How to Resolve Fatal Device Hardware Error on External Hard Drive

  • The following error message appears when you attempt to copy files from a USB flash drive, SD card, or external hard drive to another storage device.
  • This error could occur due to a number of reasons including insufficient memory space, corrupted media, or a faulty hardware component.
  • If you see this error message, we recommend trying to format the affected storage device again.
  • If your hard drive isn’t working properly it could mean that there is something wrong with the hard drive itself.

If you try to copy files from a USB flash drive, SD card, or external hard drive to another storage device, the following error message appears. Insufficient memory, corrupted media, or a faulty hardware component can cause this error. You should try formatting the affected storage device again if you see this error message. It might also indicate a virus infection.


This fatal device hardware error happens most often to Western Digital (WD) and Seagate external hard drive users, with the exact expression “X: is not accessible. The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error”. Sometimes, the fatal device hardware error seagate is followed by certain error codes, such as “0x800701E3”. For many people, they have no idea about what went wrong with their devices but unfortunately, it’s in fact an emergency issue, which means that your hard drive is about to put an end to its service life.

If you try to install Windows 10, you may see the message “Windows cannot perform the request because a necessary file is missing or has errors” when installing Windows 10. It’s common to see this error message while installing Windows 10. Here’s what to do when you get it.

This error message can occur for many reasons. Here are a few of them:

  • You didn’t download the latest version of Windows 10: Your hard disk isn’t large enough to hold the operating system. This is true even if you have plenty of free space on your hard disk. Make sure you have at least 20 GB of free space on your primary hard disk.
  • There’s too much data being written to the hard disk: Try deleting temporary files, cookies, browsing history, cache, and other data stored on your computer. Also try restarting your computer.

Update driver for the external drive

Installing the latest version of the device drivers is necessary when you are using the Windows operating system. The problem arises when you don’t update the driver, which may lead to errors like system crashes or blue screens. So what to do? Below we discuss how to fix an error caused by outdated drivers.

  1. You should check to see if your computer has updated drivers.
  2. Device Manager provides information on the current driver.
  3. Your external storage device’s name can be found by following these steps.
  4. Select Properties from the right-click menu.
  5. You can check if the driver version is up-to-date by clicking the Driver tab in the properties window.
  6. Your external drive may support a variety of file formats, such as FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, etc.
  7. The software you can download will let you know what your external drive’s file format is if you do not know.
  8. The correct file format can be chosen depending on your needs after detecting the file format.

There are many reasons why a driver installation fails. Most people do not realize that installing the latest driver is not working well. There are a number of reasons why a USB port is occupied by another program; a network problem prevents the computer from connecting to the Internet; a malware infection causes the USB port to be damaged. Please ensure there is enough space on your computer to run it again.

If you try to install the driver even though everything is done correctly, it might still fail. This usually happens when the driver files are corrupted because of viruses, power outages, improper shutdowns, etc. If this occurs, you should reinstall the driver. Restart your computer if you receive the error message “Windows cannot start because of a hardware change.”

Change drive letter for the external drive

Having two or more external hard drives with the same drive letter can cause confusion so assign a unique drive letter to each one.

Your HDD, external hard drive, or removable disk will become inaccessible when the request fails due to a fatal device hardware error. This error must be fixed first.

Changing the drive letter of one of your external hard drives may help you if you are unable to access it. You can make it easier to identify and access your external drive by changing its name to “MyPassport1” if it’s named “My Passport.”

Run CHKDSK.exe to fix external drive errors and bad sectors

There are several causes of external hard drive failures, including head crashes, damaged platters, and failing heads. When your external hard drive stops working properly, it might indicate that the disk is malfunctioning. It may be a good idea to check the drive and see if everything is fine. This article explains how.

It is possible that the file system on your external hard drive is corrupted if you have difficulty accessing files. The problem can be fixed by opening Disk Management and selecting the external hard drive’s drive letter. Right-click on the partition containing the files and select “Check disc…”. If the problem persists, run chkdsk /f c:\.

When run from the command prompt, chkdsk /r in Windows 7 can fix some file system issues. Use chkdsk /scannow in Windows 8/8.1.

If you are having problems with your external hard drive, you can repair it with these commands:

  • chkdsk /x
  • chkdsk D: /r
  • chkdsk E: /r

Frequently Asked Questions

This error is usually caused by a fault in the hard drive. When you try to access a file on the hard drive, it says that the file could not be opened because the requested operation could not be completed. In such cases, the operating system displays a message saying "The request failed due toa fatal device hardware error".

If the hard drive is damaged, the data stored in it might be corrupted. Such errors occur when the hard drive detects some problem during reading or writing data. These problems cause the hard drive to stop working properly. A hard drive failure can lead to serious consequences like losing important files or even the entire contents of the hard drive.

This error typically indicates a problem with either the hard drive itself or the way that the data is being accessed. For example, if you plug in a hard drive into a PC and Windows doesn't recognize it, you'll see this error. Or if you try to open a file stored on the hard drive, you might receive this error.

A fatal device hardware error means that the hard drive has stopped working correctly. As a result, you won't be able to access any files on the hard drive. To resolve this issue, first disconnect all other devices connected to the computer. Then, turn off the computer and remove the battery.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.