locked
Cannot unlock drive and unable boot back into Windows 8

    Question

    1. Auto repair just failed.  IT tried to fix the disc errors but came up short and kicked me back to the repair screen.
    2. I've tried the "Refresh"  option (so I can keep my files) but that chokes and gives me this error "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."  I would unlock it if I knew how.

    Any help would be appreciated

    Saturday, August 04, 2012 6:21 PM

Answers

  • For what it is worth, every time I have tried auto repair in the Windows 8 RE, it has been a dismal failure.

    Not only does it not repair anything but it also trashes the BCD database.  At least it makes a backup first, usually as BCD.Backup.0001, in the same directory where BCD should be.  I have been able to restore it in WinRE by simply renaming it, after changing permissions if necessary.

    You can open a command prompt with Shift+F10 at any time in Windows Setup or WinRE.  In such a command prompt you can use bcdedit and chkdsk.

    Sunday, August 05, 2012 1:48 AM

All replies

  • For what it is worth, every time I have tried auto repair in the Windows 8 RE, it has been a dismal failure.

    Not only does it not repair anything but it also trashes the BCD database.  At least it makes a backup first, usually as BCD.Backup.0001, in the same directory where BCD should be.  I have been able to restore it in WinRE by simply renaming it, after changing permissions if necessary.

    You can open a command prompt with Shift+F10 at any time in Windows Setup or WinRE.  In such a command prompt you can use bcdedit and chkdsk.

    Sunday, August 05, 2012 1:48 AM
  • I have exactly same problem!!!


    Daniel Lara. Mexico City.

    Monday, September 10, 2012 10:29 PM
  • Ditto, same problem with regular hard drive. Completely locked out, exactly as described in first post. Would advise anyone with older PC *NOT* to upgrade.
    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 10:40 PM
  • Same issue but i have new sony vaio with very good spec. SSD, I7 etc...
    Thursday, November 08, 2012 5:50 PM
  • For what it is worth, every time I have tried auto repair in the Windows 8 RE, it has been a dismal failure.

    Not only does it not repair anything but it also trashes the BCD database.  At least it makes a backup first, usually as BCD.Backup.0001, in the same directory where BCD should be.  I have been able to restore it in WinRE by simply renaming it, after changing permissions if necessary.

    You can open a command prompt with Shift+F10 at any time in Windows Setup or WinRE.  In such a command prompt you can use bcdedit and chkdsk.

    can you please explain how to fix this or help on how i can format my drive through cmd...the cmd at the moment wont recognize c drive???this is where i have installed the windows and its the only partition on the laptop
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 9:40 AM
  • You can re-initialize your disk and format it using the tool diskpart.exe in a command prompt (Shift+F10).  The commands would be:

    1. select disk 0             (assuming there is only one disk)
    2. clean
    3. create partition primary
    4. format fs=ntfs label="whatever (optional)" quick
    5. active
    6. assign                      (if you want access to it in current session)

    Help is available by entering ? at the diskpart> prompt.  You can enter "list disk" first to see what drives are available.  If there are no hard disks shown, you need to load a driver, which you can do with drvload.exe.  Put suitable "F6" drivers on a USB drive.  You can see all executables available by typing "dir X:\Windows\System32\*.exe".  Note, not all of them work in WindowsPE.  Most of them have command line help available with a /? or /help parameter, or in the tool itself.

    Virtually all that I know about tools in the WinPE/WinRE command prompt I learned by playing with them.  Although, I did get my start using the Windows AIK.  See:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722159.aspx.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:16 PM
  • Not only does it not repair anything but it also trashes the BCD database.

    Is it just caused by a repeat crash threshold?  Perhaps there would be a way to reset that?

    Has anybody tried to figure out why it crashes instead?  Avoiding the crashes would avoid an increment in the count presumably?   <eg>

     

    ---

    Sunday, December 02, 2012 12:39 AM
  • This exact same thing just happened to me.  Something went wonky with my RAID array and, after fixing that, Windows 8 Pro (upgraded from Vista Ultimate) would not boot - only an error message about the BCD (Note this was about the third reboot).  Tried booting from the installation disk and using the advanced options to refresh / repair.  Auto Repair found nothing wrong.  Tried Refresh and got the error that the disk is locked.  I can go into Command Prompt and see the data on the drive, so it's not encrypted or anything like that.  What the heck does it mean then that the drive is locked?  There is no unlock command build into Command Prompt and no Help command.  I didn't like the new Win 8 interface to begin with, and now I've lost half a day trying to figure out what's wrong / how to fix it.
    Monday, December 10, 2012 4:36 PM
  • What the heck does it mean then that the drive is locked?  There is no unlock command build into Command Prompt and no Help command.

    You mean you didn't understand what Brian was telling us?   <eg>

    FWIW while researching this issue for another post I came up with this thread.   Apparently using diskpart and chkdsk may be in your future...   ;  )

     

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/W8ITProPreRel/thread/5f731c27-5769-408d-a95b-8af25a9b7dc7/

     

    (via BING search for
        "windows 8" installed drive locked unlock drive site:microsoft.com
    )

     

    FYI

     

    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 4:41 AM
  • I have given up on Win 8 for the time being , that is not say I won't return to it , for now I am reinstalling 7 Pro which I am hugely impressed with , in my opinion the best OS yet , I realize Win 8 will do well on Touch screen devices and I wish MS luck with it , It just doesn't hit the spot on the desktop for me. '
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 2:53 AM
  • For me the problem was caused by BIOS.

    For some reason my BIOS settings were changed to default settings and my boot SATA drive was trying to boot in 'IDE' mode. After I changed to drive to boot in 'AHCI' mode everything started to work.

    Problem was hard to fix because the SATA drive was there: diskpart and chkdsk reported everything to be fine.

    Check also http://www.boyans.net/RepairWindows/The_drive_where_Windows_is_installed_is_locked.html for other good tips.

    • Proposed as answer by DhaliwalJi Sunday, December 30, 2012 6:25 PM
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 5:19 PM
  • Hello,

     

    1. System stuck at Dell logo (system with MSATA card)
      • Verify hardware functionality (PSA)
      • Go to the BIOS, change SATA Operation from Intel Smart Response Technology to AHCI
      • Save changes and boot to the OS
      • Reboot, go to the BIOS, change SATA Operation from AHCI to Intel Smart Response Technology
      • Save changes and boot to the OS
      • Flash the BIOS to the latest version available
      • Do not make changes to the UEFI/Secure Boot settings - These systems are designed to work with UEFI enabled and Secure Boot should be On

     

    1. System stuck at a blank screen post the Dell logo
      • Verify hardware functionality (PSA)
      • Bring up the F12 Menu and choose the option which refers to the Hard Drive or says Windows Boot Manager - Please revert if you’re not able to see this option
      • Attempt to crash the OS (refer to attached mail, attaching a snapshot showing what to look out for)
      • Using the Recovery Environment, boot to Safe Mode w/ Networking
      • Uninstall the current video driver from Programs and Features
      • Install the latest video driver from support.dell.com
      • Do not make changes to the UEFI/Secure Boot settings - These systems are designed to work with UEFI enabled and Secure Boot should be On
      • Preliminary investigation seems to imply a faulty display driver getting installed from Windows Update. Hence, hide any video driver updates from Windows Updates (refer to mail trail below)

     

    1. Stuck with an error “No bootable devices found”
      • Verify hardware functionality (PSA)
      • Check to see the hard drive is being detected in the BIOS
      • Go to the BIOS, ensure Load Legacy Boot Option ROM is Disabled, Secure Boot is Enabled and Boot List Option is set to UEFI
      • Save changes and reboot

    • Proposed as answer by DhaliwalJi Sunday, December 30, 2012 7:02 PM
    Sunday, December 30, 2012 7:01 PM
  • Similar Issue after upgrading a non booting  Vista to Windows 8

    Tried formatting drive and doing a clean install, problem persisted.

    Solution was to change SATA operation to SATA AHCI in the BIOS.

    Monday, January 28, 2013 7:49 PM
  • I have a feeling this scenario only applies to me in this thread, but in case it doesn't, here's what happened on my Dell Latitude E6450 Windows 8 installation.

    I started with a dual boot Ubuntu 12.04 / Windows 7 64-bit install.  I had a vhd running the trial mode of Windows 8, and that was working fine, but it went through grub first because I let Windows 7 remain the boot loader.  

    When I bought the Windows 8 upgrade, I decided to install to a vhd, but let Windows 8 be the boot loader (or load the boot loader, or however it works... it'd look like a graphic boot loader instead of the text-based Windows 7 loader).

    It installed fine, went to the first boot, and I got Missing Operating System.  To make matters worse, I checked the BIOS, and my SATA controller was marked as RAID.  The laptop came from work and was a few months old, and I can't say I noticed whether it was RAID the whole time or not.  That was confusing, but it turns out, not the problem.

    I also tried Automatic Repair and got nowhere, and tried a Refresh and got the locked drive message.  I decided that grub was probably behind this somehow, so I booted an Ubuntu 10.04 LiveCD and used fdisk to see that I had 2 active partitions, and the first one (originally grub) was empty.  The fix for me was to set the empty partition as not active, and then I was able to boot just fine... though Ubuntu is now missing, but that shouldn't be too tough to deal with.

    So you may not have a grub problem, but it would be a good idea to count your active partitions and make sure you don't get past 1 on a single drive.

    Now I'm on my next problem, figuring out why I'm getting a 0xc000000f error when I boot Windows 7.  That's less worrisome than the one I started with.


    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:28 PM
  • Update:  I guess it was supposed to be RAID.  I booted my Windows 7 disk, selected Repair, and then Advanced to open a command prompt to run

    bootrec.exe /FixMbr

    bootrec.exe /FixBoot

    bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
    c:
    cd boot
    attrib bcd -s -h -r
    ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old

    bootrec /RebuildBcd

    and that wasn't enough, but switching back to RAID got me back to my original Windows 7 setup, and hopefully I can just load my VHD under Windows 7.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:19 PM
  • My HD locked up after it downloaded the latest update. It looked as though because it was in sleep mode, when I woke it - it rebelled!!!

    However, two days ago I had create a W8 recovery disk and was able to acces a variety of tools.

    None though, seemed to work.

    I eventually found that the BIOS was not reading the system correctly, and my c:\ was not being seen, so I closed the system completely - restarted - accessed the BIOS which was now correct, except I altered the HD priority, as it had made the 1st priority my 2nd drive!

    Restart and the drive was accessed, the update installed and configured, the machine now back to normal!!

    Coxey Lad


    RLDC

    Saturday, February 16, 2013 4:25 PM
  • And this totally clears all your data both in disk C:\ D:\ and others. And then I said some bad words and begins from a scratch. Thanks you very match!!!
    Friday, April 05, 2013 12:56 PM