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[2023 solved] How to a Unlock Hard Drive in Windows and Recover Lost Data


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"When I worked as usual, suddenly the system turns to blue screen that shows locked hard drive error, I have no idea what to do now, is there an easy fix to unlock the hard drive in Windows and access its data?"

Have you ever encountered the same issue that the hard drive got locked and you were unable to access or save more files? Well, you’re not alone; we come across Windows users every day trying to find ways to unlock a hard drive and retrieve their data. Therefore, we’ve put together a detailed guide on recovering files from a locked hard drive. Keep reading to know more.

unlock hard drive

In this article:

Part 1. Recover Files from the Hard Drive after Unlock

If you’re spending sleepless nights trying to find ways to recover critical data stuck in a locked hard drive, but didn't yield the expected result, we have some good news. You can now recover and access the contents from locked hard drive easily with a third-party professional software - iMyFone D-Back.

iMyFone D-Back powered by iMyFone is an intelligent data recovery solution that allows you to recover data lost due to deletion, formatted hard drive, system crash or other reasons. It drills deep into corners of your system to perform locked hard drive recovery. What's better, this software also allows you to unlock external hard drive. It is 100% secure and simple to use, you don’t need to be a data recovery specialist.

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Key Features:

  • Recover lost files from hard drive after unlock safely without touching any other data.
  • D-Back Hard Drive Recovery Expert supports data recovery from a variety of storage devices, such as hard drive, USB drive, SD card, etc.
  • It is able to recover more than 1000 file types, including PDF files, word documents, videos, images, audio, and more.
  • Enjoy free scan and preview before recovering your data, only recover what you want and save time.
  • Fully compatible with Windows 10/8/8.1/7/XP, both 32 bit and 64 bit are supported.

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Recover files from Hard Drive Easily after Unlock

Step 1 Choose the hard drive

Start the process after unlock and choose the hard drive where you have lost files, press the “Next” button once confirmed.

select location external device

Step 2 Begin the scanning process

At this point, D-Back Hard Drive Recovery Expert is scanning the hard drive for lost files. All files wil be listed on the left pane in its original file name.

scan external device

Step 3 Preview and recover your files

You can also preview your files before recovering them. Once you’ve found your files, hit the “Recover” button to restore them.

preview files from external devices

Part 2. How to Unlock Hard Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7

2. How to Unlock Hard Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7

To enhance hard drive security, password or encryption is enabled to lock the hard drive, but sometimes we may fail to remove lock from the hard drive normally, which can be unnerving. In this section, we’ll cover 4 methods by which you can use to unlock a hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/7. Let’s look at them one by one and you can use the method that best suits your requirement.

1 Run CHKDSK and SFC command

  • Right-click the “Start” button and open “Command Prompt.”
  • An MS-DOS screen will appear, type the command (without the quotes) “chkdsk D:/f/x/r” and hit the the “Enter” button.
  • Allow the process to complete.
  • Type the command “sfc/scannow” and hit “Enter” once again.

This method is aimed at eliminating bad sectors and corrupted files from your hard drive that may lead to the unlocking of the hard drive and allow you to access your saved data.

2 Access Locked Hard Drive without Password

If you have protected the hard drive with password but forgot it, then try to unlock a password protected hard drive with this method.

  • Right-click the locked hard drive and select “Properties.”
  • Then click “Security” followed by “Edit.”
  • In the third step, you’ll see the “Group, User Names” box. In this box, you’ll see different names such as “Your Name,” “Administrator,” etc.
  • Pick the first name, and you’ll see a box with different options such as “Full Control, Modify, Read & Execute, etc.”
  • Uncheck all the “Deny” boxes in front of each of these options and repeat the process for other usernames.
  • Then click “Apply” and “OK.”

Once you’ve completed the steps, you will fully know how to unlock hard drive and access all the files on the hard drive without any passwords and use them all over again.

3 Refresh your PC

If you are still unable to unlock hard drive with the above two methods, then it's time to refresh your computer and troubleshoot the hidden problems.

  • Restart your computer from a DVD installation media or USB drive.
  • Choose Repair your computer>Troubleshoot>Refresh your PC.
  • Follow every step in the wizard instruction manual to finish the process.
  • Wait and allow the system to restart.

After the restart process, you’ll be able to access the locked hard drive without any issues.

Final Words

Now you have got the methods about how to unlock external hard drive, however, regular maintenance is required to prevent a locked hard drive again. If such problem happens, though, you can still perform hard drive recovery with iMyFone D-Back after unlocking the hard drive in simple steps.

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Home > PC Data Recovery > [2023 solved] How to a Unlock Hard Drive in Windows and Recover Lost Data