Why is my drive access denied?
QI have over 1TB of files stored on my portable hard drive that, for no apparent reason, I can no longer reach. When I try to open the drive in File Explorer, I get a message that says says: ‘G:\ is not accessible. Access is denied’. Online forums suggest missing permissions might be the problem. As Windows 10 has two administrator levels I have been advised it is not a simple process to add the missing permissions.
What recovery software should I use to retrieve the files from this hard drive? Alistair Maitland
AHold your horses! Datarecovery software would be the last resort, and we very much doubt it’ll come to that.
First, have you tried simply attaching this drive to another PC? If you’re able to do this and find you can access the drive and the files it contains, then use the opportunity to create a backup. If not, then try attaching the drive to a different USB port on your current computer. Before doing this, disconnect other USB devices (though obviously you’ll want to keep both the keyboard and mouse attached).
However, in all likelihood you’ll need to fix the drive permissions. Sometimes a bit of drive corruption can lead to messed-up permissions, but they can usually be restored.
We’re not sure what you mean by Windows 10 having ‘two administrator levels’. The operating system offers both standard and administrator accounts, but either type can have permissions applied or revoked. There are also a couple of places where permissions can be amended, so perhaps that’s behind your belief.
Log in with your main account (which should be an administrator account), then press Windows key+e to open File Explorer. Now right-click G: and choose Properties. Select the Security tab and look in the ‘Group or user names’ list. If it says Everyone (or an account name you recognise), skip the next paragraph.
If it says, ‘No groups or users have permission to access this object’ then click Advanced (see screenshot). This opens the Permission Entry box. Click the ‘Select a principal’ link and, in the ‘Enter the object name to select (examples):’ field, type Everyone. Click Check Names to ensure that you’ve typed it correctly, then click OK to confirm followed by OK to close the Permission Entry box.
You should now be at the Properties box, with Everyone (and possibly other usernames) in the ‘Group or user names’ box. Click to select Everyone (or the relevant username) and then click Edit. Now again click to select Everyone (or the relevant username) and then, in the Allow column, tick the ‘Full control’ box and click OK.
Access to your drive should now be restored, though you might need to reboot for the change to come into effect.