The Drive Where Windows is Installed is Locked in Windows 10

Jonny Lin, in Common error Tags: Windows 10

Many Windows 10 users have reported an error “The drive where Windows is installed is locked“. This error happens when they are logging into their Windows 10. It blocks them from accessing their operating system. Instead it tells them to unlock their drive and try again!

This is an frustrating issue — your computer is unusable due to this error. And you are probably trying hard to find out a solution.

But don’t worry. You can fix this error. The following are four useful methods you can try and a top tip for recovering your computer after.

Method 1: Run Check Disk
Method 2: Run System File Checker
Method 3: Fix the boot information of your Windows 10
Method 4: Reinstall your Windows 10
Pro tip: Perform a data recovery

IMPORTANT: In order for you to perform these methods, you should boot your computer from a Windows 10 installation media. If you don’t have an installation media, check this guide to burn a Windows 10 installation USB drive. You may also need to learn from this article about how to boot from your USB drive.

Method 1: Run Check Disk

There may be errors in your system drive that causes your locked drive error. You can run the Check Disk utility to check your hard drive and repair those errors. To do so:

1) Boot your computer from your Windows 10 installation media.

2) Select your locale and click Next.

3) Click Repair your computer.

4) Select Troubleshoot.

5) Select Command Prompt.

6) Type “chkdsk c: /r” (“c” refers to the letter of the drive where your system is installed. Replace it with the letter you use if “c” isn’t your system drive letter). Then press Enter on your keyboard.

7) Wait for the check to complete.

8) Close Command Prompt. Then select Turn off your PC.

9) Turn on your computer normally. If the method works for you, the error will disappear.

Method 2: Run System File Checker

The error may also occur if there are corrupted files in your operating system. You can run the System File Checker tool to check and repair these files. To run System File Checker:

1) Boot your computer from your installation media.

2) Select your locale and click Next.

3) Click Repair your computer.

4) Select Troubleshoot.

5) Select Command Prompt.

6) Type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter on your keyboard.

7) Wait for the tool to complete checking and repairing your system.

8) Close Command Prompt. Then select Turn off your PC.

9) Boot your computer to your operating system. Then check to see if the error disappears.

Method 3: Fix the boot information of your Windows 10

If the boot information of your Windows 10 is corrupted, your system drive can be locked and the locked drive error will occur. You can try fixing the boot information of your operating system and see if this resolves this problem.

1) Boot your computer from your installation media.

2) Select your locale and click Next.

3) Click Repair your computer.

4) Select Troubleshoot.

5) Select Command Prompt.

6) Type the following lines of command and press Enter on your keyboard after each line.

(*If you are asked whether you want to add a new installation to boot list, press Y and then press Enter on your keyboard.)

  • bootrec /fixmbr
  • bootrec /fixboot
  • bootrec /scanos
  • bootrec /rebuildbcd

7) Close Command Prompt. Then select Turn off your PC.

8) Start your computer normally. If this resolves your problem, you will log into your system without the error troubling you.

Method 4: Reinstall your Windows 10

You can also try reinstalling your Windows 10 to reset your operating system and fix issues in your system drive. This is helpful for fixing your error especially when the methods above can’t help you. To reinstall your operating system:

1) Boot your computer from your installation media.

2) Select your locale and click the Next button.

3) Click Install now.

4) Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the system re-installation.

Pro tip: Perform a data recovery

Though you can fix the error, it is possible that the error has damaged the data integrity of your computer. You may find that your data has been lost after you fix the error. If so, it is recommended that you perform a data recovery to bring these data back. Please be careful when you choose which tool or service you use. Some of them can be unhelpful or even harmful.

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