The Disk Check Could Not Be Performed | Windows Cannot Access The Disk [Solved]

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Encountering disk issues with your external hard drive can be frustrating. When CHKDSK fails with the error "Windows cannot access the disk," finding a solution is crucial. This article will uncover the reasons and provide 2 proven solutions to fix the Windows cannot access the disk error.

When you encounter issues with your external hard drives, a typical course of action is to run 'CHKDSK.' CHKDSK verifies file systems and repairs corruption issues. Additionally, if bad sectors are present on the drive, it marks these sectors, preventing the system from attempting to read from them again, thereby preventing further damage. In this way, CHKDSK can be used to repair corruption issues up to a certain level.

However, if your drive is not properly detected, running 'CHKDSK' may result in an error message: 'The disk check could not be performed because Windows cannot access the disk.' At this point, you won't be able to proceed with 'CHKDSK' to repair your drive.

In this article, we provide some solutions to resolve the error so that you can proceed with repairing your drive using 'CHKDSK.' Read on to learn more.

Common Causes of the ‘Disk Check Could Not Be Performed Error’

  • Insufficient Permissions: One of the primary reasons for this error is insufficient permissions. It may fail to execute if you're not running the disk check with administrative privileges.
  • Corrupted System Files: Corrupted system files can also hinder the disk check process. These files are essential for properly functioning your operating system; any corruption can lead to errors.
  • Hardware Issues: Sometimes, the error may be related to hardware problems, such as a failing hard drive or bad sectors. These issues can prevent the disk check from running successfully.
  • Software Conflicts: Conflicts with third-party software can interfere with disk check operations. Certain applications may lock or occupy the disk, preventing CHKDSK from running.

Also Read: How to Recover Files Deleted By CHKDSK?

2 Proven Solutions To Fix the “Disk Check Failed - Windows Cannot Access The Disk” Error

Below, we have added 2 proven solutions to fix the ‘disk check could not be performed Windows cannot access the disk’ error.

Solution 1: Check if the hard drive is properly connected

You may receive this error if the drive is not properly connected to your system. So, make sure the connection is secure. You can also try connecting the drive to another USB port. This may help solve the problem in some cases.

Solution 2: Change the drive letter

All hard drives are assigned a ‘drive letter’; any mismatch or inconsistency with the letter can produce the error ‘The disk check could not be performed because Windows cannot access the disk.’ In this case, changing the drive letter of the hard drive is found to resolve the issue.

You can use the ‘Disk Management tool’ in Windows to change the drive letter. It is a useful tool that can be used to manage drives and perform operations such as ‘format,’ ‘add or delete partitions,’ ‘change drive letters,’ etc. To change a drive letter, you can follow the steps below:

  • Press Windows + X to open the power users menu.
  • Next, select "Disk Management."
  • In the Disk Management console, you will see a list of drives associated with your system. Locate your external hard drive in the list and right-click on it.
  • Click on "Change Drive Letter and Paths."
  • Then, click on the current drive letter associated with your drive and select "Change."
  • Choose a new drive letter from the drop-down menu and click "OK."

Now, your drive is assigned a new drive letter. ‘Reboot’ your system and try running ‘CHKDSK’ again. Ideally, you should be able to do it now. If not, there is a possibility that your drive is severely damaged and needs repair.

But before you go ahead with repair, it is advised that you retrieve data from it using professional data recovery tools such as Remo Recover. It is a wonderful tool to recover data from damaged hard drives or when the drive is inaccessible.

This simple DIY Remo data recovery tool is available for download and costs way less than sending it to a data recovery center for recovery. Check out the free trial today!


The "Disk Check Could Not Be Performed" error can disrupt your computing experience but can be resolved. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can diagnose and resolve the issue, ensuring your computer continues to run smoothly.

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John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines.

John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms. His mastery extends from file systems to SD cards, USBs, and external drives on Mac and Windows.

Recognized by cpomagazine, everythingusb, and more, John Harris is your trusted data recovery guide. You can also find his articles featured on, computertechreviews.

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