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Can't Read External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help' started by ale017, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. ale017

    ale017 Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Hey everyone,
    I tried loading my external hard drive from my computer, but after I plugged it in and tried to access it, a window pops up that says "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. Can someone help me? Thank you in advance.
  2. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    Messages:
    4,460
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    Open Device Manager and see if there are any errors reported for any of the hardware devices.
  3. ale017

    ale017 Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I went into device manager, and my computer reads the external hard drive. But i still cannot access it.
  4. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    Messages:
    4,460
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    Does the disk show in Windows Explorer or My Computer?

    Is this a new device for this machine? If so, and it shows itself as a drive in the above, (and there is no data on the device which you need to save) you may need to format the device.

    What does Disk Manager show? (Start, Run, diskmgmt.msc)
    or,
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\diskmgmt.msc)

    Are there partitions listed, or is it all Unallocated space?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  5. ale017

    ale017 Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    It shows up in My Computer, but when i try to open it, it says that I cannot access it, and that the request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. Also, I tried formatting the device through my computer but it doesn't work. It just freezes up and after waiting for more than five minutes, I have to just turn off the process. It does not show in the disk manager btw.
  6. townsbg

    townsbg Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,195
    Operating System:
    MAC
    I've never hear of a drive showing up in my computer but not disk manager but I have heard it happening the other way around. Is it a usb device? Have you tried it in more than 1 port? Have you tried it in more than one computer (preferably a non vista one)? but if you tried to format it & it stooped then you won't be able to use it on any system until it is reformated. You might have better luck if you try to reformat it in an xp computer. Is it still under warrenty? If so then you might contacting the manufacturer about replacement if not you can open it up & stick it in a desktop if it is a full size drive & take care of it that way. If it is a smaller size form factor then you'll have to buy a kit to connect it in a desktop.
  7. ale017

    ale017 Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I've tried accessing this external hard drive through different usb ports and different computers, same result "I/O device error". I've tried formatting it using a windows XP disk but when I reach the screen where I have the option to delete partitions and create partitions, the computer reads the external hard drive as an unknown drive but I cannot do anything to it. I cannot select it to delete the partition or anything like that. This external hard drive was actually a old hard drive from my previous laptop. I just took it out and now I'm using it as an external hard drive. It worked fine before but i think the reason why I'm getting this problem was because my friend was using my hard drive and while it was processing something, he pulled it out. After that incident, this started happening.
  8. townsbg

    townsbg Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,195
    Operating System:
    MAC
    something might be wrong with the interface. To rule this out you need to , if possible, take it out of the enclosure & put it in another computer.
  9. securityhead88

    securityhead88 Techie7 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    Here is my IDEA, that your flash drive letter is used by other drive.
    question:
    1. how many logical drive do you have C: D: E: etc
    2. Open your External HDD to other PC and change its drive letter

    Check what happen.
  10. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    Messages:
    4,460
    Operating System:
    Windows XP
    If the "main" machine you are using (with which you wish to use this "bad" drive) is a desktop machine, I concur with townsbg;
    ie; Your desktop, as an internal drive for troubleshooting purposes. If need be, disconnect an optical drive and put the hard disk in it's place. Adhere to the existing drive jumper settings from the optical drive and use the same on the hard disk. NOTE: Avoid touching the logic board on the bottom of the hard disk.
    Setup Single, Master and Slave Drives in Bios and hard drive Jumper setting
  11. townsbg

    townsbg Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,195
    Operating System:
    MAC
    securityhead88, a drive letter problem on one computer isn't going to cause an I/O error on multiple computers; the drive letter that a computer assigns it on one computer isn't going to affect what drive letter another computer gives it since Windows will just assign it the next available unused drive letter on that computer. At worst on a single computer it will get no drive letter but technically it doesn't even need one. HOWEVER it can't even get a drive letter if it isn't partitioned & formated which is where he has his problem. So using another computer to assign a drive is fruitless 1-because that won't apply to other computers, & 2-it isn't formatted. An I/O error on multiple computers is indicative of hardware errors or failure. The question is whether or not the failure is with the enclosure or the drive itself. In addition if the drive is sharing the same drive letter as another device (which is unlikely considering how they are assigned), assigning another drive letter can & would be done on that computer & not another one.

    One thing to try would be to do a low level format, repartition, & then reformat.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  12. townsbg

    townsbg Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,195
    Operating System:
    MAC
    One thing I forgot to note is that different drives had different jumper positions for the master/slave settings that Dan Penny referred you to. You can usually tell the correct position from a little picure on the drive or you can google the model listed on the drive its self (not the model of the externel drive). You will find a position for master, one for slave, & one for cable select. Dan Penny suggested that you set it based on an optical drive if you need to put it temporarily in its place. I recommend that you do not choose cable select. If you put it on the same cable as your other hard drive you must use slave. If you put it on the cable that isn't connected to the main drive then you should chose master.

    Do not touch the board on the bottom of the drive, do not stand on carpet, & ground yourself by first touching a metal surface on the inside of the case. Other wise you can cause static shock & possible fry something in the computer. It has happened to me.

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