How to fix drive is not accessible in Windows 10/8/7

Roxanne updated on Oct 13, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Readily fix the 'drive is not accessible' error on the drive C, D, E, F or other partitions in Windows 10/8.1/8/7 without losing data. The error messages followed by the 'drive is not accessible' prompt vary, but the solutions are all covered here. You do not fear a single data loss because EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is able to recover data for you from an inaccessible HDD, USB flash drive or memory card without a hitch.

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

Fix 'Drive is not accessible

Access is denied" error message, it is because you don't have the privilege of accessing your disk. So, to fix the issue, you have to take ownership to get permission in Windows Explorer. To do it:

  • Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive, 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.

Sometimes, hard drives, external hard disks,  and USB flash drives are prone to infect viruses or suffer from a power failure. In this case, the "drive is not accessible" error might occur unexpectedly and make Windows prevent you from accessing the files and folders on the disk. For the general troubleshooting of a drive partition that lost the access at present, a quick format can usually get it on the right track. However, all present data on the selected drive will be erased completely.

drive is not accessible on drive f

Since you cannot open the drive at the moment, neither can you back up the data before formatting it. So the best idea is to temporarily forget this method, try the other secure ways as an attempt.

For some people who have formatted the hard drive and lost data already, to avoid data overwriting by further operations, the prior thing is to download EaseUS hard drive recovery software to recover formatted partition data.

Common Error Messages

When you get stuck in with this issue problem, you will usually get a 'Location is not available' as a head error, and followed by are complementary messages, as mentioned in the following examples. In all situations, Windows tells you that you cannot access this drive at the moment. And in different situations, you can get different error messages in details. Here are some common ones followed by the "Drive is not accessible":

All the error messages imply the different causes of this "drive is not accessible" error. So, to effectively troubleshoot the problem, you should take the right measures in different situations.

Effective Solutions

Among all the given instances, the 'drive is not accessible, access is denied' are one of the commonest errors. So next, we'll focus on a step-by-step guide for how to fix the 'drive is not accessible access is denied' error in Windows 10. The solution also works for other Windows platforms.

Fix the 'Drive is not accessible. Access is denied' error

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 privilege of accessing your disk. So, to fix the issue, you have to take ownership to get permission in Windows Explorer. To do it:

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

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

Here I made a GIF image to illustrate how to grant authenticated users to read/write and get full control of the computer hard drive. 

We suggest you try to add one more user name besides authenticated users to the Owner. "Everyone" generally solves the trouble of not being able to access a hard drive due to limited privilege, but it increases the risk of exposing your computer to every person who have your computer password. 

A step-by-step guide to fix 'drive is not accessible' error:

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

Fix the 'Drive is not accessible' issue with other error messages

If the "drive is not accessible" issue comes with other error messages, it might suggest that the causes are file system corruption, disk errors, corruptions or bad sectors. In this case, you can run CHKDSK to fix the problem. To do it:

Step 1:Plug in your external hard drive, USB drive or memory card to your PC.

Step 2:Open a Command Prompt.

  • In Windows 7, Click Start, type in "cmd" in a 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.)

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Recover data and format to fix drive is not accessible error

If you still experience the "drive is not accessible" error after trying the above methods, we recommend you to try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It's a renowned hard drive data recovery program that retrieves your data from an inaccessible storage drive. It's always suggested that data recovery goes first than disk formatting, to ensure the highest chance of successful & complete data recovery.

Step 1. Select and scan hard drive.

On EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select the drive where you lose your data and click "Scan". Wait patiently until this program finishes the scanning, it will find all your lost data on the drive.

select and scan the hard drive

Step 2. Find and preview found files on the selected drive.

Check "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or use "Filter", "Search" to find the lost files on the selected hard drive. You can double-click to open and check the found files.

Preview lost hard drive data

Step 3. Recover and save lost hard drive data.

Select all found lost hard drive files, click "Recover" and browse another secure location to save them. Click "OK" to confirm and finish the recovery process.

recover data from hard drive

After the data recovery, you can try to format your hard drive to fix the "drive is not accessible" error. To do it, go to My Computer or This PC, right-click the disk you need to repair and then choose Format. In the pop-up window, you can set the file system and cluster size and then click the OK button.

format a not accessible hard drive

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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