what repair method to employ. Here are some of the most common problems.

Effective Solutions to Fix Hard Drives Not Accessible

Of all the reasons listed above, the most common is the drive not accessible and being denied access. So, in the next section, we have a step-by-step guide on how to fix this issue in Windows.

Method 1. Fix the "Drive is not accessible. Access is denied" Error via Properties

Usually, when your external hard drive shows the "Drive is not accessible. Access is denied" error message, it is because you don't have the proper privilege settings in Windows. So, to fix the issue, you have to take ownership of the drive. Here's how to do it:

Step 1. Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive and select Properties.

Step 2. Go to the Security tab, hit Advanced, then click the Edit button.

Step 3. On the Owner tab, modify the ownership of the specified account.

Fix 'Drive is not accessible. Access is denied' error in Windows Explorer

In the above image, you can see how you can change the ownership of the drive. It's also possible to add a new user so that anyone with access to the PC can read the drive. This "Everyone" setting is convenient, but it does increase the risk of exposing your computer to anyone who knows the password to your PC.

Here's a demonstration of how to fix the 'drive is not accessible, access is denied error via properties:

step-by-step guide to fix drive is not accessible error

Method 2. Fix Drive Not Accessible via Hard Drive Repair Service

Sometimes data storage devices, HDDs, memory cards, or USB sticks are not recognized by the operating system, making them inaccessible to professional or personal data. We provide effective data recovery services to fix it. You can repair your inaccessible drives with the help of experts.

Consult with EaseUS' data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after a FREE diagnosis

  • Fix HDD, SSD, external hard drive, USB flash drive, and pen drive issues
  • Fix disks that cannot be read or accessed because of bad sectors
  • Fix disks that become GPT-protected partitions
  • Repair damaged RAW drive that needs to be reformatted (BitLocker encrypted drive is also supported)
  • Wipe data, unformat hard drive, install/uninstall software or driver, etc.

Method 3. Fix the 'Drive is not accessible' Issue with CMD Command

If the "drive is not accessible" issue is accompanied by a secondary message that isn't "access is denied", then there's a strong likelihood that the cause could be a file system or data corruption, disk errors, or bad sectors. In this case, you'll need to run the CHKDSK tool in Windows. Here's what to do:

Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the drive is not accessible errors, so change it to the letter that matches the one showing on your PC.

Step 1. Plug the external hard drive, USB drive, or memory card into your PC.

Step 2. Open a Command Prompt.

  • In Windows 7, Click Start, type in "cmd" in the search box, hit Enter, and then click "cmd.exe" under the list of programs.
  • In Windows 10/8, press the Windows Key + X buttons and select the Command Prompt (Admin) option.

Step 3. In the new Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r. (Here, E is the drive letter of the disk which shows the "drive is not accessible" error.)

Check this video to fix the error "drive is not accessible access is denied Windows 10".

  1. 01:01 Run error checking via properties
  2. 01:35 Check the drive in Disk Management
  3. 02:13 Run Command Prompt to fix access denied error
  4. 03:19 Access the drive again

Method 4. Recover Data and Format Drive Affected by "Drive not accessible" Error.

If you still experience the error after trying the above methods, we recommend using the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This excellent file recovery program can help you retrieve files from inaccessible drives and can be a lifesaver when you fear you've lost your data.

For the best results both with restoring data and getting your drive working once more, it's always a good idea to try the recovery first, followed by reformatting.

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Step 1. Scan the hard drive partition

Select the drive on your hard disk where you lost or deleted files. Click "Scan" and let EaseUS data recovery software scan for all lost data and files on the selected drive.

select a location and scan hard drive

Step 2. Check the results

When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" option to find the lost files on the hard drive.

Find and preview all lost hard drive data

Step 3. Restore lost hard drive data

Select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click "Recover" to save them to another location.

Restore lost hard drive data.

Once the data recovery is complete, you can reformat the drive and hopefully get it back to a healthy state. To do this, take the following steps:

  1. 1. Go to My Computer or This PC and right-click the disk you need to repair.
  2. 2. Choose the "Format" option.
  3. 3. In the pop-up window, you can set the file system and cluster size, click the "OK" button, and Windows will take care of the rest.
format a not accessible hard drive


You have learned four effective solutions to fix the drive-not-accessible error in Windows 11/10/8/7. These methods also work well if you use an external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, pen drive, and SD card. Before you format your hard drive, you are advised to run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to avoid data loss.

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Drive Not Accessible FAQs

There are 3 related questions and answers below. Read them one by one to get additional help.

1. Why is my new hard drive not accessible?

Since the hard drive is completely new, it is recognized as an unallocated space. Disk Management can't access it. Thus, you must initialize a new disk before Disk Manager can access it.

2. How to access a hard drive that is not accessible?

To access a hard drive:

  1. 1. Check disk error from Property
  2. 2. Turn to disk repair service
  3. 3. Run the CMD command...

3. Why is my network drive not showing?

One of the reasons for the network drive not showing up is the use of UAC (User Account Control). Two options are available on the screen whenever you log onto any window as an admin. One admin is provided with the rights, and the other is without rights. Usually, a standard user cannot see the Mappen Network Drive because of limitations in the account.

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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Approved by Martyn Casserly

Martyn Casserly has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews. He is a professional content contributor for many known ITwebsites like Macworld.co.uk and techadvisor.com.

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