• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Hard drive locked - cannot find Windows installation


NHMT2117

New Member
Posts
6
#1
Hi all, I joined the forum because I’ve been going around in circles trying to fix my computer. Apologies for huge first post. The post by "aristotletalks" about 3/4 down page 1 of this thread sums up most of the pages I've read and things I've attempted: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...s/5982f7c0-3c51-46f7-b93e-138f83457b4a?page=1

I’m running:
Windows 8.1
Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300 (pre-installed Win 8 - no install DVD)
Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
12 GB RAM
500 GB HDD

I’ll try to be succinct: I can’t boot my machine except with the Recovery USB I created from MS website, and when I do that I can’t get to System Restore points or Refresh because the “hard disk where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock and try again.” I’ve spent about 12 hours the last couple days on all kinds of forums reading about this and think I’m just going in circles at this point. I’d really like to recover the data off the drive because my backup HD also just failed this week. I’ve tried:

EasyRE software (https://neosmart.net/EasyRE/) – it says none of the drives are active or mountable

I ran chkdsk and it was estimating it’d take 60+ days to complete!? (I stopped it). C: was showing up fine.

I’ve run various diskpart commands and have been able to see the hard disk and that it’s “Healthy”, so it looks like the drive is noticed, but it is not "active". When I tried selecting it and setting to "active" the message showed that "disk is not a fixed MBR disk".

The last thing I did was:
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /rebuildbcd

All were successful. The last found the valid Windows installation on my C:\ and I typed “Yes” to add.

I restarted my machine attempting to boot up the EasyRE again and it would not boot. The Win8.1 USB is still yielding all the same results, but now in diskpart I don’t see the C:\, however I do see it in ‘list volume’. Also, the bootrec doesn’t find a Windows installation anymore.

I really think that the drive is OK, but some boot or registry “stuff” is just tangled up (I’m no expert in this kind of troubleshooting). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This all started after an attempt to update Paragon HFS+ while trying to fix an external HD used on Mac and PC. Everything started freezing up and so I attempted to remove the software, which then made my computer fail to find the C:. I successfully did a System Restore to the previous day, from within Win8.1 (it wasn’t having trouble booting). I tried to uninstall Paragon HFS+ again and the same thing happened, but this time the System Restore failed and when I restarted it wouldn’t boot.

I can get more into that if necessary. Apologies again for the gigantic first post, but I’m really at a loss here…
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300
    CPU
    Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
    Memory
    12 GB RAM (DDR3 1600)
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD (Samsung)
    Keyboard
    English
    Internet Speed
    60 MBps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malware Bytes

Sven1458

Member
VIP Member
Member
Torrance, CA

Posts
101
#2
hard disk where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock and try again

Had the same thing happen to me, also windows 8.1.
the drive is toast
got a new drive and imaged the drive with a recent image that I had, all is back to normal
Sven
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    white box
    CPU
    AMD fx 6100 6 core
    Motherboard
    gigabyte ga-78lmy-s2p am3+ amd 760g matx
    Memory
    16 gb crucial ballistix sport 13339 pc3-106000
    Graphics Card(s)
    on MB
    Sound Card
    on MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ACER p215h
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Crucial SSD 240 GB
    Case
    mini tower
    Keyboard
    Polaroid wireless
    Mouse
    MTG laser
    Browser
    IE 11
    Antivirus
    MSE
#3
MHN, Did you by any chance have that hard-drive protected by encryption? Or, protection by some sort of Crypto-defense? I'm probably on some rabbit trail, however, I will listen in and learn alongside with you on this hard-drive lock and unlock situation.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    2 Acers & 1 Antec[?]
    CPU
    i7 in 2 Acers, i5 in desktop
    Motherboard
    Desktop w/Gigabyte
    Memory
    Two w/16GB, 1 w/8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Laptops GameWorthy; Desktop maybe GameWorthy
    Monitor(s) Displays
    flatscreens; 2 are BluRay worthy
    Screen Resolution
    1368x768; 1600x900
    Hard Drives
    1TB internals; 2 ext usb WD 1TB HDs
    PSU
    what's PSU?
    Cooling
    Regular plus external fans
    Keyboard
    desktio w/PS2
    Mouse
    desktop w/PS2
    Internet Speed
    DSL middle level [160?]
    Browser
    from Netscape 0.9 to FF 36
    Antivirus
    well-balanced, well-configured mult-layered defense is best
    Other Info
    From MS-DOS 3.3, MS-DOS 6.22, from Windows 3.1 to WFW 3.11 to Windows 95-98SE, now to Windows 7 Pro.
    Security for now: Windows 7 Firewall, Emsisoft AM, MSE [scan-only], SpywareBlaster, Ruiware/BillP combine

NHMT2117

New Member
Posts
6
#4
Sven, thanks for the input. I'm assuming you had an image on a separate drive? I, quite unfortunately, do not. Obviously if the drive is toast I'll learn from this.

Roland, I didn't have any encryption or anything other than what a standard Win8.1 OS would be doing. There are still some things I've got on a list to try before tossing it, but so far nothing's worked.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300
    CPU
    Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
    Memory
    12 GB RAM (DDR3 1600)
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD (Samsung)
    Keyboard
    English
    Internet Speed
    60 MBps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malware Bytes

Sven1458

Member
VIP Member
Member
Torrance, CA

Posts
101
#5
Yes, I did have an image on an external drive. I had to many drives fail on me not to have one.
If you buy a new drive, get a SSD drive. much faster and they tell me much more reliable

Sven
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    white box
    CPU
    AMD fx 6100 6 core
    Motherboard
    gigabyte ga-78lmy-s2p am3+ amd 760g matx
    Memory
    16 gb crucial ballistix sport 13339 pc3-106000
    Graphics Card(s)
    on MB
    Sound Card
    on MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ACER p215h
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Crucial SSD 240 GB
    Case
    mini tower
    Keyboard
    Polaroid wireless
    Mouse
    MTG laser
    Browser
    IE 11
    Antivirus
    MSE

NHMT2117

New Member
Posts
6
#6
Yes, my plan is to get a 500GB SSD once I figure out if I can get the data off of this one. Thanks again.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300
    CPU
    Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
    Memory
    12 GB RAM (DDR3 1600)
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD (Samsung)
    Keyboard
    English
    Internet Speed
    60 MBps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malware Bytes

NHMT2117

New Member
Posts
6
#8
Well, I've been trying to use kyhi's PE recovery tools but I cannot figure out how to get the C: recognized as a Windows installation. Running diskpart shows the HDD as being there, but there are no volumes on it and no drive allocated to it. I used Partition Wizard to try and check it out and it showed up as "unallocated" (bad disk). I'm not savvy enough with everything else in there, but nothing seems to be able to find the Windows installation on the HDD. As a last ditch effort, I downloaded DiskDrill while booted into KYHI's PE and it's running now and finding what appears to be all the data on the original C. So, if DiskDrill can find data on it, I think that means the disk isn't physically damaged so I should be able to get this system restored somehow. Will report back after it's run...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300
    CPU
    Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
    Memory
    12 GB RAM (DDR3 1600)
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD (Samsung)
    Keyboard
    English
    Internet Speed
    60 MBps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malware Bytes

TrustMe

Member
Member
Posts
146
#9
I would like to make one more suggestion. If DiskDrill fails, make a live Linux USB or DVD and try to backup your files with that. Not long ago my portable hard drive went raw. Every time I plugged it in, Windows wanted to format the drive. I tried it on two different computers and the results were the same. I have used Linux in the past so I wanted to give it a try. I keep a live Linux Mint USB around for just such occasions. I booted with the Linux USB and I could see all my files on the portable drive. I made a folder on the root of C and copied all the files to that folder. I bought a new portable drive and copied them from C to the new drive.

I like Linux Mint because it is very similar to Windows 7. I don't think you will have any trouble using it. Ubuntu Linux is also very popular.

I used Universal USB Installer to make the Linux USB but if you search google, there are many others. This is the link to Universal.

Universal USB Installer ? Easy as 1 2 3 | USB Pen Drive Linux

If you are unsure about Mint or Ubuntu, watch a couple YouTube videos just to see how they work.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro

NHMT2117

New Member
Posts
6
#10
I was able to recover all my files from MiniTools Power Data Recovery (had to pay the $69 license). From some reason, running MiniTools Partition Wizard Pro from Kyhi's Recovery Tool would not correct the "Unallocated" partition and allow me to see the files. I tested 4-5 different data recovery packages (run on the machine booted with Kyhi's USB), and the only one that recovered the data with the original file structure/names was Power Data Recovery...so I paid for it.

My next step is to try to reinstall Windows on that HD and see what happens. I'm ordering a SSD to replace it but am just curious if I can get the Windows install to work and create an image. Will report more as I complete the process.

Thanks for the input.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300
    CPU
    Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
    Memory
    12 GB RAM (DDR3 1600)
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD (Samsung)
    Keyboard
    English
    Internet Speed
    60 MBps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malware Bytes

NHMT2117

New Member
Posts
6
#11
Well I was able to reinstall Windows, but only with a clean install (no Windows.old or System Refresh were available). Apparently, one of the partitions was missing or corrupted that had Windows installed previously. Funny thing is, the HDD looks fine now, scans are not picking up any bad sectors. However, the machine won't boot in UEFI anymore and I've noticed that the drive is not GPT. I'm not sure if it's worth it to convert it to GPT and start over, but it seems like it's an OK HDD. Weird. Thanks again for the input received.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite C55A-5300
    CPU
    Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
    Memory
    12 GB RAM (DDR3 1600)
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD (Samsung)
    Keyboard
    English
    Internet Speed
    60 MBps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malware Bytes