Fix The Parameter Is Incorrect on External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7 [6+ Fixes]

Roxanne updated on Jan 21, 2021 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Did you get 'The parameter is incorrect' error message and cannot access your external hard drive, USB drive or SD memory card? Here are four instructions for you to fix the issue in Windows 10/8/7 and recover your data with the help of EaseUS hard drive recovery software.

format to fix parameter is incorrect error

Quick Fix Parameter Is Incorrect Error Without Losing Data:

  1. #1. Run EaseUS recovery software to scan drive with parameter is incorrect error.
  2. #2. Preview and restore data from the inaccessible drive.
  3. #3. Format the drive with parameter error and reset its file system (to NTFS, FAT32, etc.)

On this page, you will learn:

  • 1. What is 'the parameter is incorrect' error?
  • 2. How to access hard drive data with parameter is incorrect error?
  • 3. How to fix the parameter is incorrect error on an internal/external hard drive?

When facing such a situation, fixing the 'Drive Is Not Accessible. The Parameter Is Incorrect' error without losing data becomes a problem. If you don't know how to get started, here are some useful fixes and tutorials that will teach you how to recover data from an external hard drive, USB or memory card, and get rid of the warning message from your storage devices immediately:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Format Device  Run software to scan and recover data > Format problematic device...Full steps
Fix 2. Run CHKDSK Plugin problematic device > Open Command Prompt > Type chkdsk...Full steps
Fix 3. Run CHKDSK Alternative Open EaseUS Tools M > Select "File Showing"...Full steps
Fix 4. Run FSC Open Command Prompt > Type SFC /scannow and hit Enter...Full steps

What Is "The Parameter Is Incorrect" Error

In this part, you will learn: ①. What does it mean when it says the parameter is incorrect while opening a drive; ②. The causes of the "parameter is incorrect" error.

About Parameter Is Incorrect Error

'The parameter is incorrect' is an error that usually occurs in Windows 10/8/7 and prevents you from opening the device and accessing your data. It usually attacks an external hard drive, USB flash drive or SD memory card with the message: 'Location is not accessible, the parameter is incorrect'. 

'The parameter is incorrect' error on external hard drive or USB drive

Causes of This Error:

  • Device contains driver issue
  • File system corruption
  • Power failure
  • Bad sector
  • Virus infection

So how do you fix the parameter is incorrect error on Windows 10/8/7 when the computer pops up "d is not accessible the parameter is incorrect" or "e is not accessible the parameter is incorrect", etc., error messages?  Go through the following parts, you'll fully get data out of the inaccessible device and remove this error from your hard drive, external hard drive, USB, SD, etc., successfully.

Part 1. Recover Data from Hard Drives with "Parameter Is Incorrect" Error

Applies to: Access and restore data from inaccessible storage devices that contain "the parameter is incorrect" error on Windows 10/8/7.

IMPORTANT: To protect your data, you should first try to recover your files from your hard drive or external storage devices with "Parameter is incorrect" error. As some fixes toward this error may remove device data. 

EaseUS hard drive data recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard is capable of accessing everything on your problematic drive. Its advanced scan feature will thoroughly scan and restore all files on your storage devices.

Tutorial: Recover Data from "The Parameter Is Incorrect" Devices

Here's the guide:

Step 1. Choose the external hard drive

Since you're going to recover data from the external hard drive, run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose the exact drive where you lost data. Click Scan.

select external hard drive

Step 2. Scan for lost data

The software will start immediately to scan all over the selected drive for all lost data. During the scan, you could see more and more data showing up in the results.

scan external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover data

After the scan is over, check the scan results for the desired data. You can preview the file by double-clicking on it. Click Recover and choose another location to save the recovered data.

preview and recover data

After retrieving all your data from the external hard drive, USB drive, or other memory storage devices, you can try the fixes as presented in Part 2 to permanently remove "The parameter is incorrect' error message.

Part 2. Fix "The Parameter Is Incorrect" in Windows 10/8/7 [6+ Fixes]

Applies to: Remove "Parameter is incorrect" error so as to make storage devices accessible and work again.

After restoring your data from your devices, you may follow and try the fixes in this part to remove this error and repair USB drives, external hard drives, or memory cards for reuse.

In this part, you'll have 6 fixes to get rid of this issue from your storage devices:

  1. Fix 1. Format and Reset the File System
  2. Fix 2. Run CHKDSK to Repair Disk Error/Bad Sectors
  3. Fix 3. Use CHKDSK Alternative - Automated Repair Tool
  4. Fix 4. Run FSC to Fix Corrupted File System
  5. Fix 5. Update Device Drive Driver
  6. Fix 6. Change Decimal Symbol Settings
  7. More...

The former the fix is listed, the more effective it will be. 

Fix 1. Format Internal/External Hard Drive or USB to Reset the File System 

The most effective way to fix "The parameter is incorrect" error is to perform high-level formatting, also called quick format in Windows. It will reset the file system of the target device, making it accessible again. 

Step 1. Connect the inaccessible disk to your PC

Step 2. Open File Explorer and right-click the inaccessible device and select "Format".

Step 3. Reset the file system - NTFS (for Internal hard drive), FAT32 (for USB, external hard drive less than 32GB).

Step 4. Then click "OK" and the formatting will be done quickly. 

format hard drive with parameter is incorrect error

This operation will create a new file system for the volume and repair all the possible errors or corruptions on it.

Fix 2. Run CHKDSK to Repair Disk Errors/Bad Sectors

Command Prompt is a native Windows tool for checking and repairing logical file system errors or bad sectors on a hard drive as well as its partitions. 

This command-line CHKDSK will check and repair file system corruption, errors, corruptions or bad sectors on the external hard drive or USB disk which might cause 'Drive Is Not Accessible. The Parameter Is Incorrect' error. 

Step 1. Plugin your external hard drive, USB drive, or memory card to PC.

Step 2. Open Command Prompt.

  • In Windows 7: Type in cmd in a search box, hit Enter. Then click "cmd. exe" in the list of programs.
  • In Windows 10/8: Type in cmd in the search box, right-click Command Prompt, and select "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Type chkdsk E: /f /x /r and hit Enter.

Replace E with the drive letter of your external hard drive or USB device.

Once complete, exit the Command Prompt and re-connect the storage drive to your computer. See if the error persists.

Fix 3. Run CHKDSK Alternative - Automated Repair Tool

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Fix 4. Run SFC Command to Fix Corrupted System File

The other culprit for parameter not correct error is within the computer system, of which the system files are missing or corrupted.

To mend this problem, you can use the other frequently Windows utility called System File Checker, namely SFC to scan the wrong system files. If find any, fix it alright.

Step 1. Open Windows Command Prompt in the same way as shown in Fix 2.

Step 2. This time input SFC /scannow in the black window and hit Enter.

Step 3. Exit command prompt when the scanning process completes. 

After this, restart the PC and reconnect your device to see if the problem has been removed.

Fix 5. Update Device Drive Driver

Another practical fix toward the parameter is incorrect issue is to update the device driver. 

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Device Manager.

Step 2. Expand Device Manager and right-click the problematic drive.

Step 3. Select "Update driver".

Update WD device driver

Step 4. Select "Search automatically for updated driver software", wait for the process to complete.

Fix 6. Change Decimal Symbol Settings

If the decimal symbol is not set to ".", you may meet device parameter incorrect issue on the computer. Here are the steps to change the settings and fix this issue:

Step 1. Go to Settings > Time & Language > Region & language.

Step 2. Click "Additional date, time, & regional settings".

Step 3. Under Region section, click "Change date, time, or number formats".

Step 4. Click "Additional settings", then in the Decimal symbol, type . (dot), and click "OK" twice. 

Change decimal symbol settings

After this, restart PC and you can retry to access your hard drive, external hard drive, USB, etc., on your computer.

Bonus Tips to Fix Parameter Is Incorrect Error

Besides the above-listed fixes, you can also try the listed tips here to make your drive work and accessible:

  • Run Antivirus Software 
  • Perform a Clean Boot
  • Run PC in Safe Mode

Part 3. How to Protect Drive Against Parameter Is Incorrect Error

After trying the methods provided in Part 1 and Part 2, you may now be able to access your storage devices and data without any obstacle.

However, it's not the end yet. It also matters to grab some useful tricks to prevent hard drive, external hard drive, or USB from the parameter incorrect issue.

Try the tips as recommended here, you can fully protect data and your device from this error:

  • #1. Back up vital data regularly
  • #2. Run antivirus software frequently
  • #3. Plug and unplug external devices properly
  • #4. Update disk driver timely


"The parameter is incorrect" usually hints an unseen problem on a hard drive or a removable storage drive, blocking the access to data on it. In view of the reasons for such an error, you should have a clear understanding now. 

To address this issue without losing data, you need to perform data recovery with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in advance. 

Among all possible fixes, formatting is the most efficient way to remove this error and make the device accessible again. If you directly formatted your hard drive and lost data, use EaseUS data recovery software to recover formatted hard drive as soon as possible.

Was This Page Helpful?


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.