How to Fix I/O Error in USB Drives

What is I/O error?

I/O 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

There are multiple reasons for this error to occur and they are explained as follows

  • The hardware device is damaged
  • The hardware drivers are corrupt or incompatible
  • Connection issues such as a faulty cable
  • USB controllers have become unstable or corrupt

How to resolve I/O error in USB?

Solution 1: 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 port is not defective.

If this resolved your issue, you’re done. Proceed to the next step if the issue persists.

Solution 2: Perform a clean boot

 Try to clean boot your system to check if a driver conflicts with the drive. To perform a clean boot, perform the following steps.

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run
  2. Type msconfig and click Ok
  3. On the General tab > Selective Startup
  4. Clear the Load Startup items and click on 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.

Solution 3: Reinstall USB controllers

  1. Click Windows + X to open power users menu
  2. Click on Computer Management > Device Manager
  3. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right-click on a device and click Uninstall
  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.

Solution 4: 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

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.

Solution 5: Replace the USB drive

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. If you’re receiving the error, it is likely that data on your USB is inaccessible.

Data recovery using Remo Recover

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’s, it can also be used to retrieve data from 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 recover data from unreadable USB for a detailed guide to the recovery process.

How to Fix I/O Error in USB Drives was last modified: April 30th, 2020 by John Harris

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