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CHKDSK will not run on DVDs because it is a hard disk repair and checking utility. DVDs are not hard drives.

Hi, Leo. My DVD drive F: is not functioning. I tried CHKDSK; F: /R and I get the message "Cannot open volume for direct access." What does that mean? Then again, what is the solution to the problem?

In this excerpt from Answercast #90 I look at the simple reason that CHKDSK won't work on a DVD: wrong media type.


Well, what it means is - CHKDSK isn't intended to be run on DVDs.

CHKDSK is a "hard disk" repair and checking utility. It works specifically on hard disks or things that look like hard disks. Like you can run it on flash drives for example.

CHKDSK is not for DVDs

A CD-ROM or a DVD drive is not a hard disk and it doesn't look like a hard disk. It doesn't support all of the functions that a hard disk supports - such as that which was mentioned by this error message, "Cannot open volume for direct access."

DVD not working

So you say your DVD drive isn't functioning. Well, without knowing exactly how it's not functioning there's not much I can do.

In other words:

  • Does it even appear?

  • Does it appear in the drive list?

  • If you put in a disc, does that even show up; does it react, does it spin; does it make any noise?

  • If the drive appears; if the contents appear, can you open files?

  • If that fails, what are the error message you get?

You get the idea. "Not functioning" or "It doesn't work" is really an open-ended situation and I really can't say exactly what's going on.

It could be as simple as drivers that need to be updated in your system. It could be a hardware problem with the drive. It could be a media problem with whatever media you are attempting to read or write in that drive.

So those are the directions that I would point you at. CHKDSK isn't going to help in this situation. You need to be looking at DVD specific issues ranging from software to hardware.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Next from Answercast 90- Should I update drivers regularly?

Article C6272 - January 23, 2013 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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