How to fix 'Drive is not accessible, access is denied' in Windows 10/8/7/XP?

Updated by Admin to RAW Drive Recovery & Repair on April 24th, 2019

I cannot access my Western Digital 1TB external hard drive in Explorer. When I open it I get error "Location is not available. Drive is not accessible. Access is denied. How to fix this error and get my data back?

Drive is not accessible, access is denied

Common scenarios for 'Drive is not accessible, access is denied'

  • C drive is not accessible, access is denied.
  • D drive is not accessible, access is denied.
  • Hard drive is not accessible, access is denied.
  • SD card is not accessible, access is denied.
  • USB drive is not accessible, access is denied.
  • Flash drive is not accessible, access is denied.
  • Pen drive is not accessible, access is denied.
  • External hard drive is not accessible, access is denied.

Various reasons can cause "Drive not accessible, access is denied"

  • Power failure for powered hard drive
  • Plug out external hard drive or removable device in an improper way
  • Virus attack
  • File system goes wrong, such as DBR, MFT, FAT.
  • The device is physically damaged

'Drive is not accessible, access is denied' error message clearly indicates that there is some problem with the hard drive, which has made the hard drive inaccessible. In the worst case, it could cause data loss, how to fix "Drive is not accessible, access is denied" error on hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive, etc.?

Solution 1: Data recovery from inaccessible drive

M3 Data Recovery is a professional data recovery software which can easily recover data from inaccessible hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive, memory card, etc.

Step 1: Download, install and launch M3 Data Recovery software on your Windows computer.

Step 2: After launching M3 Data Recovery software, please choose Data Recovery module.

Free data recovery software

Step 3: Select the inaccessible drive and then click Next to scan data.

Scan data from inaccessible drive

Step 4: After the scan completes, please check/preview the found files and then start data recovery.

Recover data from inaccessible drive

Step 5: After data recovery is successfully done, please ensure all recovered files can be opened and then reformat the inaccessible drive. After the format completes, the inaccessible drive will be working again.

Solution 2: Manual way to fix 'Drive is not accessible, access is denied' in Windows 10/8/7/XP

Sometimes, 'Drive is not accessible, access is denied' error can be fixed with following solutions:

1. Run chkdsk /r

If there is not anything wrong with file system after running chkdsk, please modify the access permissions.

2. Modify the access permissions on the inaccessible drive

For Winodws 7

Right-click on the inaccessible drive.
Click Properties.
Go to the Security tab, and then click Advanced.
Click 'Edit' by going to the Owner tab.
Modify the ownership of the desired account.

For Windows 10

Open Windows Explorer.
Right-click on the inaccessible drive and choose Properties.
Select the Security tab.
At Security tab click Edit. Click the 'Add' button, Add a new user named 'Authenticated User' and Click 'OK'. From the permission section, give 'full control' to newly added user and click 'OK'.
Click Advanced for special permissions or advanced settings.
Click "Apply".
Finally when Windows finishes setting permissions click OK to exit drive's properties
Restart your computer and now you should be able to access the drive without problems.

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