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How to Fix The Drive Where Windows is Installed is Locked”

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 24, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

windows drive locked

The error message "The drive where Windows is installed is locked" is the first symptom you experience when you have such a system error. Although this error is not identified with a code, you can still be able to fix it just as other users have done in the past. Follow the methods in this article to resolve the error.

The Windows Error "the drive where Windows is Installed is Locked"- Why Does it Occur?

The following are possible reasons why this error is occurring on your computer system:

1. A Disabled BitLocker Boot Agent: This usually happens if Windows BitLocker encryption is used. Now, with BitLocker encryption, you can secure important data. However, the boot agent needs to be installed as a requirement. This will make unlocking Windows drive before loading the Windows version an easy process. If the boot agent gets disabled, then this error can occur.

2. The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) has been Reset or Damaged: If you lose the TPM, it means that the keys contained in the TPM will also be cleared. This can lead to your system failing to boot. For clarification, the TPM is a hardware encryption chip found on virtually every modern laptop and PC today. BitLocker can use this encryption chip as an alternative boot agent when it comes to managing the secret keys that are required for data encryption. TPM can be manually cleared by the user in the BIOS/firmware setup or through an upgrade of the TPM firmware.

3. A Damaged BCD File: The Boot Configuration Data file contains the parameters for the boot configuration of your Windows system. This is crucial for booting your computer system. Thus, if the BCD is damaged, then the system malfunctions and brings booting to a halt.

4. Interference from Third-Party Applications: If you have third-party applications on your computer, they could be interfering with your system functions, thereby causing this error message to appear. This is especially when you are trying to boot or start up your computer.

5. Windows Incompatibility: Another cause of this error is an incompatible system version. For instance, a user who did an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 version while still maintaining the original Windows 7 restore files may experience this error.

Solution 1: Fixing the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) for your PC

As has been explained above, this error may be caused by a faulty BCD. This is why you need to fix the BCD of your PC. Follow the guideline below:

fix boot configuration data 1

fix boot configuration data 2

fix boot configuration data 3

fix boot configuration data 4

fix boot configuration data 5

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

Note: Press "Enter" on your keyboard after each command.

fix boot configuration data 6

Solution 2: Fixing the Corrupt Master Boot Record (MBR)

bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /ScanOs
bootrec /RebuildBcd

Solution 3: Other Solutions:

Below are different solutions you can try in unlocking the drive where Windows is installed:

Using CHKDSK Scan Utility:

This tool is Windows inbuilt. Its purpose is to scan your system files for any errors, as well as fix them. To perform this CHKDSK scan, follow the steps below:

Here, C: is the drive letter of the hard drive you are trying to scan. Hence, input the appropriate drive letter.

chkdsk scan utility 1

Fix Boot Records:

It has been noted that errors in boot records play a large role in causing this Windows error hence the need to fix them. Use the steps below:

bootrec /RebuildBcd
bootrec /fixMbr
bootrec /fixboot

Use Diskpart

Ensure you pay extra caution in using the tool. This is because diskpart is a very powerful tool and if it is not used carefully, can cause damage or loss of files. With that in mind, follow the steps below:

use diskpart 1

Solution 4: Measures provided by a most valuable professional on Microsoft Community Center

Try any of the solutions below as proffered by a professional:

1. If you cannot access the "Advanced Startup Options" window, then try to create a Windows 10 Installation media to boot on a different PC:

boot uefi bios screen 1

boot uefi bios screen 2

2. Now that you can access Advanced Startup options from the instructions above, click on "Startup Repair"

boot uefi bios screen 3

3. If "Safe Mode" is not working, go back to "Advanced Startup Options".

boot uefi bios screen 4

Did all the above solutions not work out? It's fine! Just try this bonus tip:

Use a third-party recovery CD that you can boot your computer with to fix the error. A reliable tool has features that make it effective in repairing your Windows computer. If you can download and install a third-party app that has proven to have all the diagnostics for repairing the system, then ensure you get that.

How to Recover Data from the Computer when all Solutions Fail to Fix the Issue

If you have tried to fix the error with all the solutions and have failed, then you may lose important data. To recover your data from such a system, you need an effective recovery tool like Recoverit.

Recoverit can get back your lost or deleted photos, music, emails, and other files in an effective, complete, and safe process. With the tool, you can recover data from hard drive, digital camera, recycle bin, etc. If your files got lost due to system crash, an error such as a locked drive or drive corruption, formatting, virus attack, Recoverit can retrieve the files back so you have nothing to worry about.

Follow the steps below to recover your lost data from an unbootable Windows 10 system:

Step 1: Create a Bootable Drive

Open Recoverit on your computer and choose the recovery mode you want. Choose "Recover from Crash Computer" mode, select "Start".

crash computer recovery

Choose the mode of bootable drive you want and select "Create". Confirm your decision by selecting "Format now".

create usb bootable drive

Format the created drive after backing up your vital files.

format this disk now

After the bootable drive has been created, follow the onscreen guidelines to begin the recovery of data.

creating bootable drive

You will see three steps in data recovery.

bootable drive created

Note: Change the boot sequence of your computer before you begin any recovery from unbootable Windows 10. For more details, check out how to set the computer to boot from a USB drive.

boot menu

Step 2: Recover Data from Unbootable Windows 10

Use the created WinPE bootable drive and launch Recoverit. Choose to either recover the lost data from your Windows or copy the data from your hard disk.

winpe recoverit select mode

Why do so many People Experience this Issue for Different Reasons?

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

Home > Resources > Windows Computer Solutions > How to Fix The Drive Where Windows is Installed is Locked”