Did your external drive throw up an I/O device error? We"ll show you five ways to lớn fix a disk I/O error, without losing any files in the process.

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How often do you take offline backups of your important files? Once a month? Once a year? Here"s another question: How often vày you check that those backups are still working? I decided to vì just this recently. When I connected my external drive khổng lồ my laptop, up popped an I/O device error.

I couldn"t immediately access the drive. My heart sank. Nearly ten years" worth of photos were lost.

But, all is not lost. Here are five ways to fix an I/O device error, without losing any files in the process.

What Is an I/O Device Error?

Input/Output device errors are quite common. They"re usually a hardware issue, such as a faulty cable, a glitch with your hard drive or SSD, or a misconfigured driver. There are more than a few different methods lớn fix an I/O device error. Better still, most of these fixes only take a few moments and are quite easy lớn complete.

1. Restart Your Computer

Before you start the I/O device error fixes, there is one thing to lớn try first. Restart your system, then try again. A reboot can fix a range of errors without having to bởi vì anything complicated or time-consuming. If the I/O device error persists, head to lớn the other fixes below.

2. Kiểm tra Your Cables and Connections

The first thing khổng lồ do, before worrying, is lớn simply adjust the cables. Reseat the cables connecting your external drive to your computer. Vì chưng this at both ends. If you"re using a USB flash drive, try disconnecting và reinserting, then trying again.

If it doesn"t work, use a different USB cable, và try again. Unsure if the cable is good or not? Connect the cable to lớn a different external device và connect it to lớn your system. If it works, you know that the cable is good.

3. Try an Alternative USB Port

Try an alternative port if the USB cable is working but switching out the USB cable doesn"t fix the I/O device error.

Most modern systems have more than one USB port as so many devices rely on a USB connection. Furthermore, kiểm tra your USB ports are clean. If it is dusty or dirty, give it a gentle blow lớn remove any lingering lint và then try again.

4. Run CHKDSK và SFC

While I/O device errors are caused by hardware, we can attempt to lớn use an integrated system tool to lớn fix the issue. The chkdsk tool verifies file systems & fixes tệp tin system errors.

Press Windows Key + X to open the Quick Access menu, then select Command Prompt (admin). If the Command Prompt option is no longer there (replaced by PowerShell), don"t worry. Just complete a Start Menu tìm kiếm for Command Prompt, then right-click và select Run as administrator.

Next, type chkdsk /f /r /x & press Enter. The scan could take a while, especially if there are many sectors requiring repair.

command prompt chkdsk fix sectors
If CHKDSK doesn"t return any errors, you can move onto the Windows System File kiểm tra (SFC), another integrated system tool.

But, before running the SFC command, it is important to kiểm tra it is working properly. To vì this, we use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool, or DISM.

lượt thích SFC, DISM is an integrated Windows utility with a wide range of functions. In this case, the DISM Restorehealth command ensures that our next fix will work properly.

Work through the following steps.

Type Command Prompt (Admin) in the Start menu tìm kiếm bar. Then right-click và select Run as administrator to open an elevated Command Prompt. Type the following command and press Enter: DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth Wait for the command khổng lồ complete. The process can take up to 20 minutes, depending on your system"s health. The process seems stuck at certain times, but wait for it khổng lồ complete. When the process completes, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

5. Update the Device Driver

Another option lớn resolve an I/O disk error is updating the device driver. Windows 10 should update all of your drivers, all the time. Sometimes, drivers slip through the net.

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input đầu vào device manager in your Start Menu search bar và select the Best Match. The Device Manager contains information on all of the devices on your computer. From here, you can update individual drivers for a specific piece of hardware. In this case, you can update the driver for your storage device, resolving the I/O disk error.

device manager update drivers
Select Disk drives to unfurl the options. Right-click the drive with the I/O device error & select Update Drivers. Select Search automatically for updated driver software. The process will begin scanning for any driver updates both on & offline. If an update is available, install it, then restart your system.

Update Your System

You could also check for any system updates waiting for installation. Press Windows Key + I, then head khổng lồ Update và Security > Windows Update. Tải về and install any pending updates.

6. Change Your Drive Letter

One quick fix for the I/O drive error is khổng lồ change the drive letter for the storage hardware. If Windows fails to assign the drive a letter for some reason, an I/O disk error is one of the errors you might encounter. You can use the Computer Management system tool khổng lồ assign a new drive letter for the drive.

computer management change drive letter
đầu vào computer management in your Start Menu tìm kiếm bar & select the Best Match. Head lớn Storage > Disk Management in the left column. Right-click the drive with the I/O disk error and select Change Drive Letter và Paths > Change. Assign a new drive letter using the dropdown list, then press OK. Restart your computer, then attempt to access the drive again.

7. Use Speccy to check Drive Health

If the two easy fixes don"t work, we can check the overall health of the hard drive using không tính phí system specification program, Speccy.

Download: Speccy for Windows 10 (Free)

In the left-hand column, select Storage, and scroll down lớn find the corresponding drive. They"re normally well labeled. Scroll down to lớn the S.M.A.R.T drive specifications table.

speccy windows 10 check drive health
SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis và Reporting Technology. The in-built hard drive monitoring system reports on various hard drive health attributes. As you can see, Speccy gives each monitoring metric a rating. You need to check the following metrics:

05: Reallocated Sectors Count 0A: Spin Retry Account C4: Reallocation sự kiện Count C5: Current Pending Sector Count C6: Uncorrectable Sector Count

Want a startling fact? A Google study found that in the 60 days following the first uncorrectable drive error, the drive was on average 39 times more likely to lớn fail than a similar drive without errors.

to be fair, the Google study also concludes that S.M.A.R.T ratings are of limited usefulness in predicting impending drive failures---but can still give a good general indication of drive health. With this in mind, if any of the metrics above show errors (or many errors across several metrics), you should seriously consider backing everything up và replace the drive.

Now, this doesn"t necessarily immediately solve your I/O device đầu vào error. But it might indicate what is going on.

No More I/O Device Error

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

An I/O device error isn"t always the end of the line for a hard drive. Though, it is a good indicator that something is afoot. & in many cases, it isn"t worth waiting around to lớn find out if the error is the beginning of something more sinister.

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