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.

I cannot access my external hard drive due to the following error message "Drive is not accessible. The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error " as shown below.

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

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  • The computer storage device driver is outdated, damaged, or incompatible with your attached device.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 drive letter .
  • 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.

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Warning: Do not install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on the drive containing lost data. Otherwise, the original data could be overwritten and there is no way to recover overwritten files.