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

Tracy King updated on Sep 23, 2019 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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