#9 Cannot Read SD Card

cos marchy

I cannot get Disk Imager to read from an micro SD card. I get the following error:
Lock Error: An error occurred when attempting to lock the volume. Error 5: Access is denied.
There are no programs using the micro SD card and no windows open which I believe are using the img file.
I have tried rebooting the computer and the SD card adaptor is unlocked.
I have also tried several card readers and different cards both SD and micro SD.


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  • Tobin Davis

    Tobin Davis - 2013-11-07

    Could you provide a little more information? This sounds like you don't have admin priviledges or something. I have not been able to reproduce these occasional errors that users report, but having admin access usually solves the problem.

  • cos marchy

    cos marchy - 2013-11-07

    I am running as admin and I even use the "Run as Administrator" option.
    I have tried several SD cards of various flavours, changed the lock position just in case. I have tried internal and external card readers.

  • cos marchy

    cos marchy - 2013-11-12

    Nothing at the link helped. I discovered another reader in a box and tried out of desperation - it worked. There were no problems reading the SD card.
    It seems after four card readers only one seems to work!! Not sure what it is about them which stops them working though???

  • Tobin Davis

    Tobin Davis - 2013-11-13

    That is indeed very odd. I wish I could point to a utility that you could run that would give me more info to see if I can figure it out. I really hate having to shrug and move on, simply because I don't have enough information to go on.

    Hopefully the next release will incorporate some debugging capabilities. Not sure how to do it, but...

  • Enzo Atler

    Enzo Atler - 2014-11-20

    well the problem is simple and a easy way to fix it, when format the device, just leave all to default? don't use NTFS, if possible restore all to default in format Window, after that, check device and try format now in FAT32 is default, and is all, you don't got any error and write going very well, have fun.

  • Shtutnik

    Shtutnik - 2015-04-13

    In case anyone else encounters this issue, as I did, this is what solved it for me:
    After receiving the "access denied" message, I removed the SD card WITHOUT closing Win32 Disk Imager, and then re-inserted it again. Win32 Disk Imager recognized the SD again once inserted and then I pressed the "Read" button. This time I didn't receive the "access denied" message and the contents of the SD card was read into the file I specified at the beginning of the whole process.
    Just wanted to share,
    Good Luck!

    • Hoang Trinh

      Hoang Trinh - 2015-12-23

      Thanks Shtutnik. Your comments are VERY HELPFUL. I lost a LOT of time to find the solution for READ issue.
      1) Start Diskimager
      2) insert SD card

      Last edit: Hoang Trinh 2015-12-23
  • Jonathan Doig

    Jonathan Doig - 2016-03-29

    Ditto thanks @Shtutnik. Using a USB, I had the same error, reboot, no difference. Removed the USB and reinserted it while Win32 Disk Imager was running, and Win32 Disk Imager couldn't find E: drive. BUT... closed and restarted Win32 Disk Imager et voila! Works!

  • Tobin Davis

    Tobin Davis - 2016-04-03

    I'll try to look at this more closely next time I can free up development time. I believe Windows Explorer or some other process is latching on to the device and not allowing exclusive access to Win32DiskImager. Probably some function call I need to make to take control of the device.

    • Jean Marc

      Jean Marc - 2016-06-18

      Hi, I encountered the same problem of reading error for imaging an sd card, I've tried to remove and reinsert the sd card while win32diskimager running or not but no success. Finally I have to kill the explorer process in task manager to unlock the reading on my sd card.

      • RolfB

        RolfB - 2016-09-10
        Last edit: RolfB 2016-09-12
  • RolfB

    RolfB - 2016-09-10

    Hi, same problem. Windows 10, using Process Explorer to find out which process was using E:, terminated that in Task Manager, still error 5 running win32Diskimager as Administrator. This was on the built-in SD-card reader on my laptop. Then I tried the SD-card via a USB-adapter, same drive letter, and it worked. Go figure.

    • Filip Sikora

      Filip Sikora - 2016-09-12

      Hi mate, would you be willing to test, if the same error appears in my software - Link ? It provides the same functionality as Win32 DI, but it's more modern and has some extra features. I'm curious, if it's going to work or not. I'm also willing to fix that error, if it appears.

      • Shtutnik

        Shtutnik - 2016-09-12

        I couldn't find the source anywhere in the link you provided, am I missing something?


        • Filip Sikora

          Filip Sikora - 2016-09-13

          I haven't made the source public, yet. I'm planning to, when I will get time to refactor, clean and comment it properly.

          • Shtutnik

            Shtutnik - 2016-09-13

            Oh ok great

            • Tobin Davis

              Tobin Davis - 2016-09-14

              Please solicit your closed source app elsewhere.

              And I'm sorry for not posting a new release. Try working 65 hour weeks, and do a side project.

  • TheColonel26

    TheColonel26 - 2016-10-19

    I having the same problem on a Windows 10 64 bit laptop. I try everything listed in this thread with the same result "An error occurred when attempting to lock the volume. Error 5: Access is denied." where as it had worked before with the same card a a few weeks ago.

    Then I took the card and the reader and put it in another Windows 10 laptop, and it worked just fine. The second laptop was 32bit windows not 64 bit. This is just a guess but I don't think that had anything to do with it. My best guess is the first laptop somehow got stuck in a volume lock and wouldn't release. However I would think it would release it after a restart..... but it didn't. Hope this information helps.

  • jbg

    jbg - 2016-10-27

    same issue on Windows 10 PC 64bit with a new USB reader
    the error message is "an error occured when attempting to get a handle on the file. Error 5 Access is denied"
    I also have another desktop running XP with an integral reader (in a spare slot on the front)
    That used to work a couple of weeks ago
    the error there is
    an error occured when attempting to get a handle on the file. Error 3 the system cannot find the file specified
    admitedly its two seperate micro SD cards . I'll swap them tomorow and see if the error messages switch as well.
    So strange that it worked on that XP PC a little while back.

    Also on installing diskimager on windows 10 at the end with the box ticked to launch I get the following error
    Unable to execute file:
    C:/program files (x86) \imagewriter\win32diskimager.exe
    Create Process failed; code 740.
    The requested operation requires elevation.

    I dont think I got this last error on installing on XP, cant remember but its not reading it now where it did before.
    SD cards are sandisk ultra 16GB

    Ive tried everything mentioned here

  • jbg

    jbg - 2016-10-27

    btw is there some other software that does the same thing that might work?
    needs to be reasonable simple for me!

  • Hans-Martijn

    Hans-Martijn - 2016-11-09

    Had the same problems in Win 10 x64. Go to Disk Management and check whether there is one partition or more. If more, remove all and create one partition. After that, it will work.

  • Filip Sikora

    Filip Sikora - 2016-11-18

    Hello guys, I think I've found a solution to this problem. If you get error code 5 from locking device, just ignore it and continue as usual (in source code - you have merge request from me). Verified by just 2 users of dotNet Disk Imager by now, but I don't have as many users as you do.

  • Tobin Davis

    Tobin Davis - 2016-12-12
    • status: open --> pending
    • assigned_to: Tobin Davis
    • discussion: enabled --> disabled
  • Tobin Davis

    Tobin Davis - 2016-12-12

    I have added code that will close any running app that has a lock on the device that is being accessed. I have tested it a few times in Windows 10. Will do more extensive testing prior to the next release (I am working hard to get one out soon).

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