How to Fix I/O Error in USB Drives

“I have been facing an error which says “The request could not be performed because of an I/O error” whenever I am trying to access my USB drive, how do i fix the IO error on my USB drive.

If you are unable to access your USB due to the IO error, this article is for you. Before moving ahead with fixing the error, let us understand more about the error.

What is an I/O error?

I/O device error is short for Input-Output Error and it occurs when the OS is not able to perform an input-output action when accessing a drive.

This error can occur with various types of hardware devices such as USB’s, internal and external hard drives, SD cards or even CD/ DVD. The most common I/O error messages are

  • "The request could not be performed because of an I/O error"
  • I/O Error codes: error 21, error 103, error 105, error 131
  • "The directory name is invalid" error

How to Fix IO error on USB drive

  1. Check if the cables are connected properly
  2. Fix IO error using Clean Boot
  3. Uninstall and Reinstall USB Controllers
  4. By using Device manager

Note: If in case you have lost any data such as documents, photos or videos click here for the recovery option, before troubleshooting the error. This is recommended because it is your last chance of recovering the data.

Check if the Cables are Connected Properly

Make sure that the cable connecting USB to the computer works properly. If the cable is faulty, the drive will not work. Try another cable and also try connecting the USB to another USB port to make sure the port is not defective.

Fix IO error using Clean Boot

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run
  2. Type msconfig and click OKfix IO error on USB drive
  3. On the General tab > Selective Startupfix IO error on USB drive
  4. Clear the Load Startup items and click on the Services tab
  5. Select Hide All Microsoft Services checkbox
  6. Click Disable All
  7. Click Startup tab, and open Task Manager
  8. On the Startup tab, right-click each enabled startup item and select Disable
  9. Click Ok and restart your system

If a clean boot works properly, there may be problems with a driver or program on your computer.

 Reinstall USB Controllers to Fix IO error on USB drive

At times the USB drive option might not be showing up on your computer, this is because of a problem with the USB controllers. By reinstalling the USB controllers you will be able to resolve the I/O error on the computer

  1. Click Windows + X to open the power users menu
  2. Click on Computer Management > Device Manager
  3. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right-click on a device and click Uninstallfix IO error
  4. Repeat for each device and once complete, restart your computer. Your USB controllers will automatically install.

If this step resolved the error you are done. If not proceed to the next step.

Note - If you are wondering how to fix IO error on external storage devices, click on the given link

Check the Status of the Device in Device Manager

  1. Press Windows + X to open the power users menu and click Computer Management.
  2. Then select Device Manager
  3. Check the status of the USB here to ensure the device is working properly. Device Manager will identify if there is any problem or a software conflict.

Update device drivers if they are outdated or corrupt. If this does not solve the problem, there may be an issue with the USB device. If you are being prompted with "Format to access the Drive" or any similar message, learn how to fix a USB drive without formatting. Thus, if you proceed with formatting, it will lead to permanent data loss.

If none of the above methods solve the issue, your USB device may be faulty. It is a good idea to recover data and replace your device.

To recover data from USB with IO error, you will need to make use of reliable data recovery tool like Remo Recover. Withthe  advanced scan engine which can effortlessly recover your data within a matter of few clicks

There a number of tools available to recover data from inaccessible USB’s. Remo Recover is one of the best tools available. It can recover data from inaccessible and corrupt USB drives. It uses powerful algorithms to scan your drive and recover data.

In addition to USB, it can also be used to retrieve data from USB other storage devices such as external and internal hard drives, memory cards, etc. It is compatible with all versions of Windows OS including Windows 10.

Remo Recover is a simple to use tool with a user-friendly interface. Refer to recover data from unreadable USB for a detailed guide to the recovery process.

Note - If you have deleted or lost files from USB drive check this information on how to recover them.

Causes for IO error on USB drive

  • Damaged hard-drive device
  • The hardware drivers are corrupt or incompatible
  • Connection issues such as a faulty cable
  • USB controllers have become unstable or corrupt
How to Fix I/O Error in USB Drives was last modified: March 17th, 2021 by John Harris

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