Windows 11

How to fix input/output error on device in Windows

How often do you take backups of your important files in local mode? once a month? once a year? Here’s another question: How often do you check that these backups can still be accessed? I decided to do this recently. When I connected the external drive to my laptop, an I/O error appears on the device.

I could not access the contents of the drive immediately. I was shocked. Almost ten years of the photos were lost.

But all is not lost. Here are five ways to fix I/O Device Error , without losing any files during this process.

How to Fix Device I/O Error in Windows - Windows

What is the input/output error on the device?

I/O errors on the device are very common. They are usually due to a hardware issue, such as a faulty cable, faulty hard drive or SSD, or a misconfigured driver. There are many different ways to fix an I/O error on a device. Even better, most of these fixes only take a few moments and are very easy to complete.

1. Restart your computer

Before you start fixing I/O errors on the device, there is one thing to try first. Reboot the system, then try again. A restart can fix a bunch of errors without having to do anything complicated or time-consuming. If the I/O error on the device keeps showing up, go for the other fixes below.

2. Check the cables and connections

The first thing to do, before worrying, is to simply adjust the cables. Replace the cables that connect the external drive to your computer. Do this on both ends. If you are using a USB flash drive, try disconnecting and reinserting it, then try again.

If it doesn’t work, use a different USB cable and try again. Not sure if the cable is good or not? Connect the cable to a different external device and connect it to your system. If it works, you know the cable is fine.

3. Try an alternate USB port

Try an alternate port if the USB cable works but swapping the USB cable does not fix the I/O error on the device.

Most modern systems have more than one USB port because many devices rely on a USB connection. Furthermore, check the cleanliness of the USB ports. If it has some dust or is dirty, gently try to remove any stuck lint and then try again.

4. Run CHKDSK and SFC

While I/O errors on the device are usually caused by hardware, we can try using the built-in system tool to fix the problem. chkdsk checks file systems and fixes file system errors.

press the . key Windows + X To open the Quick Access menu, then select Command Prompt (Administrator). If the Command Prompt option is no longer there (replaced by PowerShell), don’t worry. Just complete a start menu search for cmd , then right-click and select Run as administrator.

Next, type chkdsk /f /r /x [حرف محرك الأقراص هنا] and press Enter. The scan may take some time, especially if there are several sectors that require repair.

How to Fix Device I/O Error in Windows - Windows

If CHKDSK does not return any errors, you can go to Windows System File Check (SFC), another tool built into the system.

But, before running the SFC command, it is important to verify that it is working properly. To do this, you must use the DISM tool.

Like SFC, DISM is a built-in Windows utility with a wide range of functions. In this case, the DISM Restorehealth command ensures that the following repair works properly.

Work through the following steps.

  • Type cmd (administrator) into the start menu search bar. Then right-click and select Run as administrator to open an elevated Command Prompt.
  • Type the following command and press Enter:
DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  • Wait for it to complete. The process can take up to 20 minutes, depending on the health of your system. The process seems stuck at certain times, but wait for it to complete.
  • When the process is complete, type the following command and press Enter:
sfc /scannow

5. Update device driver

Another option for resolving disk I/O error is to update the device driver. Windows 10 should update all your drivers, all the time. Sometimes, some drivers sneak through the network.

Enter Device Manager in the Start menu search bar and select Best Match. Device Manager contains information about all the devices on your computer. From here, you can update individual drivers for a specific hardware component. In this case, you can update the driver for your storage device, and solve the disk I/O error.

How to Fix Device I/O Error in Windows - Windows
  • Locate Disk Drives to open options. Right-click on the drive with an I/O error on the device and select Driver Update.
  • Select Search automatically for updated driver software. The process will start scanning for any driver updates both online and offline.
  • If an update is available, install it, then restart the system.

Update your system

You can also check for any system updates that are waiting to be installed. press the . key Windows + I , then head to التحديث والأمان -> Windows Update. Download and install any pending updates.

6. Change your drive letter

One of the quick solutions to the I/O drive error is to change the drive letter of the storage device. If for some reason Windows fails to assign a drive letter, disk I/O error is one of the errors you may encounter. You can use the Computer Management tool to assign a new drive letter to the storage device.

How to Fix Device I/O Error in Windows - Windows
  • Enter Computer Management in the Start menu search bar and select Best Match.
  • Go to التخزين -> إدارة الأقراص in the left column.
  • Right-click on the drive that has the I/O error on the device and select تغيير حرف محرك الأقراص والمسارات -> تغيير.
  • Assign a new drive letter using the dropdown menu, then press OK.

Restart your computer, then try to access the drive again.

7. Use Speccy to validate the drive

If no solution has worked so far, we can check the general condition of the hard drive using a free app, Speccy.

to download: Speccy for Windows 10 (Free)

In the left column, select Storage , and scroll down to find the corresponding drive. It is usually well rated. Scroll down to the Engine Specifications table SMART.

How to Fix Device I/O Error in Windows - Windows

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. The built-in hard disk monitoring system reports on many features of hard disk health. As you can see, Speccy gives a rating to each tracked metric. You need to check the following metrics:

  • 05: The number of sectors reallocated.
  • 0A: Spin Retry Account.
  • C4: The number of reallocation events.
  • C5: The number of current suspended sectors.
  • C6: Uncorrectable sector count.

Want an amazing fact? A study by Google found that in the 60 days after the first uncorrectable drive error, a drive was an average of 39 times more likely to fail than a similar drive without errors.

To be fair, the Google study also concluded that SMART ratings are of limited use in predicting impending drive failure—but they can still provide a good overall indicator of drive health. With this in mind, if any of the above metrics show errors (or many errors across many metrics), you should seriously consider backing up everything and replacing the drive.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily solve the I/O error on the device right away. But it may indicate what is going on.

No more I/O errors on the device

One of the above fixes will resolve the I/O error on the device, allowing you to access your data again.

An I/O error on a device is not always the end of a hard drive. Even so, it’s a good indication that something is afoot. And in many cases, it isn’t worth waiting to see if the error is the start of something more sinister.

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