Western Digital External Hard Drive on Windows 7: Access is Denied, Recycle Bin is Corrupt


I want to back up a folder on my C drive to my D drive, here on my Windows 7 laptop.  My D drive is my Western Digital "My Passport" Ultra.

When I clicked on the D drive, I got an "Access is denied" message.  So, I unplugged it from one USB port and inserted it into another.

A few seconds later, a box came up telling me that the Recycle Bin on my D drive is corrupt and that I need to empty it.  I chose "No", since I had never seen this message before.

Still, I got "Access is denied", when clicking on the D drive.

So, I researched this issue.  Many articles instructed me on opening the elevated command prompt and running a DOS script to empty the Recycle Bin on D.  

But, DOS afterward also gave me the message saying "Access is denied."

I am an administrator on this laptop and have used this external hard drive before.  It has been a month, since I used the external hard drive.  But, it has never given me problems.  And, it's less than a year old.

I want to get rid of this issue, so I can conduct the backup of a folder on the C drive by copying it to my external hard drive.  I conduct this backup, once a month, since this folder has very important files in it.

How do I get rid of this issue?


John EllisAsked:
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NVITEnd-user supportCommented:
Did you try taking Ownership? i.e. Right-click drive D:\ at root. Properties, Security, Advanced, Owner, Edit. "Change owner to" should show the admin name. Pick it. Pick Replace owner on subcontainers and objects. OK.
Will this work:

Right click the drive.
Select Properties.
Press the Sharing Tab.
Select Advanced Sharing.
Put a check on "share this folder".
Press Permissions now that it is clickable because you put a check on share this folder box.
Under "Group or Usernames" there should be a default option of Everyone. If it does not show this for you, press add and type Everyone.
Check all 3 boxes under Allow [full control, change read].
John EllisAuthor Commented:

I'm afraid that I tried both solutions, and I still get "Access is denied".

I have tried everything else suggested online, as well.

Please, please, please....is there anything else that can be done?  I really don't want to have to reformat the hard drive or get a new one.  I have some important files on this hard drive that I don't want to lose.

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
You can try attaching the disk to a Linux computer.  That should not have trouble accessing the disk.

Now it is also possible that the disk itself is failing.  Download the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnosics http://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?lang=en and use that to test your disk.  It may indicate that the disk has failed.
NVITEnd-user supportCommented:
You may able to use a recovery program, like GetDataBack Simple from http://www.runtime.org/hints.htm
Performing a Data Recovery - http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery.htm
How-to-Guides - http://www.runtime.org/howto.htm
John EllisAuthor Commented:

I ran the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnosics app.  The external hard drive passed the tests.  

Very odd.

I don't know.  I guess that I may have to run the GetBackData Simple.

John EllisAuthor Commented:
By the way, I just plugged in the external hard drive to another laptop--a Windows Vista Enterprise laptop.  I do NOT get the "Access is denied" message!  The drive works perfectly, when plugged into that other computer.

So, it's obviously something wrong with my laptop that I use for work.  My guess is that my company's automated Window Updates that are run once a month must have updated something on this laptop to get it out of sync with the external hard drive.

I suppose I could backup the files on that drive to that other laptop, come back here, format the drive, and copy the data from the other laptop back to it.  Or, buy a new hard drive, altogether.

What do you all think?

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Do the backup and get your data.  That is the first priority.

Then format the drive and try copying across.  Once the data is on the other machine it should (cross fingers be safe).  If necessary email the important files to yourself.
John EllisAuthor Commented:
I just tried to format the drive and was told that I do not have permissions to format it!  Ay, ay, ay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I don't believe this.

Dag-nabit!  I DO have permissions.  I've been over those stupid articles about a dozen flippin' times.

I think that I'm just going to go buy a new hard drive.  I hope that my firm doesn't put on any more updates on my machine to lock out external hard drives.  That ain't fair.

you believe it's your firm doing this?  i would contact them to be sure
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Before you buy your hard disk try a cheap USB stick and see what permissions you have on it.

Try formatting it as NTFS, test and see if you have the right to access it.

Then format it as FAT32, test and see if you have the right to access it.

Been a couple of questions on EE on trouble accessing external USB disks but those have been Windows 10 OSes.  I'm wondering if the problems are now also with Windows 7 OSes.
John EllisAuthor Commented:
I'm tired and I've had a long week.  All I wanted to do tonight was backup my laptop as usual once a month and relax for God's sakes on a Friday night before a holiday weekend.

Now, on top of all of the other work that I have to do for my company this weekend, I have to nurse this issue.

Since my holiday weekend, career, and life are now ruined, you can understand my being upset, especially when I didn't cause this problem.

Your company will have set a group policy on your laptop to make sure you can't use external USB disks or sticks to save data on. You could go and sell that data to competitors. That is bad for security and therefore a normal policy companies would assign. Data should be backed up to the servers of your company, and that data also gets backed up separately.

So this is normal and nothing for you to worry about.

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>>  Since my holiday weekend, career, and life are now ruined,  <<  you seem to have a flair for drama - why don't you start an acting career ?
John EllisAuthor Commented:

You're right.  That sort of group policy is a good thing.

I'll simply backup my laptop to the network, from now on, when I'm back in the office next week.  

I apologize, for my demeanor during the composing of this incident.  That was unprofessional.

Please understand that I was exhausted and in a panic from not being able to backup my laptop.

Thanks, for your excellent service!

If you are connected to the company LAN your data will probably be automatically be saved to your server. Maybe you should ask your IT department for details.
John EllisAuthor Commented:
Good idea, rindi!  Thanks, again!

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