Fix The Parameter is Incorrect on External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Roxanne updated on Oct 29, 2019 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.

'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

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 instructions 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 the next time you try to open the drive. 

How to fix "The parameter is incorrect" in Windows 10/8/7 [4 Methods]

'The parameter is incorrect' error usually happens and makes your device inaccessible because of file system corruption & disk errors, bad sectors or viral damage. Figuring out all the possible reasons will help you a lot to fix the issue, recover your data and repair USB drives, external hard drives or memory cards for reuse.

Method 1. Run CHKDSK to repair disk errors

CHKDSK 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. The 'parameter is incorrect' error is primarily derived from those logical errors.

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

Step 2. Open Command Prompt.

  • In Windows 7, Click Start, type in "cmd" in a search box, hit Enter and then click "cmd. exe" in the list of programs.
  • In Windows 10/8, press the Windows + X buttons and select the Command Prompt (Admin) option.

Step 3. In the new Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /x /r. Here you should replace E with the drive letter of your external hard drive or USB device.

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This command line will order CHKDSK to 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. Once complete, exit the Command Prompt and re-connect the storage drive to your computer. See if the error persists.

Method 2. Run SFC scan to fix corrupted system files

The other culprit for such a 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. In the same way to open Windows Command Prompt in Method 1.

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

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Method 3. Automated Repair with a portable fixing 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

Method 4. Recover data and reformat the external hard drive or USB drive 

If the three attempts cannot help, then you have the last choice - to perform high-level formatting, also called quick format in Windows to fix "The parameter is incorrect" error. 

Connect the inaccessible disk to your PC, right-click and select "Format". ... Then click "OK" and the formatting will be done quickly. This operation will create a new file system for the volume and repair all the possible errors or corruptions on it.

format hard drive with parameter is incorrect error

Important! To protect your data, you should first try to recover your files with EaseUS disk data recovery. Here's the guide.

To recover data after fixing "The parameter is incorrect" error:

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 under the External Devices tab, 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 to format the device as taught to permanently remove "The parameter is incorrect' error message.


"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. It's mainly the hard drive issues, of which there are bad sectors and logical corruption. Moreover, the missing or corrupted system files will also bring about an incorrect parameter issue.

Theoretically speaking, the recommended four methods could be able to solve the major problems without a hitch. But pay attention to the 'disk formatting' solution, it erases data simultaneously, so you need to perform data recovery with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in advance. Data recovery comes after a quick format is also possible, but you need to take the hard drive more carefully. For example, avoid any further operation like write new data to the drive, and use the software to recover formatted hard drive as soon as possible.


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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 to better 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.

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