Weirdness! Cannot Open ANY disk drives or change settings in Explorer!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  1. Posts : 80
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1903
       #1

    Weirdness! Cannot Open ANY disk drives or change settings in Explorer!


    All of a sudden, when I try to view any or all disk drives by double-clicking their icons on the desktop, NONE of them will open or display. What I always get instead is the error message: "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."

    I get the same error when I try to run any *.msc or control panel. When I choose Settings instead of Control Panel, nothing happens at all. I get it even if I simply double-click "This Computer"!

    I'm running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1803, and since there are no other users, my user account is an administrator account. Which means this almost certainly isn't actually a permission problem at all. Even if it was, since I cannot open any disk drive, I can't examine or change the owner/permissions.

    When I looked up what might be causing this error, none of the alleged "explanations" fit what I'm seeing. Here's what Microsoft has to say about this error...
    1: Check the permission of the file or folder: I can't! At least not in Explorer.

    2: Check the file location: There can be no doubt as to where my disk drives are!

    3: Make sure that the file has not been moved or deleted: I know with certainty that my disk drives are right where they've always been.

    4: Recreate the shortcut to check for corruption:
    These are not shortcuts.

    5: Unblock the file:
    My disk drives are not "blocked".

    6: Check to see if your antivirus software is blocking the file:
    Due to an unrelated issue (some process was deleting a few Nirsoft.net executable files whenever I extracted then from a zip file - I have now solved that), I have uninstalled all anti-malware tools on the computer in question. In fact, the very reason I booted up was to re-install them, which I obviously cannot do when Explorer can't find any of my disk drives!

    For the heck of it, I ran SFC, and it didn't find any problems.

    After posting this, I'm going to run MBAM on the computer at issue, but I don't expect to find anything. So in the meantime, does anyone have any idea what could be going on or some advice about how to investigate the issue more deeply?

    Thanks!
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 80
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1903
    Thread Starter
       #2

    BTW: MBAM did not detect any malware.
      My Computers

  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,789
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    Sometimes restarting is all it takes to fix 'oddities' like this.

    Open Task Manager, on the Processes tab find Windows Explorer. Select it then click the Restart button, bottom right.

    If that doesn't fix it, click Start and on the Power button select Restart (not shut down).
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 80
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1903
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Bree said:
    Sometimes restarting is all it takes to fix 'oddities' like this.
    Thanks for your reply, Bree!

    For the record, I have either restarted (using Windows) or rebooted (hardware reset or power cycle) over eight times now, and the problem always remains.

    But thanks for your help!
      My Computers

  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,789
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    Sorry it didn't help. But always best to get the simple solutions out of the way first...
      My Computers

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,789
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    Thenin said:
    For the heck of it, I ran SFC, and it didn't find any problems.
    The next logical step would be to try DISM's RestoreHealth option.

    Use DISM to Repair Windows 10 Image | Tutorials
      My Computers

  7. mta3006's Avatar
    Posts : 956
    W10 Pro v1903
       #7

    Were any changes to the system made coincident with the onset of the problem? Any new software installed? Any large scale movement or rearrangement of files or folder structures?
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 80
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1903
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thanks again, Bree! For your reply and for sticking with me trying to solve this curious problem

    I tried: "DISM /ONLINE /CLEANUP-IMAGE /CHECKHEALTH", but it reported that the component store could not be repaired.

    I also tried: "DISM /ONLINE /CLEANUP-IMAGE /SCANHEALTH", but I got the same error message this thread is about.

    It looks like I have no reliable option but to start a Repair install, which is a horrible process! I consider it horrible because it's never, ever worked in the past to repair a Windows 10 Pro installation (Gawd I miss XP! That was the last version of Windows in which repair installs always worked perfectly). I've always needed to start from scratch and perform a full install, because I always encounter one or more impassible errors along the way.

    I'll proceed with a repair install attempt following the directions given here: https://www.wintips.org/repair-windo...place-upgrade/, unless you know of a more reliable set of instructions?

    In any event, I won't try it until tomorrow afternoon...

    Thank you sincerely for your attempts to help me out, Bree!
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 80
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1903
    Thread Starter
       #9

    mta3006 said:
    Were any changes to the system made coincident with the onset of the problem? Any new software installed? Any large scale movement or rearrangement of files or folder structures?
    Hi, mta! No, nothing much. The last thing I installed was Microsoft's Visual Studio Code editor, which didn't do what I wanted anyway, so I planned on uninstalling it...
      My Computers

  10. mta3006's Avatar
    Posts : 956
    W10 Pro v1903
       #10

    If you had System Restore enabled for the drive(s) involved, perhaps you should try that if there is a suitable restore point available.
      My Computers


 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:01.
Find Us




Windows 10 Forums