5 Ways to Fix the Fatal Device Hardware Error Without Losing Data

If you experience a problem that reports 'The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error', then you'll find that your internal or external HDD/SSD, USB flash drive, or other storage media will have become inaccessible. Don't panic though, as we provide six different methods for fixing this issue.

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Updated By


Approved By

Martyn Casserly

Updated on

16 May 2024

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9 Min

The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error can be scary. But it isn't necessarily as bad as it first appears. Read on to learn how to fix this problem and recover your files.

Overview of The Request Failed Due to a Fatal Device Hardware Error 

What does the 'fatal device hardware error' mean? This usually appears when the operating system can no longer access the hard drive or is unable to perform read and write operations upon it.

the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error

So what caused this error and how to define if you are having this error on your drive? Check the table below:


  • Faulty USB cable or a loose connection.
  • Too many bad sectors on the disk.
  • System or hardware fault.
  • The hard drive is dying.


  • "X: is not accessible. The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error."
  • "Error 0x800701E3: The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error."
  • "Virtual Disk Manager: The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error."

6 Ways to Fix The Request Failed Due to Fatal Device Hardware Error

So how do I fix "the request failed due to fatal device hardware error" on my external hard drive? Here we listed 6 effective ways that can help:

  1. 1. Check the connection
  2. 2. Ask hard drive repair services for help
  3. 3. Verify the SMART status
  4. 4. Check and repair bad sectors
  5. 5. Update storage device disk driver
  6. 6. Send problematic device for repair

Fix 1. Check Hard Drive Connection

  • Check if the cable connections are loose. If so, push them firmly back into the ports.
  • Try unplugging, then reconnecting the external hard drive or switching to another USB port.
  • Replace the USB cable with a new one.
  • Connect the drive to another computer if possible, to see if the problem is with the PC rather than the drive.

If these don't fix the problem, you can try the below-mentioned options.

Fix 2. Ask Hard Drive Repair Services for Help

The most effective way to fix "the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error" is by asking experts for help. EaseUS provides data recovery services and hard drive repair tips to repair hard drives and SSDs. Contact the experts to repair the hard drive's fatal errors.

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after a FREE diagnosis

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS, and corrupted virtual disk file
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat the hard drive and repair the RAW drive (Bitlocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT-protected partitions

Fix 3. Verify SMART Status

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. Checking a drive’s SMART attributes, it can help you determine whether a drive is damaged as well as assess the extent of the problem.

This is how to check a hard drive's SMART status:

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Links menu, then select Command Prompt (Admin).

open command prompt with the admin privilege

Step 2. Type wmic diskdrive get status, and hit Enter.

Step 3. The command returns four different statuses: "OK", "Bad", "Unknown", and "Caution".

  • Ok: Don't worry, try Fix 34 (see below) to restore your hard drive to its normal state.
  • Bad, Unknown: You can correct the error by using Fix 4, 5, or 6 (see below). It's also highly advisable to immediately use a data recovery solution.
  • Caution: Suggests that the hard drive corruptions are quite bad. In this instance, it's best to take the disk for repair

Fix 4. Check and Repair Bad Sectors

Bad sectors are not as horrible as you think unless they are spread across the hard disk. We often use the Windows DiskPart utility to check and repair file system corruption and hard disk bad sectors. It’s a good tool and worth trying for most hard drive inaccessibility issues.

Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the bad sector errors, however, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery in advance, and then continue with the CMD method.

This is how to run the Diskpart command to fix bad errors:

Step 1. Press Windows + S keys, type cmd in the Search box.

Step 2. Right-click Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator".

Step 3. Type chkdsk F: /f or chkdsk F: /f /r /x and hit Ener.

(F: represents the drive letter of the problematic HDD, so change the letter to match that of your drive when entering the command.)

Fix bad sectors on prolematic disk with fatal device hardware error

The syntax for check disk:

  • /f fixes system errors.
  • /r locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.
  • /x forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary.

Fix 5. Update Disk Driver 

If the driver for the problematic storage device is outdated, then this can cause the fatal device hardware error. Therefore, updating the driver can fix the issue.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + S keys, type device manager in the Search box. 

Step 2. Expand "Disk drives", locate and check the state of the hard drive with fatal device error.

See if it's covered by a yellow exclamation mark as shown below, if yes, update the disk driver with Step 3.

Check Second hard drive driver state in Device Manager.

Step 3. Right-click the problematic hard drive and select "Update driver".

Update hard drive driver.

Step 4. Click "Automatically search for driver software online" and wait for the process to complete.

After this, restart the computer and see if you can now access the drive.

Fix 6. Send Problematic Device for Repair

If you've tried the methods outlined above but still have a problem with the drive, the last option is to take it in for repair. In most cases, you’ll have options open to you.

  1. 1. Contact the hardware manufacturer for help.
  2. 2. Find a local repair center and send your device for repair.

3 Steps to Recover Data After Fixing Fatal Device Hardware Error

When 'The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error' occurs, your HDD, external hard disk, or removable disk turns inaccessible. You must fix the error first.

Once the 'fatal device hardware error' is fixed, you may still find missing your data. To get it all back, you'll want to use a reliable recovery tool like EaseUS data recovery software. This enables you to scan the problematic drive, find all of your files and move them to another storage device.

Key features of EaseUS hard drive data recovery software:

  • Recover 1000+ types of files, including photos, videos, documents, audio files, etc.
  • Restore data from SD card, USB, pen drive, HDD, SSD, external hard drive, and more
  • Retrieve lost data due to deletion, derive formatting/corrupting, partition loss, RAW drive, etc.
  • Repair corrupted files after data recovery. Support repair Word, Excel, PDF, videos, photos, etc.

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3-Step Guide to Recover Data After Fixing Fatal Device Hardware Error:

Step 1. Scan the hard drive partition

Select the drive on your hard disk where you lost or deleted files. Click "Search for Lost Data" and let EaseUS data recovery software scan for all lost data and files on the selected drive.

select a location and scan hard drive

Step 2. Check the results

When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" option to find the lost files on the hard drive.

Find and preview all lost hard drive data

Step 3. Restore lost hard drive data

Select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click "Recover" to save them to another location.

💡Tip: You can restore data on the local disks, external hard drives, and also the cloud storage.

Restore lost hard drive data.

Hopefully, now, after following the methods above, you will have a working hard drive or at the very least, managed to recover your precious data. Hardware is prone to failure when you least expect it, so we'd advise always having a copy of the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on hand to salvage your data immediately if disaster strikes.

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Stop Using Fatal Device, You Can Fix The Hardware Error

Remember, whenever you have this problem with your storage devices, stop using the drive first. On this page, we discussed what the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error, common symptoms, and six reliable ways that work to fix your problematic device to a normal state.

If you have valuable files saved on the problematic device, remember to run the best data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and restore all your data immediately after fixing this error.

The Request Failed Due to a Fatal Hardware FAQs

We hope the solutions above have solved your fatal device hardware error. If you have some other problems, read the questions and answers below.

1. What does fatal disk error mean?

A fatal disk error refers to a problem with the computer's hard drive or other storage devices that prevents it from being accessed. This can occur due to several reasons, such as data corruption, physical damage to the drive, or a logical error. When this happens, the computer will usually display an error message and may attempt to repair the problem automatically. If the problem cannot be fixed, the computer will often shut down or reboot itself to prevent further damage. Sometimes, a fatal disk error can also lead to data loss. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all important files and data are backed up regularly.

2. Can a corrupted hard drive be recovered?

In short, the answer is yes - a corrupted hard drive can be recovered. Steps to recover files from a corrupted hard drive:

  • Scan the hard drive partition.
  • When the scan completes, find the lost files on the hard drive.
  • Select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click Recover.

3. How do I know if my hard drive is damaged?

Here are the most common hard drive failure signs:

  • Overheating
  • Strange sounds
  • Corrupted data, files, and folders
  • Frequent error messages
  • System crashes
  • Blue screen of death
  • Updated by

    Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS, who focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.…
  • Approved by

    Martyn Casserly has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews. He is a professional content contributor for many known ITwebsites like Macworld.co.uk and techadvisor.com.…
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