Fix CHKDSK Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access Error


If you’re dealing with a ‘CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access’ error, don’t worry. This article will show you how to fix the issue and have your computer running normally again quickly.

Key Takeaways

  • The ‘CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access’ error is often caused by third-party virus checkers or disk monitor tools.
  • Restarting the computer and running CHKDSK manually from Command Prompt can help resolve the issue.
  • Disabling third-party services that lock the partition can also be a solution.
  • Uninstalling third-party software that may be causing the error can be another approach to fixing the problem.

17 Ways to Fix CHKDSK Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access Error

1. Restart the Computer

Restarting the computer is the first step to try when attempting to fix the ‘Chkdsk cannot open volume for direct access’ error. Doing so gives your system a fresh start and clears out any built-up memory that may be causing the issue. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Shutdown: To restart your system, press and hold down your power button until it shuts off completely.
  • Wait: Once your computer has shut down, wait at least 10 seconds before powering it back up again.
  • Start Up: Press and hold the power button until you hear or see your computer begin booting up again.
  • Login: After your computer has started up, login as normal with your username and password.
  • Check Settings: Once logged in, check in settings to make sure that no changes have been made since you last used it.
  • Launch Chkdsk: From here, launch Chkdsk manually by typing “chkdsk” into Command Prompt and pressing enter to run it on your machine.
  • Monitor Progress: Monitor the progress of Chkdsk as it runs through its scan of your drive for errors; if any are found they should be fixed automatically by Chkdsk itself without further intervention from you.

Restarting your computer is an easy way to attempt fixing this error; however, if this does not fix the problem then more advanced troubleshooting steps will need to be taken in order to get rid of this error message permanently.

2. Disable Any Third-party Services That May Lock the Partition

Disabling any third-party services that may be locking the partition can help to get rid of this issue. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Use the search icon and enter ‘Services’ into the search box.
  • Select Services from the results to open it.
  • Once in Services (Local), locate the specific third-party application such as a virus checker or disk monitor tool.
  • Right-click on it and select Properties.
  • Change the Startup type to Disabled for any program that is not necessary to run your system.
  • Click OK and exit from Services.
  • After rebooting your computer, use CHKDSK again.
  • Check if you have successfully fixed this error message: ‘cannot open volume for direct access’.

3. Uninstall Any Conflicting Third-party Software

Uninstalling any third-party software that may be blocking the partition can help solve this issue. To do so, here is a quick guide:

  • Right-click on the Start button in the lower-left corner of your computer screen and click Control Panel.
  • After that, find Programs and then click Uninstall a program under Programs.
  • Select the target third-party software that might lock the partition and then click Uninstall to confirm your action.

For those seeking mastery, uninstalling any third-party software can quickly resolve ‘CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access errors. The process is simple yet effective: make sure you identify which program is causing problems, select it from the list in the Control Panel and confirm its uninstallation – job done!

Keep in mind that these steps may vary depending on your system configuration or Windows version.

4. Recover Data from The Drive and Format It to Its Normal State

If you’ve identified and uninstalled any third-party software that might be causing the issue, you can now recover data from the drive and get it back to its normal state.

To do this, you should first disconnect the drive from your computer or laptop, as this will prevent any further damage to its contents. Once disconnected, connect the drive to another device such as an external hard drive enclosure or a PC with an available USB port.

Once connected, use a reliable data recovery tool such as Recover My Files or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan the drive for any lost or deleted files. Once recovered, copy them to another storage device for safekeeping then format the original drive back to its normal state. This will wipe out any remaining corrupt files that were causing issues with CHKDSK and allow you to safely access your data once again.

Formatting is easy and can be done using Windows’ built-in Disk Management utility; simply right-click on the drive in question then select “Format” from the menu. Follow all onscreen prompts and remember to choose a file system type (NTFS or FAT32) based on what was used previously when accessing your data without errors.

When formatting is complete, reconnect your drive back to its original source and start using it normally again!

5. Reconnect the Device and Restart the Computer

To fix the issue, disconnect all devices and then restart your computer. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Turn off the computer completely and unplug all external devices. If you’re using a laptop, make sure to remove the battery too.
  • Press and hold the power button for 60 seconds before plugging in your external device again and restarting your PC.
  • Open Command Prompt once more and use the CHKDSK command to check if the error has been fixed or not.
  • If you still get an error message, try out other methods of fixing the ‘Cannot open volume for direct access’ issue.

Restarting your computer is one of the easiest ways to fix this error message as it can help clear any temporary data that could be causing problems with accessing files on your hard drive partition or external device.

It’s important to remember that when restarting, make sure all connected peripherals are disconnected from your PC first before powering up again so that no further issues arise with them during the bootup process!

6. Reallocate A New File System with Format

Formatting your device can help reallocate a new file system. There are two different methods that you can use to format the corrupted device.

Method 1: Formatting through Windows Explorer

  • Open Windows Explorer using the keyboard shortcut Windows+E.
  • Select the partition you want to format.
  • Right-click on the partition and select Format… from the expanded menu.
  • Customize the format options according to your needs.
  • Check the option for Quick Format.
  • Click on Start to begin the formatting process.

Method 2: Formatting with Disk Management

  • Right-click on This PC on your desktop.
  • Select Manage from the expanded menu.
  • In Computer Management’s left panel, select Storage.
  • Choose Disk Management from the options.
  • Follow steps similar to those described above for formatting with Windows Explorer.

After formatting is complete, it is recommended to run CHKDSK using the command prompt to ensure that the error has been fixed. If the issue persists, you may need to try another method to resolve it.

7. Disable Apps that Lock the Partition

You can try disabling or uninstalling Apps that may be locking the partition to help resolve this issue.

  • To do so, start by using Windows+S to open the search box and type in Services. In the search results, click on the service application below the best comparison.
  • Select the service that may lock the partition in the list of services window, right-click it and select Properties in the expanded menu. Change its Startup type to Disabled, then tap OK.
  • Uninstalling third-party applications is another approach you can take. Use Windows+R to open Run window, type control and press Enter. In Control Panel window, go to Programs > Programs and Features.
  • Select an application that may lock your partition from this list, right-click it and hit Uninstall. Confirm this operation and wait until the uninstallation process is complete.

After that, use the CHKDSK command again to check if the error has been fixed.

8. Check for and Repair Bad Tracks

Checking and repairing bad tracks on your storage device may help resolve the ‘Cannot open volume for direct access’ error.

Using the CHKDSK command in the Command Prompt, you can run a check to identify any bad sectors present on the disk. If any bad sectors are found, they must be repaired with this command.

In some cases, it may be necessary to run CHKDSK in a clean boot state; this means that all third-party apps and services will be disabled or uninstalled before running CHKDSK.

After completing these steps, restart your computer and check if the ‘Cannot open volume for direct access’ issue has been resolved.

If not, you may need to repeat these steps with different parameters or try other methods of repairing bad sectors on your storage device.

9. Perform CHKDSK from a Safe Mode or Clean Boot Environment

To troubleshoot the issue, you’ll need to try running CHKDSK from a Safe Mode or Clean Boot environment. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the Start button on the far left of the taskbar, then tap the Power button, hold down Shift and select Restart in the expanded menu to enter Windows recovery mode.
  2. In safe mode, execute Command Prompt as an administrator and enter chkdsk /x /f /r command to check if the error is fixed.
  3. Use Windows+R to open Run window and type msconfig then press Enter. Switch to Services tab at top of System Settings window and disable all non-Microsoft services and startup programs by checking Hide all Microsoft services checkbox in lower left corner and clicking Disable all button.
  4. Click Open Task Manager button from Startup tab list then select each startup item in turn to disable it via Task Manager before clicking OK button back in System Settings window; restart your computer then re-run chkdsk command in Command Prompt character again for further diagnosis of any errors with clean boot environment configuration.

10. Perform a Primary Hard Drive Self-test from the BIOS

Performing a primary hard drive self-test from the BIOS can help diagnose issues with your partition.

To do this, turn off your computer and wait for 30 seconds before pressing the power button to start it again.

When the Windows logo appears, press the appropriate button for BIOS.

In the BIOS menu, use the arrow keys to find Primary Hard Drive Self Test and press Enter.

Afterward, boot normally and open Command Prompt to run CHKDSK command to check if error is fixed.

If not, you may need to try another method of repair or replace your disk with an external one.

The process won’t take long and can save you time from having to resort to more complex repairs like formatting your hard drive or replacing it altogether.

11. Check Disk Health

To transition from the previous subtopic, I will now explain how to check your hard disk’s health and fix the ‘Cannot open volume for direct access’ error.

To do this, you can use the WMIC utility in the Windows Command Prompt.

Firstly, press Windows+S to open the search box and type cmd then select Run as administrator.

In the command prompt window, type wmic then diskdrive get status and press Enter. If there is no issue with your drive, you will receive an OK message.

However, if you want to run chkdsk or recover deleted files, you may need a third-party application like a data recovery tool or hard drive repair tool.

You may also need to disable items like virus checker or disk monitor in order to prevent them from locking the partition while running chkdsk on USB Drive or SD Card.

Additionally, it is important that you schedule a disk check when fixing corrupted devices such as disks like corrupted hard disks or corrupted USB drives in order to recover lost data/files from them.

Lastly, Microsoft created CHKDSK which allows users of Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 to repair their storage media such as Hard Drive that is corrupted by using these steps:

  • Press Windows Key + R and type cmd;
  • Type chkdsk /f;
  • Select Checkbox “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”;
  • Select “Automatically Fix file System Errors”;
  • Type Y;
  • Reboot PC.

This should help fix any issues with cannot open volume for direct access errors on your computer!

12. Disable BitLocker Encryption

Disabling BitLocker Encryption is key to ensuring your data remains secure. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open the Run window by pressing the Windows key + R.
  • Type “control” and hit Enter. This will bring up the Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel, select System and Security > BitLocker Drive Encryption.
  • Select the drive you wish to disable and expand it by clicking on it.
  • Click on the ‘Turn off BitLocker’ button to confirm this operation.

By disabling BitLocker, you can help protect your data from any suspicious activity that could occur in the future.

It’s important to note that once BitLocker is disabled, you should use the CHKDSK command in Command Prompt to check if the error has been fixed. If not, you may need to take additional steps to fix the error message.

13. Repair via Windows Powershell

Using Windows Powershell, you can verify the authenticity of a CHKDSK error.

Powershell is a built-in tool on Windows and it’s used to repair disks like corrupted hard drives.

To use it when receiving an ‘Cannot open volume for direct access’ error message in the Command Prompt, first right-click the Start button on the far left of the taskbar and select Windows Powershell (System Administrator).

Then type repair-volume -driveletter C into the viewport and press Enter to execute it. Note that this command is mainly used to repair a volume, so you can replace C with any other existing volume on your computer.

After waiting for this process to complete, open Command Prompt again and use CHKDSK command to check if the error has been repaired.

If not, try another method.

14. Format the Corrupted External Drive

If your external hard drive, SD card, or USB drive is corrupted, you can try formatting it to get it working again.

To do this, you can use the File Explorer in Windows. First, open ‘This PC’ and find the device or partition you need to format. Right-click on it and choose ‘Format’.

Then select a new file system and set up any other options needed. Wait for the formatting process to finish and then use the CHKDSK command line tool to check that the micro SD card or USB drive now works correctly.

Formatting a storage device will assign a new file system which should repair any errors caused by corruption and help get your external devices back up and running again.

15. Run CHKDSK at Boot time

Running CHKDSK at boot time can help diagnose and repair any issues with your storage device, like a corrupted micro SD card. To do this, you must first boot your computer into Safe Mode and open the Command Prompt command line as an Admin. Once it’s opened, all you need to do is execute the command ‘chkdsk /x /f /r’ and reboot normally to run CHKDSK on Startup.

This process will scan for bad sectors in your storage device and attempt repairs where possible. It won’t, however, be able to fix physical damage, only logical damage caused by data corruption or file system errors. Running CHKDSK may take some time depending on the size of your device, but it’s worth waiting for as it could end up saving you from losing important data.

If there are still errors after running CHKDSK, you may need to reformat the drive – just make sure to back up any important data before doing so! Therefore, taking the time to run CHKDSK at boot time can prove invaluable in keeping your storage devices in good working order.

16. Use Disk Management

Disk Management is a great tool to help format your storage device. It allows you to quickly and easily format any USB drive, SD card, or external hard drive that is connected to your computer.

To use Disk Management for formatting, first open ‘This PC’ > ‘Manage’ > ‘Disk Management’. Then right-click the partition you want to format and click ‘Format’. Finally, set up the options and start the formatting process.

You can also use this tool to check the file system of a particular partition or disk if an error such as ‘CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access’ appears on your screen.

With Disk Management, you can quickly identify and fix errors in your storage devices with ease.

17. Run Primary Hard Disk Self Test

To do this, you need to boot your computer to its BIOS. Once there, select the Diagnostics tab and choose the option that reads ‘Primary Hard Disk Self Test’. Different motherboards by different manufacturers might name it differently but it should be easy enough to spot.

Once you have started the test, let it complete before booting your computer normally again. This should help clear any blockages in the disk.

It is recommended that you perform this test in a clean boot environment. Doing so ensures that no other program is running which could interfere with or slow down the test process.


By following the steps mentioned above, you can ensure that your hard-drive is healthy and running smoothly, avoiding any further damage or corruption from occurring. With these tips, you can easily fix the Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access error without losing any data or time. You don’t have to worry about having to reformat or replacing the hard drive as long as you regularly check its health and follow our instructions.

Our bonus tip helps in recovering lost data due to accidents like this one. So if it’s already too late for preventive measures, at least you know that you still have a chance of getting back what has been lost and corrupted.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to recover data from the drive?

The best way to recover data from the drive is by using a reliable data recovery tool. These tools are designed to scan your hard drive and retrieve any lost or deleted files.

They work by scanning the entire drive, looking for traces of deleted or damaged files, and then recovering them from their original location. Some tools even allow you to preview the recoverable files before restoring them.

Once you’ve found the needed files, you can restore them with ease. It’s important to make sure that you choose a trustworthy data recovery program in order to ensure successful results.

How do I disable or uninstall apps or services that lock the partition?

To disable these, I need to go into the system registry and find the applications or services that are causing this issue. Once identified, I can then right-click on them and select “End Task” or “Uninstall”, depending on whether it is an application or service.

This should effectively disable them so that they don’t cause any further issues with accessing my partition.

Is it possible to repair a volume with Windows Powershell?

Yes, it’s possible to repair a volume with Windows PowerShell.

To do so, you must first identify the drive that needs repairing. Then, run the command “chkdsk” followed by the drive letter and then “/f” to fix any errors found. This will start an operation on the drive to try and fix any issues it may have.

After it has finished running, you can use other PowerShell commands to see if there were any errors found or if everything was fixed properly.

What is the difference between a safe mode and a clean boot environment?

A safe mode is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system where only basic functions are enabled. It does not load any third-party device drivers or services, allowing the user to determine if there is a problem with a driver or service causing the issue.

A clean boot environment, on the other hand, is designed to help identify and troubleshoot problems related to startup programs, system services, and drivers. It starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services so that it can be determined whether an issue is caused by something running in the background.

Both modes can help diagnose issues but for different purposes.

How do I check the hard drive’s health?

The most commonly used tool is CHKDSK, which stands for Check Disk. This tool will look for any errors or bad sectors on the disk and can help identify any potential problems with the hard drive itself.

To use CHKDSK, open the command prompt and type ‘chkdsk c: /f’ into it. This will scan your entire hard drive and report any errors that it finds. If you want to check a specific partition, you can replace ‘C:’ with the appropriate letter (e.g., chkdsk d: /f).

Once finished running, CHKDSK will provide information about any issues that were found on your hard drive.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...