How to Fix the “Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access” Error?

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Summary: Did you get the “Cannot open volume for direct access” error when you tried to run the CHKDSK command? In this article, we will discuss and help you repair the error. You can also learn to use SFWare data recovery software to recover after any data loss due to the error.

Content Table:

What Does “Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access” Mean?

The “Cannot open volume for direct access” error is a standard error that occurs while executing the CHKDSK command on USB, SD card, or external hard drive. This error is not mean you are doing anything wrong. The common reasons for the error are,

  • Physical damages to the device.
  • Bad sectors in your drive.
  • Virus or malware infection.
  • Corruption in DBR (DOS Boot Record).
  • Conflicting third-party software.

How to Safeguard Your Data When Facing a “Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access” Error?

With SFWare Data Recovery Software, you can effortlessly recover your data before proceeding with the error resolution. This powerful tool is designed to tackle a wide range of data loss scenarios across multiple devices. Its robust algorithm can recover over 300 file formats from your hard drives, making it a lifesaver in the digital world.

So why risk losing your precious data? Use SFWare Data Recovery Software first, secure your data, and then move forward with confidence to fix the ‘Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access’ error. Remember, it’s always safety first when it comes to your valuable data!

Steps to Use SFWare Data Recovery Software

First, download and install the SFWare data recovery software in your system. Once you complete the installation, you can follow the instructions below to recover data quickly,

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Step 1: Open the software and click on Recover Files from the screen.

Step 2: Now click on Deleted File Recovery on the following screen.

Step 3: You must choose your drive facing the issue and click on Next.

Note: Wait for the scan to complete. A window with Data View and File Type View will be open after the completion.

Step 4: Preview the files to verify the success of the recovery.

Step 5: Select the files you want to recover and click Next.

Step 6: Now, give a location to save the files and click on Next.

Note: It is recommended to give a location other than the current one to avoid data overwrite while saving the file.

How to Repair “Cannot Open Volume For Direct Access”?

Below is a list of methods to fix cannot open volume for direct access in Windows 7/8/10/11. You can use these standard and easy-to-execute solutions to overcome the issue.

Method 1: Restart Your System

Restarting your system is the simplest method to repair any issues you face. This will help your system to run the CHKDSK command on the device before any other services can access them. This will cannot open volume for direct access error most of the time.

Method 2: Run CHKDSK in Windows Clean Boot

You can use the Window Clean Boot environment to run the CHKDSK command. The Clean Boot will load your system with the necessary drivers and startup programs. So you can perform tests and diagnose the problems. Follow the steps to load Windows in Clean Boot Environment,

  • Press Window + R keys to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Type msconfig in the text box and click on OK.
  • Click on the Services tab and check the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.

  • Now click on Disable All button, then click on Apply button.
  • Click on the Startup tab, then click on Open Task Manager.
  • Right-click on each application and select Disable.

  • Restart your system and try to execute the CHKDSK command.

Method 3: Disable Conflicting Third-Party Services or Applications

If you still face the issue after restarting the system, then this can be due to some services or applications loading at the start of the system. These third-party services or applications may lock the drives from being accessed.

You can follow the instructions below to disable them from loading at startup,

  • Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager to open Task Manager.
  • In the window, click on Startup Apps.
  • Find and right-click on the conflicting applications and select Disable.
  • Close the window and restart your system.

If you still face the issue, continue with the below steps,

  • In the Start menu, type Services and click on Open.
  • In the window, find and right-click on the services causing the issue.
  • Click on Properties and open the window.
  • Now choose Disabled for the Startup type.
  • Click on OK and restart your system.

If you still have issues, then some of the applications are still blocking the process. The only solution here is to uninstall these applications.

Method 4: Check and repair bad sectors

Bad sectors are one of the common causes for many of the issues in your drives. It can also not open volume for direct access when executing the CHKDSK in USB drives. Follow the below steps to check and repair bad sectors in your USB device,

  • Open File Explorer and right-click on the drive.
  • Select Properties to open the properties window.
  • Now click on the Tools tab to find an Error checking section.
  • Here you can click on the Check button.
  • In the pop-up window, click on the Scan Drive button.
  • If any errors are found in the scan, you will prompt to repair, so click on the Repair drive button.
  • Once the process is completed, restart your system.

Method 5: Format your drive

Now if you have tried all the above methods but still need to resolve the issue, the final solution we recommend you perform is formatting your drive. Formatting will remove most problems, including malicious attacks from viruses or malware. Follow the steps below to format your USB drive,

  • Open File Explorer and right-click on the drive.
  • Select Format from the list.
  • You can change the File system in the window and provide a Volume label.
  • Make sure to check the Quick Format checkbox.
  • Finally, click on Start the formatting of your USB drive.

Note: Formatting your USB drive will erase all the stored data. So, you must either back up your data before starting the process or recover data after formatting the USB drive.


Now and then, you get a “cannot open volume for direct access” error when you try to perform the CHKDSK command on USB, SD card, or external hard drive, even though this is a common but frustrating error. We have given you some of the most successful methods to tackle them. But recover your data from the drive before you perform any solutions to avoid data loss scenarios.

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