Why is my drive ac­cess de­nied?

Computer Active (UK) - - Problems Solved -

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.

You can fix drive per­mis­sions in the Prop­er­ties dia­log box

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