Having a hard drive problem? Has your hard drive disappeared?

Are you getting the error… “cannot open volume for direct access

In Windows Ultimate / XP and under …

Try this:

Go to start button (and where it says “Search Programs and files”

Type in:

In the black box that comes up

Type in:

chkdsk c: /r

Replace c: with the drive you need to fix…

If this doesn’t work …


Hard drive disappeared - cannot open volume for direct access

Are you getting the error “cannot open volume for direct access”

1:  Follow with disk management tools first, CHKDSK and disk management inside windows. If you have a western digital hard drive, go to google and type…
western digital disk management software

Replace the “western digital” with the type of hard drive you have.

Get the free software, or go to START BUTTON and type in:

hard disk management

and run the trouble shooters and disk management.  If you can’t see the drive … in any windows file manager or anywhere, your hard drive may be in trouble.  But don’t worry, you may still be able to recover it.


2: Boot to safe mode

Restart your computer and then press F8 a few times after you reboot your computer. This should load you in to safe mode.  You know if you’re in safe mode, if you it doesn’t load windows and goes in to an area that allows you to boot in to safe mode.


And then see if you can spot the drive…

If you can’t see the drive …


3: Go in to bios

Bios is the technical start up area for your computer.  It will allow you to configure drives, and set complicated settings.  Most people will rarely enter their own Bios, but don’t be scared.  You’re just going in there to look.  Don’t change anything in there, if you don’t know what it is!


How to get in to BIOS


On many computers you just reboot your computer and before windows starts, try pressing the DELETE KEY a few times.

If you look very carefully, it may even say what key you need to press to enter the bios or advanced setup.

  • Sometimes it’s F1
  • Sometimes it’s DELETE


If you can’t find what your BIOS key is, then on the search bar over to your top right on this page, or on a google search bar, type in the name of your BIOS along “boot code”.  You will know what your BIOS is by rebooting your computer and carefully looking at the top left of the screen.  It goes by pretty quick, so you may need to press the PAUSE key to see it.  (pause button should be on the top right of your keyboard)

So if it’s an American Megatrends BIOS type

American Megatrends BIOS key

This should tell you your BIOS key to log in to your BIOS.  This must be pressed before windows loads, or it won’t work.  I like to press it a few times right as soon as I’ve rebooted my computer, until I hear a beep.  Then I know the keyboard buffer is full and it will get it as soon as possible.


Once inside your BIOS, try to see if you can spot the HARD DRIVE AREA (HDD) Hard disk drive

See if the missing  hard  drive is in there. You will have to locate where are your hard drives are and then see if it’s listed. You will notice it by it’s size. (2TB drive or what ever you have)  You are looking for anything that says something about Hard drives, or HDD, or DISK MANAGEMENT, anything to do with DISK.

If it’s not listed in there, then …


4: Turn the computer off, unplug the drive and take out the power. Look at the drive, enjoy it… 🙂 Soak in it’s beauty.  Look for anything out of the ordinary and then put it back in. Put the power and cord back on.

Repeat steps 1 to 3 again

Sometimes there’s loose connections.  Sometimes it just needs to be looked at!  Sometimes it’s magic and I just tell people I readjusted the sub data feed bank… when I have no clue what I actually fixed it.

If you still can’t see the drive ….


5: Try to run a boot disk called Hyrems boot CD

It’s all free. You can run a lot of hard disk diagnosis inside there. Partition magic (and check the partitions) and a host of other programs.

If you can’t see the drive, then the actual hard drive adapter on the hard drive may be shot. You may still be able to recover the data but it will be costly and you will have to take it to a professional.

I hope this helps! If you’re  hard drive disappeared or you’re getting the message “Cannot open volume for direct access” this article should help you out!

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