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Can't access C drive or download files after refresh?

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  • Laptops
  • Download
  • VAIO
  • Windows 8
Last response: in Windows 8
April 25, 2013 5:44:37 PM

I was recently forced to refresh my Vaio E14P laptop because it got stuck on a black screen after the "welcome" screen. However, after refreshing it I was not only unable to access the C drive, furthermore I couldn't download any of the files I had lost through the recovery process from the Internet. Please help!

More about : access drive download files refresh

a c 1225 * Windows 8
a c 697 D Laptop
April 25, 2013 5:57:20 PM

liquidmountain said:
I was recently forced to refresh my Vaio E14P laptop because it got stuck on a black screen after the "welcome" screen. However, after refreshing it I was not only unable to access the C drive, furthermore I couldn't download any of the files I had lost through the recovery process from the Internet. Please help!


We have two different statements and issues here:
I was recently forced to refresh my Vaio E14P laptop because it got stuck on a black screen after the "welcome" screen.

Did the refresh actually work?

...after refreshing it I was not only unable to access the C drive, furthermore I couldn't download any of the files I had lost through the recovery process from the Internet.

What led you to believe that your files would be accessible through the internet?
When you click on 'My Computer', what happens? Backing up a little...what happens when you turn it on?
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April 25, 2013 6:05:20 PM

USAFRet said:
liquidmountain said:
I was recently forced to refresh my Vaio E14P laptop because it got stuck on a black screen after the "welcome" screen. However, after refreshing it I was not only unable to access the C drive, furthermore I couldn't download any of the files I had lost through the recovery process from the Internet. Please help!


We have two different statements and issues here:
I was recently forced to refresh my Vaio E14P laptop because it got stuck on a black screen after the "welcome" screen.

Did the refresh actually work?

...after refreshing it I was not only unable to access the C drive, furthermore I couldn't download any of the files I had lost through the recovery process from the Internet.

What led you to believe that your files would be accessible through the internet?
When you click on 'My Computer', what happens? Backing up a little...what happens when you turn it on?

The refresh did as I hoped, since I was able to get past the black screen and access my desktop.

I was trying to download the applications I'd lost in the refreshing process such as google chrome and Steam. I'm able to access My Computer with no issues, but when I try to access the C drive it says it can't access it.

When I turn my computer on now, it goes to the welcome screen then log-in screen as it should, and I can log in fine.

EDIT: What's more, whenever I try to access the Settings from livetiles, it crashes and sends me back to the livetiles screen.
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Related resources
a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 25, 2013 11:47:04 PM

Could be HDD problems. If you Rt Click your 'C' drive, are you able to select 'Properties' Tools' and 'Check'?
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April 26, 2013 2:00:05 AM

dodger46 said:
Could be HDD problems. If you Rt Click your 'C' drive, are you able to select 'Properties' Tools' and 'Check'?


I just tried this and was greeted with the error "the disk check could not be performed because Windows can't access the disk."

EDIT: I also got a notification from "action centre" recently, and when I clicked it I was shown two things: one said I needed to enter m most recent password, but when I pressed the "sign in" button, the settings app crashed and I was sent to the livetiles screen.

The other thing in the action centre said I had to scan for errors on a drive, but pressing "run scan" had no effect whatsoever.

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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 26, 2013 2:24:59 AM

Hmmm. Try running chkdsk to see if it finds anything. Start Screen, type cmd, Right Click on Cmd prompt and 'Run as Administrator'. Type chkdsk /f /r then Enter. (note spaces before /). Type Y and Enter to run the program when you restart Windows. Expect it to take a long time if you have a large drive. Use this to check out the chkdsk log
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/96938-check-disk-c...
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April 26, 2013 2:49:23 AM

dodger46 said:
Hmmm. Try running chkdsk to see if it finds anything. Start Screen, type cmd, Right Click on Cmd prompt and 'Run as Administrator'. Type chkdsk /f /r then Enter. (note spaces before /). Type Y and Enter to run the program when you restart Windows. Expect it to take a long time if you have a large drive. Use this to check out the chkdsk log
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/96938-check-disk-c...


When I right click and choose "run as administrator, I'm sent o the desktop but the application doesn't open. When I don't un as administrator, I'm told that I don't have sufficient privileges.

EDIT: I've been noticing something else strange: when I right click my desktop, choose personalise ad try to set a desktop background, no matter what the desktop background won't change. I also managed to download an image from the Internet successfully, but wasnt able to set that image as my background either. It's like my computer doesn't want me using it!
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 26, 2013 3:15:46 AM

Frustrating. Need to try some diagnosis outside the normal Windows environment. 1st see if it behaves at all in Safe Mode. Restart your PC from the Charms Menu with the shift key held down. Choose 'Troubleshoot' 'Advanced' 'Startup Settings' then 'Restart'
On restarting choose 'Safe Mode' (Option 4)
Try the disk scan again... only this time try sfc scannow from the cmd prompt as before.
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April 26, 2013 3:34:59 AM

dodger46 said:
Frustrating. Need to try some diagnosis outside the normal Windows environment. 1st see if it behaves at all in Safe Mode. Restart your PC from the Charms Menu with the shift key held down. Choose 'Troubleshoot' 'Advanced' 'Startup Settings' then 'Restart'
On restarting choose 'Safe Mode' (Option 4)
Try the disk scan again... only this time try sfc scannow from the cmd prompt as before.


I just tried this, but my computer said it was not able to repair itself, and now every time I try to restart it or just continue to the start, it tries and fails to go through automatic repair. I tried doing this sfc scan by choosing Command Prompt from advance options, but it said it couldn't start repair service.
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 26, 2013 4:08:31 AM

Do you have the means to create bootable media? Need to try some diagnostics outside the Windows environment completely.
It's just possible that you either have a virus, a failing HDD or a very corrupt Windows installation.
Bootable antivirus
http://www.avg.com/gb-en/avg-rescue-cd-download
http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk
HDD diagnostic
http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/con...
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606...
You should be able to restore your laptop to Factory condition utilising the Recovery Partition on your HDD, refer to your User Guide.
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April 26, 2013 4:02:52 PM

dodger46 said:
Do you have the means to create bootable media? Need to try some diagnostics outside the Windows environment completely.
It's just possible that you either have a virus, a failing HDD or a very corrupt Windows installation.
Bootable antivirus
http://www.avg.com/gb-en/avg-rescue-cd-download
http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk
HDD diagnostic
http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/con...
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606...
You should be able to restore your laptop to Factory condition utilising the Recovery Partition on your HDD, refer to your User Guide.


I just tried booting from the disc I burned one of those HDD diagnostics too, but it said it "couldn't find OS". I will update saying if one of the anti viruses work.

EDIT: actually I set up the booting from disc wrong, but when I did it correctly from the UEFI settings, it just did the automatic repair all over again

EDIT: I wasn't able to install the AVG antivirus to my USB since my other computer is a MacBook, and the setup file is an exe. I tried using wine to run it, but it just crashed. Any other solutions?

EDIT: I managed to use my dad's PC to get the AVG antivirus onto a USB, but I just get a "OS not found" message
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 26, 2013 10:23:43 PM

Perhaps need to look at more fundamental items than the HDD. First prove your RAM is OK, if you have more than one stick, try removing one at a time and use different slots to see if that makes a difference. These UEFIs leave a lot to be desired, they are proving to be difficult, to say the least. The fact that you don't seem to be able to boot from a disk speaks volumes, time to look for your Service Manual, and try some different settings in the UEFI. Some problems have been solved by reverting to Legacy BIOS if you have the option...
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April 26, 2013 11:12:11 PM

Putting it into other USBs had no effect unfortunately.

Also, I tried another solution I found online to let me get past automatic repair and now it's letting me choose between "two" operating systems: "Windows 8 on volume 5" and "Windows 8 on volume 5". I found it here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

EDIT: I tried changing to Legacy, but was met with a blak screen and the words "Operating System Not Found".

And when I chose the second Windows 8 on volume 5, I got the error "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED"
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 26, 2013 11:35:39 PM

I think the 'Corrupt Installation' diagnosis is closest to the mark, which means a fresh install. Do you have much data to lose?
Restore to Factory probably the best solution, which formats your drive but there are ways to recover your data.
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April 26, 2013 11:56:17 PM

dodger46 said:
I think the 'Corrupt Installation' diagnosis is closest to the mark, which means a fresh install. Do you have much data to lose?
Restore to Factory probably the best solution, which formats your drive but there are ways to recover your data.


i dont have a huge amount to use, since i only got my laptop last month and i spend a lot of my computer time on the internet being unproductive. Before i format though, could you tell me what ways there are of recovering my data?

EDIT: Also windows 8 was installed on my laptop when i got it
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2013 12:34:37 AM

liquidmountain said:
dodger46 said:
I think the 'Corrupt Installation' diagnosis is closest to the mark, which means a fresh install. Do you have much data to lose?
Restore to Factory probably the best solution, which formats your drive but there are ways to recover your data.


i dont have a huge amount to use, since i only got my laptop last month and i spend a lot of my computer time on the internet being unproductive. Before i format though, could you tell me what ways there are of recovering my data?

EDIT: Also windows 8 was installed on my laptop when i got it

Usual method is to create a bootable USB device with Ubuntu, which would then enable you to access your files. Another way is to purchase an adapter to connect your drive to another PC and retrieve files that way.
Meanwhile I can't read your Manual for love nor money, perhaps you'll have more success!
http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/SVE14A3C5E/man...
Was hoping to find the Recovery Procedure to restore your unit to Factory Settings.
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2013 12:45:38 AM

From what I can gather you may have been supplied with Recovery disks, but F10 on Power on should get you into the Recovery options.
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April 27, 2013 8:31:25 PM

I've found my computer's recovery settings, I'll try using Ubuntu as you suggested.
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May 7, 2013 12:52:18 PM

liquidmountain said:
I was recently forced to refresh my Vaio E14P laptop because it got stuck on a black screen after the "welcome" screen. However, after refreshing it I was not only unable to access the C drive, furthermore I couldn't download any of the files I had lost through the recovery process from the Internet. Please help!


Hi, I have exactly the same problem just now. Sony Vaio E14, black screen after welcome screen, refresh Windows, two instances of Win 8 Volume 5, and now there's no access to drive C.
The good thing is that I can actually copy all the files from the HDD to an USB, I just can't open (or launch) them. So I can backup my files before reinstalling Windows. I just searched for other solutions online, but as I can't see, there's not much to do.

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May 19, 2013 3:33:47 PM

I finally got around to booting from Ubuntu on a usb, but when I tried to boot from it, I was just sent straight back to that Automatic Repair screen. I think my main priority now is to stop getting stuck in a loop of Automatic Repairs.

And it's very worrisome that you've had the exact same problem as I have. I just hope there's a solution.
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a c 496 * Windows 8
a b D Laptop
May 20, 2013 12:44:24 AM

Ideally on another PC running Win 8, create a 'Recovery Drive' and use it to trigger a complete reset of the OS, hoping that the process won't ask for an Installation Disk. Meanwhile the machine is 'not fit for purpose', so I would consider returning it under Warranty...
For Recovery Drive, type 'Recovery' at the Start Screen and choose 'Create Recovery Drive' from Settings. In your case, I would check the box to copy the Recovery Partition, so you would need to be prepared with a 4Gb Flash Drive or a blank DVD disk.
You would then set up your BIOS to boot from the USB/DVD, this will give you access to the Troubleshooting screen when booted from your Recovery Drive and hopefully will be more successful in completing a System Reset.
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May 21, 2013 7:11:39 AM

Same here, but different vaio model. I am currently sfc /scannow'ing my harddrive.
I already refreshed my windows 8 , and i thought it was funny that i got errors from vim.exe directly after this refresh. I think it's connected to the permission troubles of the harddrive but still.
This however for sure is a software problem and has nothing to do with your harddisk or memory.
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May 24, 2013 3:59:32 AM

I'm having the same problem on 14 inch sony vaio (SVE). Refreshed after black screen and now no C: access.

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May 27, 2013 10:00:54 AM

Exact same problem here, I'm kind of hopeless since exams are coming up
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May 27, 2013 2:11:17 PM

Well I called Microsoft and they said I need to get some kind of recovery disk from Sony, will update once I've called them.
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May 30, 2013 2:20:54 PM

Exactly the same for me. Personalised Vaio E14. Blank screen on start up > eventually managed to get to a screen whereby I could 'refresh' my PC > on refreshing my PC now leaves me in a state where I can't persoanlise my desktop, can't access C Drive, can't install programs, can't access settings etc.

Fairly worrying how often it seems to be happeining to people all on Sony Vaios - particularly the newer E14.

If anyone find the answer, please share. For now I'm trying a full reset rather than refresh.
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June 21, 2013 4:02:40 PM

I think the problem isn't your laptops. I had this problem after a system refresh (because windows would stop on a black screen)
after refreshing, I can't access C Drive, all the programs I installed aren't working and I found an html file on the desktop called 'Removed Apps'
containing this information:

"Apps removed while refreshing your PC

App name Publisher Version


AutoHotkey 1.1.09.02 Lexikos 1.1.09.02
Avant Browser (remove only) Avant Force 12.5.0.0
Core Temp 1.0 RC5 Alcpu 1.0
FileBox eXtender Hyperionics Technology LLC
Gizmo Central Arainia Solutions, LLC v2.7.9
Google Chrome Google Inc. 27.0.1453.110
Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Microsoft Corporation 6.0.156.0
Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable - x86 9.0.30729 Microsoft Corporation 9.0.30729
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.2.6 Oracle Corporation 4.2.6
SciTE4AutoHotkey v3.0.02 fincs v3.0.02
USB2.0 PC CAMERA USB 2.0 PC CAMERA 1.00.0000
winKeyLock version 1.0.1.3 winKeyLock 1.0.1 "

check this file if you found it on your desktop and maybe we can find something in common that casued this problem.

When I try safe mode, I can access C Drive, so I tried to 'take ownership' of it, but this didn't work :\
for me it's not important to repair it, I've just installed windows 8 few days ago and I'll just install it again.
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a b D Laptop
a b * Windows 8
June 21, 2013 11:26:03 PM

Try setting up a new account, give it administrative privileges and post back if that allows you access to C:\.

Sony Vaios have the partial advantage of having the Assist button so at least you can get to the advanced boot options of Windows 8 - that puts them just ahead of other makers but unfortunately, parts of its facilities clash with part of Windows own.

If you can avoid using the Assist button and just keep restarting until the words Please Wait appear under Vaio on the startup flash screen, you get a better chance of a proper Refresh.
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Best solution

July 9, 2013 10:41:00 PM

I had the exact same problem and same symptoms. Wouldn't boot, did the refresh, which wiped installed apps from the system. I could boot to windows and log in but couldn't access my C: drive (where windows was installed) but I could access other drives no problem.
Hard drive is fine as was able to boot widows. So this felt like a user permission problem.

Indeed I was able to gain access to C: again with the following method.
1) go to desktop and open file explorer
2) right click on Computer->C: and select properties.
3) Click the Security Tab
Here's where my memory is getting a little foggy but you essentially need to add "Users" back to access list for C: drive.
I think there was a couple of steps I had to do here to enable me to continue but I can't recall exactly or reproduce this. (maybe someone can add the details...?)
4) click "Edit"
note that only Administrators and SYSTEM have access to the C drive. Now even though my logged in user was originally an Administrator, it appears the refresh process removed those permissions.
5) click Add
6) in the "Enter the object names to select" box type "users" and hit Check Names button, should replace with [your system name]\Users
again don't recall exact details but essentially checked "allow" for nearly all permissions.
7) click Apply. get some warning from Window security about changing permissions of root directory of startup disk. .... can reduce security of computer... do you want to continue? I said yes. then it went through basically the full C: drive and tried to change permissions on all files. got hung up on some system files that were in useby the SYSTEM but at this point I didn't care.

I'm interested in hearing from other what these settings should actually be!

this appears to be a problem with Microsoft's Refresh mechanism. It probably locks down the permissions to the SYSTEM only for the refresh but the developers probably forgot to restore user permissions to the C: drive.
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a b D Laptop
a b * Windows 8
July 9, 2013 11:28:27 PM

Nice one, emace and deserving of a Best Answer. I don't think it was Microsoft but more likely the Vaio people who tried but fell at the last fence when they developed Refresh. No other manufacturer I've come across has the option built-in.

I sorted out the Vaio system I was working on by using Refresh and I didn't have the Permissions problem but there were issues I wasn't expecting. It might be sufficient in Permissions cases simply for the USERS group to take ownership of C:.

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July 9, 2013 11:49:54 PM

Thanks Saga Lout. My issue was on an older HP desktop system which I had upgraded from Vista to Win8. No VAIO software on my system. Pure Win8 had been working great for months. When my system mysteriously wouldn't boot, I had the Refresh option as one of my windows repair options. so I think it's a MSFT problem.
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a b D Laptop
a b * Windows 8
July 10, 2013 1:09:53 AM

You're quite right of course - I forgot about the Advanced Troubleshooting options and assumed it to have been something unique to Sony Vaio systems.
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July 12, 2013 7:14:21 AM

emace said:
I had the exact same problem and same symptoms. Wouldn't boot, did the refresh, which wiped installed apps from the system. I could boot to windows and log in but couldn't access my C: drive (where windows was installed) but I could access other drives no problem.
Hard drive is fine as was able to boot widows. So this felt like a user permission problem.

Indeed I was able to gain access to C: again with the following method.
1) go to desktop and open file explorer
2) right click on Computer->C: and select properties.
3) Click the Security Tab
Here's where my memory is getting a little foggy but you essentially need to add "Users" back to access list for C: drive.
I think there was a couple of steps I had to do here to enable me to continue but I can't recall exactly or reproduce this. (maybe someone can add the details...?)
4) click "Edit"
note that only Administrators and SYSTEM have access to the C drive. Now even though my logged in user was originally an Administrator, it appears the refresh process removed those permissions.
5) click Add
6) in the "Enter the object names to select" box type "users" and hit Check Names button, should replace with [your system name]\Users
again don't recall exact details but essentially checked "allow" for nearly all permissions.
7) click Apply. get some warning from Window security about changing permissions of root directory of startup disk. .... can reduce security of computer... do you want to continue? I said yes. then it went through basically the full C: drive and tried to change permissions on all files. got hung up on some system files that were in useby the SYSTEM but at this point I didn't care.

I'm interested in hearing from other what these settings should actually be!

this appears to be a problem with Microsoft's Refresh mechanism. It probably locks down the permissions to the SYSTEM only for the refresh but the developers probably forgot to restore user permissions to the C: drive.


I have Vaio but I was not able to change permission of C drive within Windows, only on Safe mode command Prompt.
I had the same issue, after refresh, Drive C is inaccessible.
I tried everything what was written here but without luck.

What really worked was boot in recovery mode by pressing ASSIST instead of Power button.
Chose "recover or maintain your system"-> Troubleshot->Advanced Options->Command Prompt

input the following commands:
Tke care of the next coomad: Remove the space after Administrators: etc. I put it just to avoid the smily. :( 
icacls c: /grant Administrators: (OI)(CI)(IO)(F) /T /C
icacls c: /grant SYSTEM: (OI)(CI)(IO)(F) /T /C
icacls c: /grant Users: (OI)(CI)(GR,GE) /T /C
Each command takes very long time so be patient.

exit-> Continue

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