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5 Effective Methods to Fix IO error on External Storage Device

If you are looking forward to knowing about IO error, causes, and how to fix IO error on external storage devices, this is the article you have been looking for. In this read-up, you will learn everything you need to know about the IO error and how to fix the error effortlessly and also learn how to recover data if you have incurred data loss.

Fix IO error on external storage device

What is an IO error?

I/O stands for Input/Output. The I/O device error is an issue with the external storage device that stops Windows from reading or writing on it . Multiple users often report I/O device error (Input/Output) while performing read/write operations on their external storage media, like USB Flash Drives with IO error, SD cards, external hard drives etc.

Below listed are the usual error codes you might encounter when you come across an IO error.

  • "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"

Going ahead, let us first understand the common scenario for this IO error message to occur in the section below.

How to Fix IO Error on an External Storage device?

Follow the methods mentioned in the solutions given in below to effortlessly fix the IO error on your external storage device.

  1. Re-install or update the driver
  2. Change the drive transfer mode in IDE Channel Properties
  3. Check and Repair Device in Command Prompt
  4. Change the letter drive
  5. Check and Repair Device in Command Prompt

Why Does IO error Occur on External Storage Device?

  1. The Storage is incompatible with the OS
  2. Faulty or Corrupted Storage device
  3. Loose USB or e SATA cord
  4. Physically damaged storage device
  5. Outdated drivers
  6. The external hard drive, memory card or USB drive is recognized with a wrong drive letter.

The above-mentioned reasons can be addressed effortlessly by following the solutions given in the section below.

IO error usually stops the users from doing basic operations on the external storage device and also puts the data residing on the storage device at risk. If you have valuable data residing on it, we recommend you to recover the data first and then go ahead with the fixes listed below. Download Remo Recover now and effortlessly recover your data or deleted data from IO error with ease

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Reinstall or update device driver for your SD card/Storage Devices

  1. Right-click Computer and select Manage. Then choose Device Manager.
  2. Go to Universal Serial Bus Controllers, right-click USB Mass Storage and choose Uninstall.
  3. Remove the SD card/ USB and reconnect it.

Change the drive transfer mode in IDE Channel Properties

  1. Hold onto Windows + X keys and select device manager from the menu list
  2. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. A subset will open that lists the different IDE ATA/ATAPI channels.IDE
  3. Right-click on the channel where the appropriate drive is connected, and then click Properties.
  4. Go to the Advanced Settings tab and select PIO Only in the Transfer mode box for the device that represents the appropriate drive. Typically, this is device 0. Then, click OK and exit all windows.
  5. Test the drive and check if the error message has been removed.

Check and Repair Device in Command Prompt

  1. Run Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu list
  2. Click Yes to allow the OS to launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.Command prompt
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk G: /f /r /x. Replace the existing drive letter to your desired drive letter.

This option will check and repair disk errors on the external storage devices to fix I/O device error. If the above method does not work well, go ahead with below solution

Repair IO Error using Clean Boot Option

  • Open Run
  • Type msconfig and click OK
  • On the General tab > Selective Startup
  • Clear the Load Startup items and click on the Services tab
  • Select Hide All Microsoft Services checkbox
  • Click Disable All
  • Click Startup tab, and open Task Manager
  • On the Startup tab, right-click each enabled startup item and select Disable
  • Click Ok and restart your system

Change the Drive Letter of the External Storage device

Due to  invalid drive letter your storage device might become inaccessible, in order to change the drive letter follow the below steps

  • Click on ‘This PC’ and then right-click and then go to ‘Manage’ and then click ‘Disk Management’.
  • Next, right-click on the external storage device of which you wish to change the letter and  select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’.
  • Now, click ‘Change’ in the new window and then assign a new drive letter to the USB flash drive and then click ‘OK’.

The above-mentioned solution will usually fix the IO error from your external storage device, but while following the above-procedure there are chances that you might encounter an unforeseen data loss scenario if you are not tech-savvy while implementing the procedures.

In such cases, all the data residing on the storage device will be lost. Nevertheless, with the help of reliable data recovery software, you will be able to recover the lost or deleted data from your external hard disk.

Remo Data Recovery tool is a reliable data recovery application that can effortlessly recover more than 300+ file formats with its advanced scan engine. Within a matter of a few clicks, you will be able to recover your lost data from an external storage device.

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How to Recover data from Remo Data Recovery software?

  1. Download and Install Remo Data Recovery Software on your computer. Follow the below-mentioned steps to recover deleted or lost partitions:
  2. In the home screen, click on Recover Partitions, select the drive from which you have lost or deleted partitions, and click on Scan.
  3. After completion of the scan process, the software will display the recovered data in File type view and Data type view
  4. You can Preview the recovered data from deleted or lost partition
  5. Activate the tool before you save the recovered data on to desired locations, If you are satisfied with results,


This read-up emphasizes on how to fix the IO error with effective solutions mentioned above. For further queries, make use of the comment section below.

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Molly Owen

Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise on video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users.

As a technical specialist she also believes in learning and spreading knowledge about the current and trending aspects of various media formats, Adobe Photoshop and macOS troubleshooting. A full-fledged learner, caffeine-lover and a firm-believer that technology would make the world a better place.

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