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

Get a Location is not available Windows shows you 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. 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 are seeing an Access is denied error message, then it could be that you need to adjust the Owner’s status in Windows. This sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s what you need to do.

  • 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.

Overview of Drive is Not Accessible

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 in any way, reformatting the partition can be a quick fix. However, all data on that partition will be erased during the reformatting, which is a problem if you want to recover the data.

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 are not able to 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 still may be able to get the files back. When you delete something on a PC, the files aren’t actually destroyed, but the space they occupy on the disk is made available to the system so it can write over them. it’s very important 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

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

Effective Solutions

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

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 right privilege settings in Windows. So, to fix the issue, you have to take ownership of the drive. Here's how 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

In the above image, you can see how you’re able to change the ownership of the drive. It’s also possible to add a new user so that anyone with access to the PC will be able to read the drive. This "Everyone" setting is definitely 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:

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

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 an effective manual solution to fix it. You can repair your inaccessible drives with the help of experts.

Consult with SalvageData's experts to retrieve data from inaccessible or corrupted data from all brands and formats of digital media.

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

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:

Warning
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.)

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.
2

Recover data and format drive affected by "not accessible" error.

If you still experience the error after trying all of the above methods, we recommend using the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This excellent hard drive data 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.

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Once the data recovery is complete, you are now able to 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, then click the "OK" button and Windows will take care of the rest.
format a not accessible hard drive

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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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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Product Reviews

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