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Fix WD HDD/External HDD Not Initialized, Unknown with I/O Error

Updated on Dec 19, 2018 by Tracy King to Partition Manager

Don’t worry if your WD external hard drive or HDD/SSD become not initialized and cannot be detected by PC. Just follow offered quick fix and effective methods here in this article to repair and fix WD hdd/external hdd not initialized error, unknown with I/O device error right now.

How to fix WD HDD/External HDD not initialized error?

Case 1. WD 1TB external hard drive becomes not initialized in PC, help!

"Hi there, do you know how to fix the problem that WD hard drive cannot be detected on my PC. The WD external hard drive becomes Unknown and Not Initialized in Disk Management. What can I do? Please let me know if you have any recommended methods or solutions to fix the WD external hdd not initialized error. Thanks."

Case 2. WD hard drive displays unknown with I/O error in Windows 10

"Do you know how to fix the issue and make unknown WD hard drive detectable again and get rid of the I/O device error on it? My computer cannot recognize my WD hard drive suddenly and it keeps pops up an error message with I/O device error. It even shows as Unknown in Disk Management. I'm using Windows 10 and if you know any methods to solve this issue, please let me know. Thank you."

If you are having a similar problem with your hard drive or external storage devices, don't be afraid and just follow offered methods and solutions here to fix and repair not initialized WD external hard drive or other storage devices unknown in PC with I/O error right now.

Quick Fix: Initialize WD HDD/external hard drive in 3 steps

If you are looking for a simple way to fix WD hard drive or external hard drive not initialized error, professional partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master Free is your best choice. 

This software is fully compatible with all Windows systems and you can directly follow to fix WD HDD/external hard drive not initialized error for free in 3 steps now:

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1: Download the software

Download EaseUS Partition Master. Connect the hard drive or SSD to PC.

Step 2: Initialize your HDD/SSD

Right-click the target HDD or SSD and select "Initialize to MBR" or "Initialize to GPT" accordingly.

Fig 1. Initialize to MBR:

initialize to mbr

Fig 2. Initialize to GPT:

initialize to gpt

Step 3: Apply the operation

A pending operation of initializing disk to MBR or GPT disk will be added. Execute the operation and click "Apply".

click apply to start

Fix 1. Apply Disk Management to fix WD HDD/external hard drive not initialized error

For Windows 10/8 users:
1. Connect not initialized WD external hard drive, HDD or other storage device with PC;
2. Press Win + R keys > Type: diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter;
Or right-click on This PC > Manage to open Disk Management tool;
3. Find the not initialized WD hdd/external hard drive > Right-click on it and select Initialize Disk;
4. Then set the disk to initialize and set disk as MBR or GPT.
5. Reboot PC to keep all changes and then check WD external HDD on your PC then.

  1. For Windows 7 users:
  2. 1. Right-click Computer > Manage to open Disk Management;
  3. 2. Right-click on the not initialized WD hard drive and select Initialize Disk;
  4. 3. Select the disk(s) to initialize in the Initialize Disk dialog box and set the disk partition as MBR or GPT;
  5. 4. Reboot PC and then your WD hard drive will be initialized.

Fix 2. Run CMD to solve WD External HDD I/O device error

CMD can also help fix WD external hard drive with I/O device error and you may follow below tips to repair WD hdd not initialized error with ease now:

1. Press Win+R > Type: diskpart and hit Enter;
2. Type: list disk and hit Enter;
3. Type: select disk G and hit Enter; (Replace G with the drive letter of not initialized WD external hard drive.)
4. Type: clean and hit Enter;
5. Type: convert gpt or convert mbr and hit Enter;
6. Type: create partition primary and hit Enter;
7. Type: format quick fs=ntfs and hit Enter;
8. Type: assign and hit Enter;
9. Type: exit and hit Enter.