Recovering Data Since 1993
How to Fix ‘Inaccessible hard drives – Access is denied’ Error and Recover Data

How to Fix ‘Inaccessible hard drives – Access is denied’ Error and Recover Data

Hard drive failure and recovery

The hard drive is one of the major storage components of a computer system. It stores various kinds of data like text, pictures, audios, videos, etc. Any problem arising in such hard drives could lead to inaccessibility of the data present in it. Such inaccessibility is often supported by various error messages. One of the most common error messages that make the hard drives inaccessible is  “Hard Drive is not accessible. Access is denied“.

Consider a scenario, where you are working on the D:\ drive on a computer, which consists of audio and video files. While playing some audio files, you might experience that audio is not playing through completely or instead it is playing some other file from a different location. Such a problem can be easily fixed by restarting the system or re-connecting the device if the file is on an external hard drive.

However, the problem can re-occur after some time. Also, you might experience some issues with the hard drive. A severe issue with your hard disk could deny you any further operations like creating or deleting of any folder on the hard drive. You can make use of the error checking tool to overcome this problem by navigating to Properties->Tools->Check Now. If you are lucky, you will not face the issue again while accessing the HDD and would be able to perform all operations on the hard drive.

Else, you would still be denied the hard drive access. In spite of the presence of drive icon in the Explorer, you might get the following error message.

“D:\ is not accessible. Access is denied.”

What is this error?

The error message indicates that there is some problem with the hard drive, which has made the hard drive inaccessible. In the worst case, it could also lead to data loss.

Why do we face it?

The issues mentioned above can be experienced in many different situations as well as different versions of operating systems. The error message indicates that the hard drive has gone corrupt. To get over from the situation, you can follow any of the two solutions mentioned below Automatic and Manual.

Automatically fix this Error

To solve hard drive inaccessibility issues, formatting will be the sure shot way. However, the stored data may be compromised, and you may permanently lose access to it. To avoid losing data, you can use data recovery programs that can recover data from the inaccessible hard drive without altering the file attributes.

Use Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Pro to recover files from the inaccessible hard drive or any other storage media with similar issues. You can free download this data recovery software on any latest Windows machine and begin scanning the formatted or erased hard drive for your data.

  • You can download and install this program and start it from the desktop.

Free Download

  • In this particular case, you can select specific volume giving you access denied error. Once you select the volume, click on Scan button to initiate scanning process.

Select Location

  • You can see the list of recoverable files and folders once the scanning is finished. Click on the checkbox to select files for recovery.
  • You can choose a location to save the recovered data.
  • The selected files will save in just a matter of time to the desired location.

Manual Ways

For Windows 10

If you are running Windows 10 then follow below steps to access your inaccessible drive:

  • Right-click on the inaccessible drive.
  • Now go to the ‘Properties’ section.

click properties

  • Select the ‘Security’ and click on the ‘Edit’ button.

select security tab

  • The “Permissions for New Volume (E:)” dialog box appears, as shown in the figure below. Click the ‘Add’ button to continue.

add user

  • Add a new user named ‘Authenticated User’ and Click ‘OK’.
  • From the permission section, give ‘full control’ to newly added user and click ‘OK’.
  • The dialog box will show two options: ‘Continue’ or ‘Cancel’.
  • Press Continue… and Cancel at last.
  • Now, you are done.

For Windows 7

In the case of Windows 7, you might get that error if you are running HomeGroup and have shared a root drive E:\, and finally, you have left the HomeGroup. This situation would deny you any access to the drive that was shared and would give you the following error message.

F:\ is not accessible. Access is denied.

access-denied

Resolution

To resolve this issue, go to the Windows Explorer and follow the below mentioned steps.

  1. Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Go to the Security tab, and then click Advanced.
  4. Click ‘Edit’ by going to the Owner tab.
  5. Modify the ownership of the desired account.

Alternatively, you can also try the following option if you are not able to access any file or folder on a Windows 7 drive.

  1. Right-click on the inaccessible file or folder.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Select the Security tab.
  4. Click your name Under Group or username. This would show you the permissions you have to access the file and folder.

You can also try the following method

  1. Change the drive letter for an inaccessible hard drive.
  2. Run the following command: chkdsk /r I:
  3. Try to boot into the safe mode and access the HDD.
  4. Try accessing the HDD in Windows 7 Ultimate and Home Premium.
  5. You will be able to access the drive, as chkdsk command would have deleted the files that were causing the problem.

Windows Vista

You can also face a similar kind of situation while working with Windows Vista.

Vista-access-denied-error

Resolution

Like Windows 7, you can also check the permissions of the file or folder in Windows Vista.

  1. Go to the Properties by right-clicking the file or folder.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. From usernames or Group, check the permissions you have by clicking your name.

You can also check if the problem is due to an encrypted file or not, by following the below mentioned steps.

  1.  Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab-> Advanced.
  4. See the checkbox encrypt is selected or not.
  5. If yes, then get the certificate used for encryption to open the file. The encryption certificate lies with the person who creates the file.

You need to have an encryption key or certificates for those Windows edition in which the Encrypting File System (EFS) is not fully supported. For example, Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, and Windows Vista Home Premium do not support it so that you can follow the below mentioned steps.

  1. Open the Command Prompt.
  2. Type Cipher.exe /d on the command prompt to decrypt the file.
  3. Change the encrypted file.
  4. Copy the decrypted file on your computer’s hard disk.
  5. Import keys and EFS certificates.
  6. Open the Command Prompt.
  7. Type Cipher.exe /r to back up EFS certificates and keys.

Windows XP

In the case of Windows XP, you might face the “Access is denied” issue if you have used an earlier version of Windows to create a volume based on NTFS file system and then installed Windows XP. A change in the version of the operating system changes the security ID of the user. As the security ID of the person who created the folder was different on an earlier version of the Windows, in spite of the same username and password you do not have the permission to open the folder after you perform the following steps.

  1. The actual location of the ‘My Documents’ folder has been changed before installing Windows XP professional.
  2. Install Windows XP Professional, by formatting the primary partition.

XP-access-denied-error

Resolution

Turn off the Simple File Sharing option and take ownership of the folder.

  1. Open ‘My Computer’.
  2. Go to Tools->Folder->View.
  3. Go to Advanced Settings and clear the Use simple file sharing checkbox.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Right-click the desired folder for ownership and click Properties.
  6. Click the Security tab.
  7. Click OK on the Security message if any.
  8. Click Advanced->Owner tab.
  9. Click your username in the Name list.
  10.  Click OK.
  11. In case you get an error message, click ‘Yes’.
  12.  Click OK.
  13. Reapply the permissions and security settings.
Comments(136)
  1. Mujeeb ur Rehman May 12, 2015
    • Abhay May 13, 2015
      • rishabh August 14, 2017
        • Jyoti Prakash August 25, 2017
      • Arun October 4, 2017
    • Kurle May 25, 2015
  2. Pondra May 24, 2015
    • Abhay May 28, 2015
      • Pondra June 2, 2015
        • Abhay June 5, 2015
  3. kieran May 28, 2015
    • Abhay June 1, 2015
  4. Ali RazzaQ June 5, 2015
    • Abhay June 8, 2015
  5. vasanth June 10, 2015
    • Abhay June 15, 2015
  6. sunny singh June 13, 2015
    • Abhay June 15, 2015
  7. Parthiban Thulasi June 27, 2015
    • Abhay June 30, 2015
  8. sandeep June 28, 2015
    • Abhay June 30, 2015
  9. SAHIL June 29, 2015
    • Abhay June 30, 2015
  10. Thilina June 30, 2015
  11. Aniket July 24, 2015
    • Abhay August 7, 2015
  12. Nitesh July 24, 2015
    • Abhay August 7, 2015
  13. John Thompson August 6, 2015
    • Abhay August 7, 2015
  14. Ricardo Zea August 7, 2015
  15. Muhammad August 16, 2015
    • Abhay August 17, 2015
  16. Mukesh Raj August 17, 2015
    • Abhay August 18, 2015
  17. todd August 21, 2015
  18. Shreenivas j h September 10, 2015
    • Abhay September 11, 2015
  19. dr.sunit kumar jurel September 17, 2015
    • Abhay September 17, 2015
  20. Sony October 21, 2015
  21. HOmer November 4, 2015
    • Jyoti Prakash November 4, 2015
  22. Raj parihar December 23, 2015
  23. triumph January 1, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash January 5, 2016
  24. Mark Peter January 5, 2016
    • Abhay January 6, 2016
  25. jaison January 7, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash January 11, 2016
  26. asif beig January 8, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash January 11, 2016
  27. Andrw Martin January 25, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash January 27, 2016
  28. aaa January 31, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash February 4, 2016
  29. Vivek Thakur February 4, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash February 5, 2016
  30. Claudio February 15, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash February 15, 2016
  31. lakshmi March 2, 2016
  32. BHAWNA March 3, 2016
    • Carl Johnson April 20, 2016
  33. clash of clans hack apk April 9, 2016
  34. Kevin May 5, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash May 10, 2016
  35. Jester Rodrigues May 21, 2016
  36. Cyril Cokes May 26, 2016
  37. Daniel Fritz June 14, 2016
  38. Mac Devitt June 20, 2016
  39. kshitiz June 25, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash June 28, 2016
  40. Bilal khan July 3, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash July 4, 2016
  41. Daniel Jones July 20, 2016
  42. Sam Taylor August 16, 2016
  43. Jordan White August 19, 2016
  44. Mobusher aLI August 22, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash August 22, 2016
  45. MK August 22, 2016
  46. David August 23, 2016
    • Jyoti Prakash August 24, 2016
  47. Ram Kumar August 24, 2016
  48. Clinton August 31, 2016
  49. Pratham September 8, 2016
  50. Amanda B. Hammer September 9, 2016
    • Vishal September 9, 2016
  51. Rodney December 15, 2016
  52. Samiksha Gumbhir January 9, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash January 10, 2017
  53. Edward Sebestian January 27, 2017
  54. Gaurav Soni February 7, 2017
  55. Jason February 10, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash February 14, 2017
  56. Ken March 29, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash May 11, 2017
  57. Haylee April 6, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash May 11, 2017
  58. Usama Rehman May 11, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash May 18, 2017
  59. Ray Roger May 29, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash May 29, 2017
  60. JohnDoe June 7, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 9, 2017
  61. Lee June 11, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 21, 2017
  62. David Attic June 14, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 15, 2017
  63. MidTwo June 14, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 16, 2017
  64. Rawan Osman June 16, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 21, 2017
  65. Kev koh June 18, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 19, 2017
  66. Hannah Albert June 19, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 21, 2017
  67. Rolando June 25, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash June 27, 2017
  68. Laura Adams July 28, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash July 31, 2017
  69. Betty Khong August 11, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash August 14, 2017
  70. rinkesh August 19, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash August 21, 2017
  71. hemakumar August 30, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash August 31, 2017
  72. Ontealain October 20, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash October 31, 2017
  73. daramdeep October 26, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash November 22, 2017
  74. Pal November 16, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash November 21, 2017
  75. Braim Moon November 21, 2017
    • Jyoti Prakash November 28, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *