Fix “The Request Could Not Be Performed Because of I/O Device Error”


The I/O device error is a common problem encountered when you try to operate on an external storage device. The issue has been around for years, and even though several experts have addressed it, no specific fix has worked to troubleshoot the issue completely. Now and then, users come across the I/O device error as the input-output action is the fundamental requirement for any process to finish. 

If you have been facing a similar issue where every time you want to process an action on your external storage, the error “The request could not be performed because the I/O device error” appears, do not worry!

By the end of this post, you will have all the necessary methods to help you overcome the issue and resolve the error on your PC.

What is “The Request Could Not Be Performed Because of I/O Device Error”

To understand the error, you should first understand what is meant by the I/O Action. For any external device to interact with the PC, it has to establish an input/output connection. This means the connected device can take an input and simultaneously give an output. This is what makes transferring files possible. 

Now, when the data is located on the physical external disk, the PC has to take input through it, and an action is created. However, if the disk is not functioning properly, the process may fail, and you get an I/O device error. 

All in all, when the action that facilitates the input and output exchange on your PC cannot finish, the I/O device error appears. 

What Can Be Done to Fix the I/O Device Error on Your PC

Since the error is related to an external device, there’s not much that you can try. Sure, you have the option to format the drive and remove every problematic file from it (the one that may be causing the error). However, that is not always an option, as you may require the data on the disk. The input-output issue usually appears due to three major issues:-

  • Poor connectivity of the external drive
  • Damaged/ Corrupt Drive Data
  • Incompatible/ Outdated Drivers

It means ideally, these are the three directions you should look for if you want to fix the I/O device error on your PC and get rid of the request that could not be performed… error prompt.

Read Also: How to Fix No Audio Output Device Is Installed In Windows 10

Let’s look at things you can do to fix the issue if any of these three errors are bothering your system.

Solution 1 – Resolve Connectivity Issues

  1. Restart your PC to ensure that no glitch is causing the issue. Restarting your computer eliminates the chances of an error being temporary. Either it is resolved, or it is confirmed.
  2. Unplug and Replug your drive, as it will also help you stay clear that the error is not due to a poor connection. If you try this, you can also try using a different port so that it can be established that the port is not at fault.
  3. Check the cables and ports and ensure they are not loose or too tight. Also, check if you use the original and supported cables to connect your external drives. The connection you establish must be proper; otherwise, the input-output error may keep appearing on your PC.

After sorting the connectivity, you should try to perform the operation that caused the I/O device error again. This time, it will go through without the error prompt if the connectivity is causing the issue.

If the above solution does not work, we can focus on the second problem that may be causing the error, i.e., damaged/corrupt drive data!

Solution 2 – Check PC & Drive for Corrupt Data

  1. Use the CHKDSK Command to ensure that the drive in question does not have damaged/corrupt data. Simply open the Command Prompt as Admin via the Start menu and use the command – CHKDSK X: /r, where X is your drive letter causing the I/O device error prompt.
    CHKDSK X r command
  2. Perform a Clean Boot on your PC to ensure no corrupt application interferes with your I/O action. Open the Run search using Win+R, and use the command msconfig to launch the System Configuration window. Next, move to the Services tab and click on Hide all Microsoft Services. Next, you need to click on Disable and then apply the changes. Quickly restart your PC, and you will have successfully performed a clean boot.

    system configuration

If the input-output action error remains unresolved, you may face the issue due to outdated drivers. If any of the issues we have addressed so far were causing the issue, you might have resolved it already. If not, try the next solution!

Solution 3 – Upgrade Your Disk Drive Drivers

Outdated disk drive drivers can be the center of all your issues related to input-output device errors. The request could not be performed because the I/O device error can never be resolved if the drivers for the external device are outdated. 

Sure, you can go to the Device Manager and try to find the appropriate drivers to update, but if you are not equipped with enough knowledge, you may end up updating the wrong device driver, making zero progress in resolving the issue. 

Hence, to resolve the issue without it turning into an error, we recommend you use the Advanced Driver Updater. It only takes three steps!

Step 1 – Download and install the Advanced Driver Updater.

Step 2 – Run a scan using the tool to identify outdated drivers on your PC.

start scan using advanced driver updater

Step 3 – Click on Update All to finish the process.

adu scan start1

After you have updated the disk drive drivers on your PC, you may be able to use the external drive causing the issue without any prompts related to the I/O device error. 

If you come across the “The Request Could Not Be Performed Because of I/O Device Error” prompt in 2024, you know exactly what ways to use and what problems to work on. Stay tuned as we will keep updating this post with more information! Till then, good luck, and thanks for reading!

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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