[URGENT] Windows 10: Error "The device is not ready" when accessing "User" folders.

[UPDATE 04/08/2016 -- Performed a full PC Reset (wiping all data) using the Recovery options in the Windows 10 Settings. New issues have become apparent. Please check my reply/post for this date for more information.]

Today, I ran a virus scan which returned two errors while checking the aforementioned folders.

Upon trying to access the folders myself, the following was returned (respectively):

C:\Users\All Users is not accessible.

The device is not ready.

and

C:\Users\Default User is not accessible.

Access is denied.

Meanwhile, the antivirus I was using returned the same "The device is not ready" error for both folders.

My computer is less than 3 months old, and used solely for gaming. I store my games on a 1TB HDD, while the system files, OS and anything else is stored on a 240GB SSD.

Why am I having this error? And what can be done to resolve it?

 

Question Info


Last updated February 27, 2019 Views 2,124 Applies to:

Hello,

We understand the issue you are facing and will assist you.

I suggest you to check if the issue persists in Safe Mode with Networking. Safe Mode with Networking includes the network drivers and services you'll need to access the Internet and other computers on your network.

Start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12376/windows-10-start-your-pc-in-safe-mode

If the issue does not persist in Safe Mode with Networking, perform a Clean Boot.

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.

* Place the computer in a Clean Boot and check if the issue is occurring due to any third party programs.

Follow the link to view the steps to perform Clean Boot:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929135

 

Disclaimer:  Start the computer in normal mode refer the section, "How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting" from the link above.

If the issue still persists,

Try to change the drive letter to see if it fix the issue. Follow the steps provided below:

  • Press Windows + X keys and select Disk Management. When you're on Disk Management console, right-click on the drive and select “Change Drive Letters and Paths”.
  • Then click “Change” button to display a second dialog box.
  • Click the “Assign the Following Drive Letter” radio button, and then click drop-down box to view available drive letters.
  • Select the desired drive letter to assign to the external drive, and then click “OK.” If displays a warning message popup, just accept them.

Now check if you're able to access the folder without issues.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted on the status for further assistance.

Thank you.

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Unfortunately, the same error messages were returned when trying to access these folders in Safe Mode with Networking.

Some more information:

The "All Users" and "Default User" folders appear to either be hidden or non-existent, as right-clicking and viewing the parent (Users) folder properties seems to indicate that there are no hidden files or folders within. This also seems apparent on my Windows 8.1 laptop, only the "All Users" and "Default User" folders can be accessed via entering their destinations in the address bar without any issue or error.

On the subject of changing the drive letter - I'm a little hesitant to do this, as I am unsure as to how this might affect my games and how it could fix my issue. Furthermore, this issue is taking place on the local "C" drive (SSD) while I keep my games on the "E" drive (HDD).

Would you be able to explain this issue for my understanding?

And do you have any more suggestions as to what I could try?

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It's been a few days now and I'm still no closer to resolving this problem. I decided to perform a system restore to roll back three weeks. Tried to access the folders again to no avail. This restore point is the oldest I have, due to the PC being quite new.

During the restore, multiple errors came up. I was unable to get screenshots, but the following showed up:

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We're just collecting some error info, and then we'll restart for you.

If you'd like to know more, you can search online later for this error: 0xc000021A

After this, the PC restarted automatically and showed the same error message again. After another automatic restart, the following was then displayed:

System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed.

Details:

An unspecified error occurred during the System Restore. (0x800700b7)

You can try System Restore again and select a different restore point. If you continue to see this error, you can try an advanced recovery method.

Selecting the next-earliest restore point and restarting again, the desktop loaded up this time, with the message:

System Restore completed successfully. The system has been restored to 15/07/2016 22:58:20. Your documents have not been affected.

Next, I tried loading the earlier restore point, only to receive a message upon reaching the desktop saying that the restore had failed, because of the antivirus having prevented the restoring of a file. (Not sure if I'm allowed to mention the name of the antivirus here).

Even with the 15/07/2016 restore point (the second earliest), I still experience the same problems accessing the folders (See the original post).

Can anyone please help me with this?

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Two days ago, I performed a PC Reset, using the provided Windows 10 feature under the Settings options for Recovery. I chose to completely wipe both of my PC drives and reinstall the operating system. Now, upon accessing the <C:\Users\All Users> and <C:\Users\Default User> folders, I no longer get the original error messages. Instead, both return the following messages:

and

Are these folders intended not to exist on Windows 10?

Furthermore, just by chance, I typed <C:\Users\Default> into the address bar and it loaded this:

Has the Default User folder been replaced by this?

And if so, has anything replaced the All Users folder?

Additionally, after performing the aforementioned PC reset, I found a number of folders I don't recall seeing before in the <C:\> drive (screenshot below). This includes 'Windows.old', 'bootsqm.dat' and 'Recovery'.

What are these files/folders, and are they safe to delete?

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It's been more than a week since I last received a response from anyone. Could someone please provide some assistance?

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