CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access

CHKDSK or Check Disk is a utility built inside the Windows operating systems that work to maintain the integrity of the disk connected to a computer. It can be launched both via Graphical User Interface as well as via Command line. There are many scenarios that may warrant the running of this utility. The main factor is the readability of the disk. Some users have been reporting that they receive Cannot open volume for direct access error for the utility when launched via the command line.

CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access

When one wants to run the Chkdsk command on a partition, he or she gets the following error messages:-

C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk /f g:
Cannot open volume for direct access.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk /f f:
The type of the file system is NTFS. Volume label is 0529357401.

CHKDSK cannot open volume for direct access

When you execute the chkdsk command with option /f, it will find and repairs errors. If anything blocks it from repairing, you will receive this error message.  These suggestions will help you fix the problem. But before you read further, restart your PC and try once and see if it helps.

  1. Run CHKDSK at Boot time.
  2. Run Primary Hard Disk Self Test.
  3. Use free ChkDsk alternative software
  4. Check hard drive’s health.
  5. Disable various restrictions on the hard drive.
  6. Uninstall/Disable Drive Locking Feature.
  7. Disable application service.
  8. Use Repair-Volume for Windows Powershell.

Go through the entire post first and then decide which one or more of these suggestions may apply in your case.

1] Run CHKDSK at Boot time

First of all, boot your computer to Safe Mode.

Open Command Prompt command line as an Admin and execute the following command:

chkdsk /x /f /r

Have your computer rebooted normally and it will run CHKDSK on Startup.

2] Run Primary Hard Disk Self Test

Boot your computer to the BIOS.

Under the tab of Diagnostics, select the option that says Primary Hard Disk Self Test. On different motherboards by different manufacturers, it might differ but would imply the same.

Let the test complete and boot your computer normally.

This should fix all the errors as any blockage in the disk would be solved already while in BIOS.

3] Use free ChkDsk alternative software

You can make use of the free ChkDsk alternative software or Puran Utilities and check if that helps you.

4] Check hard drive’s health

Check the status of hard drive’s health using the WMIC utility in Windows Command Prompt and check if your hard drive has any issues resulting in the Cannot open volume for direct access error.

5] Disable various restrictions on the hard drive

If your hard drive is encrypted or restricted to be performed operations on, you can try to disable the BitLocker encryption, and that should fix your issues.

6] Uninstall/Disable Drive Locking Feature

In the software that is causing the problem, look for any feature which tracks disk changes.  I would suggest you disable that feature, and then perform the check disk command.

7] Disable application Service

The second way is to disable the Service. Doing so will altogether disable the software, anything it does to protect your system.

  • Type services.msc in the RUN prompt and hit enter.
  • Scroll to find the respective service related to the security software or disk checker software.
  • Right, click on that particular service and select Properties.
  • Change the Startup type to Disabled
  • Click OK/Apply.
  • Reboot.

Make sure to enable the service back when the disk check is complete.

7] Use Repair-Volume for Windows Powershell

cannot open volume for direct access

Open Windows PowerShell as Administrator

Type in the following command to run Repair-Volume and then hit Enter.

repair-volume -drive letter <DRIVE LETTER>

Let the process complete and check if the Scanning & repairing issue is fixed or not.

All the best!

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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