Here’s what to do if Chkdsk cannot lock current drive

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • If chkdsk cannot lock the current drive there’s another process running and chkdsk can't use your drive.
  • You can work around the write protection by running chkdsk on a certain drive using Command Prompt.
  • If that doesn't work, you can try running it in Safe Mode by following our detailed instructions.
  • If chkdsk /r cannot lock the current drive, disable your antivirus, and choose a less intrusive one.
Chkdsk cannot lock current drive
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When you’re running the chkdsk command in Command Prompt, sometimes you might get Chkdsk cannot lock current drive error message. What causes this error and how can we fix it?

This chkdsk /r cannot lock current drive error usually occurs if there’s another process running and it’s preventing your drive from being used by the chkdsk process.

Usually, Windows will postpone the scan on the next boot-up of your system, but sometimes that doesn’t work.

A user specified on the Microsoft Answers page that he got the following message after running the chkdsk /f command:

the type of file system is ntfs cannot lock current drive

A restart might be a quick solution for the cannot lock current drive chkdsk issue, but if you wish for a long-term solution, we have some fixes that could help you out.


How can I fix Chkdsk cannot lock current drive NTFS error?

  1. Disable Safe Boot and your antivirus
  2. Workaround the write protection
  3. Run chkdsk in Safe Mode

1. Disable Safe Boot and your antivirus

Sometimes in order to fix Chkdsk cannot lock current drive error you need to disable both Safe Boot and your antivirus.

In order to disable Safe Boot, follow the same steps from Solution 2, but be sure to disable Safe Boot option and restart your machine.

Don’t forget to temporarily turn off any antivirus software running at the time you’re attempting to run chkdsk, given the fact that your antivirus might block the process altogether.

If your antivirus is causing the issue, switch to a different antivirus. Bitdefender is a reliable antivirus (currently world’s Nr. 1), and unlike other tools, it won’t interfere with your system in any way, so be sure to try it.

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2. Workaround the write protection

  1. Type cmd in the Search box and click on Run as administrator below the Command Prompt app.
  2. Type chkdsk with the letter of your desired drive and press Enter.
  3. Wait till the process is over, and you’re all set.

This solution will allow you to unmount the drive and remove any write protection status on that device. By doing so, you should be able to fix Chkdsk cannot lock current drive error.

Always keep in mind that whenever you run chkdsk on the selected hard drive. Any bad sectors that might found on that hard drive, the chkdsk will attempt to repair that sector.

So we strongly recommend you back-up any essential data on that drive.  Because any data available on that drive might be permanently erased.


3. Run chkdsk in Safe Mode

  1. Press both the Windows key and R.
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter.
    msconfig
  3. Select the Boot section.
  4. Click on the option for Safe Boot in the Boot section.
  5. Click on the Minimal option, under the Safe Boot option, and click OK.
    system-configuration-safe-boot
  6. Click Restart.
  7. Open your Command Prompt.
  8. Type chkdsk (add the letter of your drive) followed by the string /f /r /x and press Enter.
  9. You’re all set.

This solution is only a bit more time-consuming than the first, but it can fix Chkdsk cannot lock current drive error.


We hope that these solutions were helpful and that you managed to fix Chkdsk cannot lock current drive error.

In the meantime, let us know on what other issues related to your drive have you experienced, in the comment section down below.


FAQ: Read more about the Chkdsk cannot lock current drive error

  • Can’t run chkdsk because drive is locked?

We have a very detailed guide on what to do if you can’t run chkdsk because the drive is locked.

  • What happens if chkdsk doesn’t work?

If chkdsk got stuck in Windows 10, we have an excellent guide to fix that problem.

  • Will chkdsk repair corrupt files?

There is a great chance that if you have corrupted files, chkdsk will repair them. Here’s a complete guide on how to use chkdsk.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2019 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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