Saturday, June 25, 2011

Resolved: Windows 7 - "E:\ is not accessible. Access is denied"

Have you received the error in Windows 7, "E:\ is not accessible. Access is denied" (where E: is any drive letter)?  I can’t guarantee my solution will solve your problem as there are many causes, but here’s what happened to me and how I solved it:

What happened?

Remember the April 27, 2011 storms across the South East United States?  Well, I was smack dab in the middle of that (had to duck and cover against tornadoes FOUR TIMES that day!)  Anyway, during two of those events, at night, with golf ball sized hail that totaled both of our vehicles, we also had an enormous amount of lightning and lost power.  My APC Back UPS 1500 X lost its ability to store a charge and became an expensive surge protector.  Since then, we’ve had lots of power outages and fluctuations… just this past week, we’ve had several significant storms and 2 tornadoes in the area.  During one of the recent power spikes or drops, my E: drive become corrupted to the point that all disk activity caused my Quad-Core PC with 8GB of RAM to halt for 30 seconds at a time.  Eventually, Windows deactivated the drive and took it offline.  After a couple of reboots, Windows scanned the drive and repaired a lot of the errors, but my drive showed up in Windows Explorer as, well, nothing:


(Yes, these are all real, physical drives.  I don’t do partitions.)

When I tried to open it, I got the infamous "E:\ is not accessible. Access is denied" dialog box.  This was bad news… REALLY bad news, because most of my source code was on there and I hadn’t backed it up recently.  Also, all my scanned documents and family photos were on it.  Most of those were backed up, but not the most recent ones.

Here’s how I fixed it:

I right-clicked the drive and chose “Properties” and clicked the “Security” tab to get this dialog box:


Then I clicked the “Continue” button, which brought up this “Permissions for Local Disk (E:)” dialog box:


I clicked the “Add…” button and typed in my Windows login ID to add it to the list of groups and users that have access to it.  Then, my user name was added to the list.  I clicked my user name to select it, then checked the check box in the “Allow” column, on the “Full control” line to give my account full control of the drive.  When I clicked OK, Windows started scanning through ALL of the folders on the drive, applying the new security permissions to each folder.  The following dialog box popped up, quickly spinning through all the folders on the drive:


But, when it got to a folder under “E:\Documents and Settings”, which are private folders for other users from an older installation of Windows, it popped up a dialog box similar to the following for each of them:


I just clicked “Continue” for each one.  I can grant myself access to them letter on an as-needed basis when or if I ever need to get to them.

After about 5 minutes, it was done and I had access to my drive again.  Note that the drive scan process that took place during the reboot created a folder on the root called, “found.001” and placed a bunch of files in it that it had found, but had lost the information of what folders they were in.  Turns out there were 190 files.  188 of them were family photos and 2 movie snippets… all from my cell phone.

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU!!!!! This is exactly what I needed!!