SOLVED: Disk Check Failed - Windows cannot access the disk

When you find that there are issues with your external hard drives, a usual course of action is to run ‘CHKDSK’. ‘CHKDSK’ verifies file systems and repairs corruption issues. Also, if bad sectors are present on the drive, it marks these sectors, so the system doesn’t try reading from those sectors again, preventing further damage. This way CHKDSK can be used to repair corruption issues up to a certain level.

On the other hand, if your drive is not properly detected, running ‘CHKDSK’ may produce an error ‘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 you can proceed to repair your drive using ‘CHKDSK’. Read on to learn more.

Solution 1: Check if the hard drive is properly connected

If the drive is not properly connected to your system, you may receive this error. 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.

You may sometimes be advised to perform low level format. But, it may not help as drive is not accessible. In case, you have formatted drive anytime and lost data, then you can get back data after low level format with the aid of Remo Data Recovery tool.

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Solution 2: Change the drive letter

All hard drives are assigned a ‘drive letter’ and 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.

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

  1. Press ‘Windows + X’ to open the ‘power users menu’
  2. Select ‘Disk Management’
  3. In the Disk Management console, you will find a list of drives associated with your system. Select your external hard drive from the list and ‘right click’ on it.
  4. Click on ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’
  5. Then click on the ‘letter’ currently associated with your drive and click ‘Change’
  6. Select 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!

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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