What to Do When Windows Cannot Access Disk

By Gina Barrow, Last updated: December 14, 2019

Seeing “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item,” prompt is a nightmare. What can this mean? Why is it that Windows cannot access disk? What is the right thing to do?

So many questions, yet so little information. Fret not, we got you! This article will tell you all there is to know when Windows is unable to access disk. We know it is frustrating but we have handy tips you can still to ease your worries away.

We are used to dealing with Windows in our daily lives, especially at work. But it is a different story when an error message stating “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable” appears. Various reasons may have caused the disk to be inaccessible. We keep data in our disks and losing valuable files is the last thing we’d want to experience. Don’t fall victim and win against data loss. Read on and find out more.

Part 1 - Recover Data When Windows Cannot Access Disk

There is nothing to worry about if Windows cannot access disk. Yes, it can be pretty depressing, but if you have FoneDog Data Recovery, you have everything you need. For a fast, simple, and safe method in recovering data from an inaccessible disk, follow these steps:

Step 1: Install and launch FoneDog Data Recovery software

Using your computer, search for, download, and install FoneDog Data Recovery. After installation, open the software.

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Step 2: Choose the Type of File and Disk Source

Revive data from inaccessible disk easily with FoneDog Data Recovery. Simply select the file type required and choose the disk to retrieve the data from. Now, begin the scan.
Choose the Type of File and Disk Source

Step 3: Analyze the List of Deleted Files and Recover

A list of deleted files will display. From that, choose the data you want back and click “Recover.” Let the whole recovery process finish.
Analyze the List of Deleted Files and Recover

Using FoneDog Data Recovery offers a 100% secure and simple way to recover data when Windows cannot access disk. Have your data back safely and just as it is using FoneDog Data Recovery. If your disk is inaccessible, it doesn’t mean it will be lost forever. FoneDog Data Recovery is your data recovery ally that will guarantee that data will be back fast and without alterations. Choose the best, choose only FoneDog Data Recovery!

Part 2 - How to Check Drive Connection

For a variety of reasons, a disk is inaccessible, it is important to check everything. Sometimes, we overlook the smallest of things that may have caused Windows not to access a disk. Here are the steps to follow when checking the drive connection:

Step 1: Ensure that all cables are properly connected between the computer and the storage devices.

Step 2: If using an external disk drive, unplug the disk or use a different cable plug on a different USB port.

Step 3: Restart the computer.

Step 4: Make sure the USB port you are using doesn’t have any power supply issue. A drive can be inaccessible when there is an insufficient power supply.

Step 5: Should these steps not work, try doing them using another computer.

Using this simple method can help troubleshoot the problem you have with Windows disk access. All you need is a keen eye and attention to detail to guarantee that everything works out as it should.

Part 3 - How to Change the Drive Letter

Sometimes the simplest of all methods can make all the difference. With inaccessible disks, this can be true. When the error is Windows cannot access the disk, you can simply change the letter of the hard drive to repair the problem. This is how you do it:

Step 1: To open the WIn + X menu, press Windows + X.

Step 2: Tick on Disk Management and select the hard drive from the list and hit right-click.

Step 3: Hit Change Driver and Paths.

Step 4: Tick the present letter used in the drive and hit Change.

Step 5: From the drop-down menu, choose a new drive letter and click it.

Step 6: Restart the machine after finishing steps 1 to 5.

This is another simple technique you can use to repair Windows disk issues. Just change the drive letter and you are all set.

Part 4 - How to Run Check Disk in Command Prompt

If after you’ve exhausted the above methods and it still didn’t work; it’s time to try the chkdsk scan. You can use this to help you access the disk and it works by repairing the bad sectors. Note that using this technique my case the loss of data on the drive. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Tick the Start button and hit All Programs and Accessories. Right-click the Command Prompt and choose “Run as administrator.”

Step 2: In the Command Prompt, type in the command drive letter and press enter. Type command H: if your drive letter is H. Type the drive letter depending on what is associated to your disk.

Step 3: Type in chkdsk /r and hit Enter. Should there be a prompt to dismount and schedule chkdsk on the next restart, type in Y and click Enter.

Step 4: Restart your computer.

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Any type of data is valuable. When Windows cannot access disk data, it can cause quite a stir. Prevent all the hassles from happening by constantly backing up data and using the best data recovery solution that is FoneDog Data Recovery.

With FoneDog Data Recovery, it is like getting the professional help you need minus the heavy charges on your wallet. FoneDog Data Recovery is a powerful data recovery software free to download, easy-to-use, has a free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will never go wrong with FoneDog Data Recovery.

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Gina Barrow

Technical/Creative Writer

Kitchen, my safe space; black, my favorite color

Was a Technical Specialist for a while, troubleshooting Smartphone and Software-related issues until a writing stint caught my attention.

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