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

Abby Haines updated on Sep 16, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


Did you get a "Location is not available" Windows showing you a "drive is not accessible" error? Easy solutions are offered here to help you fix the issue with different error messages in Windows 10/8/7. If none of them can help, please try EaseUS data recovery software to regain access to the files and folders on your external hard drive or USB devices.


Sometimes, hard drives, external hard disk,  and USB drives are prone to be infected with viruses, be damaged by an improper operation 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. 

Common error messages

When you get stuck in with this issue problem, you will usually get a Location is not available error and 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.


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 the 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 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

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:

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

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.

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 to try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tool 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 Tool M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select "File Fixing" on the left pane. 

On the right pane, choose the drive and check off the box at the bottom - "Check and fix file system error". Then, click "Fix" to start repairing the error.

Step 3: Wait until the operation completes. Wait until the operation completes. 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 software to retrieve your data and then format the disk to check if it works. 

Step 1: Selecting the location

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and select the drive where you lose your data.
  • Select the very hard drive when you open the file recovery software.
select the hard drive

Step 2: Scanning the drive

  • Click the "Scan" button. The length of the scanning time highly depends on drive capacity.
  • Wait patiently during this process.
scan the hard drive

Step 3: Recovering wanted files

  • After the scan, just choose what you need and click "Recover" button to recover lost data.
  • The "Filter", "Search" and "Extra Files" options are helpful for you to find the desired data from a hard drive.
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.


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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 to better 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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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