What is the I/O device error and how to fix it without affecting the original data? This article will help you understand the origins and solutions of the I/O device error. And you can try
MiniTool data recovery software
to recover lost data as well.
You can read this post to find some reliable solutions to fix this I/O device error in external hard drives as well as removable media without the loss of any data.
Part 1: What Is an I/O Device Error?
An I/O device error (short for Input/Output device error) happens when Windows is not able to perform an input/output action (such as reading or copying data) when it is trying to access a drive or disk.
It can occur in many different types of hardware devices or media.
Tip: Sometimes, the I/O device error may occur when you try to access the floppy disk driver in Windows XP Service Pack.
Common Reasons for the I/O Device Error
The plugged storage device is incorrectly connected. The PC cannot detect the connected device normally.
The computer USB port or the USB card reader is damaged or broken.
The computer storage device driver is outdated, damaged, or incompatible with your attached device.
The external hard drive, memory card, or USB drive is recognized with a wrong
The external hard drive, memory card, or USB drive that you are trying to access is dirty or damaged.
Windows is trying to use a transfer mode that the hardware device cannot use.
Common Symptoms of "I/O Device Error"
In general, you will get the following messages if your storage device unexpectedly gets the I/O device error issue:
"The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error".
"I/O error 32", "I/O error 21" or the similar "I/O error + codes".
"Only part of a read process memory request was completed" or "Only part of a write process memory request was completed".
So, how to solve this I/O device error in Windows 10/7? Here is a video tutorial for you.
Regardless of why and how the I/O device error message is triggered, it is strongly recommended for data of the affected drive be transferred or recovered before any attempts to fix the issue. All of the files and data stored on the affected drive are at risk of being lost completely in the occurrence of the I/O error.
However, how to get lost data back from this damaged drive effectively? Please keep reading.
Part 2: Recover Data from Drive With the I/O Device Error
How to recover data from the drive with the I/O device error without affecting the original data?
We recommend MiniTool Power Data Recovery for the following reasons.
All-in-one and read-only data recovery software.
Excellent data recovery effect and great reliability.
Detailed instructions to help you recover data successfully.
Millions of users world-wide.
Support Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server, etc.
In short, using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can easily and quickly recover lost data without damaging the original data. It is a tool with high security, excellent performance, and simple operations.
Do not install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on the drive containing lost data. Otherwise, the original data could be
and there is no way to recover overwritten files.
A step-by-step guide to recovering data from the drive with the I/O Device Error:
Step 1. Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery (You can click the
icon in the left panel to configure scanning for specific
and file types).
section, select the target drive and click
to scan for desired data in the disk sector-by-sector. For the best recovery result, please wait until the full scan is complete.
Step 2. After scanning, you can use the following features to filter, preview, and search for your files.
: Filter files by file name, file size, date modified, etc. For instance, if you only want to recover photos, you can choose
to filter out other types of files.
Before recovering files, you can preview the selected files. You can also preview photos before saving them.
Export Scan Result
: After scanning, you can export the results to a specific location. Then you can load previous results in the future without rescanning (Recommended if the disk scanning and data filtering take a long time. And, this feature is only available for paid editions).
: Find a specific file using the keyword of the file name.
Step 3. Verify the files recovered, and then click
to store useful ones to a safe place separate from the original drive.
After recovering lost data, let's see how to fix the external hard drive I/O error.
Part 3: How to Fix I/O Device Error in Windows 10/7/8
Here are several solutions to fix the I/O device error in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. You can feel free to try them one by one.
Solution 1: Ensure the Storage Device Connection Is Working Correctly
The affected storage device might not have been connected properly. To check the connection, disconnect the
and connect it with another USB port, USB cable,
, or USB card reader. Data on the device should be able to be read as usual if this is caused by a faulty connection.
Solution 2: Download, Install, or Update Your Device Driver
If the computer storage device driver is outdated, damaged, or incompatible with your attached device, it might affect its input/output functionality.
in the Windows search box and right-click the
Run as administrator
x:" into the Command Prompt window and press
. The letter "x" should be replaced with the letter name of the drive you'd like to run the scan on.
Finally, type "
" and press
Solution 5: Change the Transfer Mode for The Drive in IDE Channel Properties
Windows cannot transfer data from the drive to the computer if the transfer mode for the drive was changed or incorrect. Therefore, in this case, you can follow these steps to change the transfer mode to fix this problem.
button and select
IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
. You will see a list containing various IDE ATA/ATAPI channels for your PC.
Right-click the channel where the external drive is connected, and then click
. Typically, the channel that is usually used for external hard drives is the Secondary IDE Channel.
tab and select the
option in the box labeled
for the device representing your external hard drive. Usually, this is Device 0. Click
to close all windows.
Restart your computer and check if the I/O device error has been addressed.
Solution 6: Perform a Clean Boot
starting Windows in safe mode
, performing a clean boot can determine whether a background program is interfering with your computer. Here is how to do that.
Step 1. In the Windows search box, type
Step 2. Go to the
tab, and check
Hide all Microsoft services
. Then select
Step 3. Go to the
tab, and select
Open Task Manager
Step 4. For each enabled startup item, select them one by one to click
Step 5. Close Task Manager and click
section of the System Configuration window.
Solution 7: Format the Hard Drive
If all the above solutions cannot help you, you can try formatting your hard drive. If you don't know
how to format a hard drive with ease
, you can try MiniTool Partition Wizard which offers concise PI.
Tip: If formatting does not work either, your drive must be seriously damaged. In this case, you have no choice but to replace it with a new one.
Are you troubled by this message "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error"? Now, you can try the solutions listed above to fix this I/O device error on external and internal hard drives. Remember to recover your lost data in the drive before trying the solutions.
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If you have any questions about data recovery using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, please feel free to contact us via
Shirley graduated from English major and is currently an editor of MiniTool Team. She likes browsing and writing IT-related articles, and is committed to becoming a professional IT problem solver. The topic of her articles are generally about data recovery, data backup, and computer disk management, as well as other IT issues. In spare time, she likes watching movies, hiking and fishing.
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