Windows 8 will not boot or repair: drive locked RRS feed

  • Question

  • Running W8 on a machine with motherboard RAID 5 (five drives, Intel z68 SATA controllers) with an SSD cache. Machine has run fine for about 6 months. While running, froze up. Rebooted but got Automatic Repair, which did not work. Neither Reset nor Refresh will work, as they report drive is locked. BIOS shows RAID array is functioning; did a sync of SSD with the array, no help. Comand line shows an X drive that appears to be my C drive. DiSKPART shows no disks at all. CHKDSK will not work, reports drives locked. Tried Win8 install disk, it reports no drives.

    I have check cables and power. I am not convinced this is a hardware issue since the command line shows my boot drive files.

    Any recommendations about what to do?

    Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:59 PM


All replies

  • Monday, May 20, 2013 7:42 AM
  • If Last Known Good in F8 does not help, try the following procedure:

    In addition to above reference from Answers I would recommend to test HDDs with diagnostic tool from disk vendor (... preferably in another computer to exclude the motherboard.)

    If HDDs are not faulty, then test the motherboard with another HDD.

    If you find nothing wrong, try to restore from good backup.

    If all procedures fail and all components are not faulty,then reinstall your computer.



    Monday, May 20, 2013 7:51 AM
  •  "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again." 


    First encountered on Restore of backup image (ATI-WD) on RAID 0 Two drive [SSD] array

    Fixed: Using WINDOWS 7 Installation Disc - Repair Option


    During many WIN 8/WIN 7 installations on 4 different drives (on my own computer) MULTIBOOT (up to 7 O/S's) with BACKUP/RESTORE operations - WINDOWS 8 Installation Disk Repair has NEVER solved a startup problem

    MICROSOFT should be ashamed that a feature that WORKED with WIN 7 was not brought forward to WIN 8 Installation Disk. Those that don't have one, borrow one (Using repair should not infringe any rules)

    My Hobby is installing O/S's:

    One drive has WIN 8.1 PRO Preview, WIN 8 PRO, WIN 8 Release Preview-64,   WIN 8 Release Preview-32,  WIN 8 Consumer Preview- 64, WIN 7 - 32, WIN XP - 32 [EasyBCD ver 2.2 essential]

    You need to be an enthusiast to install XP with SATA AHCI (Slipstream SP3, load AHCI driver on install)

    Happy computing, WIN 8 Great, WIN 8.1 definitely worth having

    Additional Note:

    With WIN 8 PRO and WIN 8.1 Preview Installation Disks, one is presented with:

    Repair Computer/Troubleshoot/Select OS to repair (Forced to repair one O/S at a time)

    Result: Diagnosing your PC/Attempting Repairs - Where it hangs with dotty circle, going nowhere... [Requiring switch OFF - no ctrl+alt+del

    With the WINDOWS 7 Installation Disk - All partition entries are Recovered (Except XP) in one operation and quickly

    Repeat: What are M'soft thinking and doing about this anomaly?

    • Edited by zirc99 Friday, October 25, 2013 12:00 AM Typo
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:52 AM
  • Same issue here on X220 and Samsung SSD - trying to repair: Window 8 drive locked.

    this is a simple setup - Win 7 + win 8.1. Where Win 7 never boots with any hiccups Win 8 and Win 8.1 give a headache

    Monday, November 25, 2013 8:59 PM
  • I was excited when I read this as I do have a Windows 7 disk.  But, when I attempted to repair it said it didn't recognize the OS.

    I can only boot into the machine with a disk if I change it to legacy and then the "C" drive becomes locked.

    Friday, January 3, 2014 3:29 PM
  •  "C" drive becomes locked.

    OP also reported

    "DiSKPART shows no disks at all. "

    So, what does it show?  More significantly I suspect what does  list volume  show?

    Robert Aldwinckle

    Friday, January 3, 2014 5:54 PM
  • Read this to unlock your drive:

    Friday, February 28, 2014 1:59 AM
  • Ok @Geo223ff4889 - Read that

    How does it help? Quite obvious Poster tried repair with Windows 8 Install DVD

    NOT Windows 7 Install DVD as per contribution above

    Anybody can suggest Reformat + Clean Install but that depends how much time you have on your hands and how much has been installed and set up in your O/S

    Another contributor is "filling zeros" on HDD via Linux! Why would you want to do that? Unless you're selling on your drive and have sensitive data

    Know that half the joy of computing is solving complicated puzzles but some users just want a solution born of experience and not to be led down the garden path by armchair anarchists

    So, first port of call for Windows 8.0/8.1 "locked drive" syndrome:

    WINDOWS 7 Install DVD - However many O/S's online (Repair is one operation)

    • Edited by zirc99 Friday, February 28, 2014 4:39 AM edit
    Friday, February 28, 2014 4:37 AM
  • Using a Windows 7 install dvd disc and clicking Repair does fix a locked Windows 8.1 install, have used this method many times. Trying to run the Repair feature from the Windows 8 install dvd disc just fails, this happens when your clone a harddrive or SSD and then it fails to boot


    Tuesday, November 24, 2015 12:16 PM
  • First let me qualify I have over 38 years experience and this issue was one of the worst so I am going to document here and hopefully others may be able to repair a Windows 2012 r2 Failure.

    This issue was a virtual server using Windows 2012 R2 x64 OS running in VMware ESXi 5.5 environment.


    I have seen this a few times. One needs to remember when you see the "X" drive that is a drive in the recovery partition. It has nothing to do with your actual OS.  It is just a small boot area for the system to come up to in case of failure. DISKPART will not show any info on your other discs because it does not know they exist. 

    Lately most of my experience has been with Windows 2012 R2,  Here goes ,,,,  Boot the server


    Pressing F8 to get to the "Advanced Boot Options" screen.   

    Select  "Safe Mode with Command Prompt"

    Login with user your user id (one that has Administrator privileges) and password

    at the X:\ type "DiskPart"       (Without quotes)

    DISKPART>  type "List Volume"  (Without quotes)

    Hopefully you will get a listing back.

    Choose the disc of the OS, it will not be C drive anymore might be like "D" or "E"

     Type   "exit"    the utility  (Without quotes)

    type this command

    "sfc /scannow /offbootdir=e:\ /offwindir=e:\windows "   (the "e" in the string is your OS Disk, hit Enter)   (Without quotes)

    Now you will need to wait maybe a long time just let it go as long as you can may take upwards of 8 hours to run.  I let mine run for 2.5 hours then thought it may be hung.  I hit "Ctrl C" to break out of it  and this is what showed up.  Guess I did not let it run long enough...oops

    After this I rebooted and I was shocked the server actually started loading drivers and booted up.  if it does not boot up you can always let it run longer.  I did have to recreate the paging file but that was the worst of it.  If I had know of this command hours before I could have saved myself hours of research and trying different scenarios.  Good luck and hopefully success.

    Thursday, January 28, 2016 4:43 PM