How to unlock drive where Windows 10 is installed


If you have ever felt like giving up when you saw the error “The drive where Windows 10 is installed is locked” then not anymore.

Because in this article, we are going to tell you exactly how to get rid of this error and solve this problem.

This error message pops up when you are trying to repair your drive via a USB drive or DVD on Windows 10.

The message says that The Drive where Windows is installed is locked which means that you can’t repair the drive.

Usually, such an error message comes when a hardware failure internally in your SSD or Hard Drive throws out this error message.

How to unlock drive where Windows 10 is installed

We know that you have been searching for “windows drive is locked, how to unlock” and you have stumbled upon the right place as well.

Below, in this article, we have given you all the steps you can perform to fix the windows drive is locked error once and for all.

While we have not faced this error on any of our systems so far, users have told us that this error tells you to reset the PC to unlock the locked drive.

However, we understand that resetting the PC is not always possible.

So follow the steps down below to unlock the drive without resetting your PC.

Solution #1: Use chkdsk command

If you think that your hard drive, SSD, or your disk is corrupted then chkdsk command will come in very handy as it will let you scan all the drives and see if they are really corrupted or not.

  • So first of all, insert the Windows 10 installation media inside your PC which can be your thumb drive or a DVD.
  • Now, go to the Windows setup screen and click on Next.
  • In the next window, click on Repair your computer option.
  • Now, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
  • After this, type the following command inside the Command Prompt window:
chkdsk /f C:
chkdsck command
chkdsck command
  • It will look like the screengrab we have posted above. Click Enter and check the results.
  • Now, reboot the PC, restart the Windows installation process, and see if you get the same error message.
  • We expect that the error message will go away if the USB drive was corrupted because chkdsk will fix the problems

Solution #2: Use SFC scan

Just like the above method, you will have to open the Command Prompt window by following the steps as mentioned above.

The only difference is that we will use a different command for this method.

In this method, we will use the command: sfc /scannow

Once you have typed the command, hit Enter.

This scan will fix all the potential errors and let you run Windows installation.

Restart the PC and see if the problems have been resolved or not.

Solution #3: Fix boot records of your PC

Once again, you will have to open the Command Prompt window on your PC by following the steps mentioned above.

Inside the Command Prompt window, enter the following commands:

bootrec /RebuildBcd
bootrec /fixMbr
bootrec /fixboot

Type the commands and then hit Enter. 

Reboot your PC after that and check if the drive where windows is installed is locked error message is still there.

Solution #4: Using diskpart

The ultimate solution to your error “drive where windows is installed is locked” is using the diskpart tool given inside Windows.

This tool is extremely powerful and it will definitely solve the problem for you.

But we recommend that you try the above methods first and only if they fail should you try the diskpart method.

The reason being diskpart is a very powerful tool and those who don’t have much knowledge might even harm their PC as well.

  • Once again, go to Command Prompt as shown in the first solution.
  • Run the following command and hit Enter: diskpart
  • You will now enter the diskpart tool. Inside this tool, go to the drive where Windows is installed.
  • For example, if Windows is installed on C: drive then it will be Drive 0 in computer terms. For D: drive, it will be Drive 1.
  • So assuming that you have Windows installed on C: drive, we will enter sel disk 0.
  • Once you see a message saying “Disk 0 is now the selected disk”, type the following command: list vol
  • Once the volumes are listed, look for FAT32 partition and select it by typing sel vol x (where x will be replaced by the number of volume)
  • Run this command now: assign letter=z:
  • Enter exit and press Enter to run this command.
  • This will exit you from the diskpart tool.
  • Now, type the following command and press Enter: cd z:EFIMicrosoftBoot
  • Again, type this command and press Enter: bootrec /fixboot
  • Finally, run this command and hit Enter: bcdboot c:\Windows /s z:

This is the exact step-by-step solution and it will definitely solve your problem but make sure to use it under expert guidance.

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