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Fix I/O Device Error on External & Internal Hard Drive/USB Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Oct 17, 2018 by Abby Haines to Resource

Summary

Get 'The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error' error message? This article introduces 2 reliable solutions to fix I/O device error on external & internal hard drive/USB drive/SD card/SSD in Windows 10/8/7. Here, EaseUS data recovery software is available for help in case of unexpected data loss disaster.

WD external hard drive giving I/O Device error, how to fix?

"I have a Western Digital external 500 GB hard drive. It shows up in disk management and also in windows explorer. But when I try to access the subfolders, it is giving me an I/O Device error says "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error". Is there any command prompt or third-party I/O device error repair tool can help to fix the issue and retrieve my data? I'm using Windows 10."

All you might want to know about I/O device error

What is an I/O Device Error?

An I/O Device Error (short for Input/Output Device Error) usually happens on external & internal hard drives, SD cards, SSD, USB flash drives or pen drives, CD or DVD discs while you are trying to read or copy data in Windows 10/8/7. At most times, it comes with "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" message. 

The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error

Reasons and solutions for I/O device error

I/O device error usually occurs because Windows is trying to use a transfer mode that the hardware device cannot use or disk errors. According to these two main reasons, now you can take measures to fix the issue. Here 2 solutions - how to fix I/O device error in command prompt and fix I/O device error by changing the transfer mode for the drive in IDE Channel Properties are offered. 

How to fix I/O device error on external & internal hard drive/USB drive/SSD

First, recover data from I/O device error 

If you have important data on the external & internal hard drive, USB flash drive, pen drive or SD card, you'd better try to recover your files with EaseUS free data recovery software before fixing  I/O device error. It is the best way to avoid data loss disaster.

Please notice that when the I/O device error occurs to your hard drive, the drive will show up on your PC but becomes inaccessible.
It's not a disaster but a fixable issue and you can even restore data from the hard drive with I/O device error with tips in the below.

Step 1. Run hard drive recovery software.

  • Launch and run EaseUS hard drive recovery software.
  • Select your hard drive which has I/O error.
  • Click Scan to scan and find your lost data.
Select hard drive to find data from I/O device error.

Step 2. Find data on the hard drive.

Wait for the program to scan and find your lost data from the right tabs:

  • Deleted Files: All your deleted files are listed here.
  • Drive (with your device name): It loads all found data on your drive there.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds all files that lost names or paths on your drive. (It suits your situation the most right now.)
Find lost data from hard drive with i/o error.

Step 3. Recover data from hard drive.

Finally, choose lost files and specify another hard drive on your PC or external storage device to save your data by clicking Recover.

Restore lost hard drive data from i/o error.

Second, fix I/O device error in command prompt or by changing the transfer mode for the drive

Method 1. Fix I/O device error in command prompt

1. Press  Windows Key + X to open the menu, and select the Command Prompt (Admin) option.
2. Click Yes when you are presented with a UAC window requesting permission to launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.
3. In the new Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r /x. Here you should replace E with your drive letter.

This option will run chkdsk command prompt to check and repair disk errors on the external & internal hard drive/USB drive/SD card to fix I/O device error. And then you will no longer bother with "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" message. 

Method 2. Fix I/O device error by changing the transfer mode for the drive in IDE Channel Properties

1. Press Windows+X to open the menu, and select Device Manager.
2. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. A subset will open, listing the different IDE ATA/ATAPI channels for the computer.
3. Right-click the channel where the appropriate drive is connected, and then click Properties. Typically, this channel is Secondary IDE Channel.
4. On the Advanced Settings tab, select PIO Only in the Transfer Mode box for the device that represents the appropriate drive. Typically, this is Device 0. Then, click OK and exit all windows.
5. Test the drive and check if "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" message has been removed.