Fix Error ‘The drive where Windows is installed is locked Windows 10’

error-the drive-where-windows-is-installed-is-locked

If you encounter the error ‘The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again’, it means that the drive is locked and unable to be used. Hence you won’t be able to access any data available on that drive. This error usually occurs when you are trying to update Windows, when performing a reset or when booting from a Windows installation disc.

How to solve the error ‘The drive where Windows is installed is locked’ in Windows 10?

Solution 1: Perform Start up Repair

Start-up repair is a built in utility to repair certain start up issues. It can repair damaged system files, thus helping you to boot into your system. In order to perform start up repair, you will need a Windows installation disc.

  1. Insert the Windows 10 installation disc and boot from it
  2. In the Windows setup screen, click Next
  3. In the next screen, click Repair Your Computer
  4. You will be taken to the Advanced Start up Options from which you need to select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  5. In the Advanced Options menu, select Start up Repair

Wait for Start-up Repair to complete the repair process and reboot your computer. Then check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 2: Run CHKDSK

The error ‘The drive where Windows is installed is locked’ may also occur due to corruption in file system. This issue can be repaired using a tool called CHKDSK, which is again a built in tool on your computer.

  1. Using the same instructions explained in Solution 1, go to the Advanced Options menu
  2. From the menu, select Command Prompt
  3. When the command prompt opens, type the following command

‘CHKDSK /f X:’ (where ‘X’ is the name of the drive you want to repair)

Wait for CHKDSK to complete repairing file system errors and then restart your system.

Solution 3: Fix boot files

One of the most common cause of the error ‘The drive where Windows is installed is locked’ is corruption in boot files. This can be fixed by repairing the boot files using the instructions below.

  1. Go to the Advanced Options menu using the same instructions as explained in Solution 1
  2. From the menu, select Command Prompt
  3. In the command prompt, type the following commands and hit Enter after each of them




After running these commands, restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 4: Run SFC Scan

If the system files responsible for booting the system are damaged, SFC scan can be used to fix the issue. To run SFC scan, just go to the command prompt as explained above and type the following command.

‘sfc /scannow’

After the scan is complete, the corruption in system files should be fixed and this should at least help you start the system in Safe Mode, through which you can examine the error further.

Solution 5: Perform a reset

If these solutions don’t help you resolve the error, then backup data on the drive and perform a reset. To backup data on the drive, connect this hard drive as an external device to another machine and copy files. Once the files are copied and backed up, perform a factory reset. This should help you resolve the error.

Recover data using Yodot data recovery software

If you happen to lose files after a factory reset and no backup is available, it is possible to recover lost data using Yodot data recovery software. Refer the link for instructions on recovering data from Windows hard drive. If you want to know about the quality of recovered files, not to worry, because it is designed to recover files perfectly in the same manner as it was originally.

This tool can not only recover files from regular HDDs, but can also perform recovery from SSDs, IDE and SATA hard drives.