Fix: “A device which does not exist was specified” On Windows?

You might have seen this error message while accessing the drive in the file explorer. When the error appears, you might not be able to see the basic information about the disk regardless of Windows detecting the drive. However, there are some methods that can help you to get rid of this error message.

How to Fix A device which does not exist was specified On Windows?
How to Fix A device which does not exist was specified On Windows?

Even though hardware issues like broken USB ports or SATA can cause this error. However, insufficient permission, mismatching drive letter, and outdated motherboard chipset drivers can also be the leading causes behind this error message.

We explained in detail below what could cause this error. We recommend reading the causes carefully as one of them might be the main contributor in your case:

  • Not Having Permissions To Access The Device Drive- The error can often be caused by insufficient permissions, causing the error message. Although when you connect an external or internal drive to the computer, all the permissions are automatically set. However, in some situations, the drive permission might not be appropriately configured, which might be the reason for this error.
  • Mismatching Drive letter- When we connect a drive to a computer, Windows automatically assign a letter to the particular drive. However, if the drive letter is not assigned correctly, you will not be able to access the drive until you change the drive letter.
  • Hard Disk Issues- The error can also be caused by a hardware issue because there is a possibility of a defective drive causing this error. To ensure that, check the drive through another computer if applicable.
  • Outdated Motherboard Chipset Drivers-The error can be a result of outdated chipset drivers. To ensure that you have the latest version of the driver, visit the manufacturer’s website.
  • Faulty Motherboard Header- If you are using an internal hard disk, there is a chance that your motherboard header is damaged, and thus the error is being triggered. To fix this, you will need to replace the mother header.
  • Defective USB Ports- If you are using a USB, try changing the port, as it might be defective and prevent you from accessing the data. Hence, checking all the ports one by one is recommended to access data.

1. Give Appropriate Permission To Access The Drive

Usually, the error occurs due to insufficient permissions to the drive. You cannot access the drive if you do not have appropriate permission. However, when we plug an external or internal drive, all the required permissions are set automatically for the user.

Sometimes, we might receive error messages while accessing the drive due to the lack of permissions. However, To avoid errors, we might need to change the drive permissions as they might not be appropriately configured. Below are the steps:

  1. Open the File Explorer and right-click on the drive, which is causing the error
  2. Go to Properties

    Opening Disk Properties
    Opening Disk Properties
  3. Click Security from the top bar
    Navigating to Security
    Navigating to Security
  4. Click on Edit and check the Full Control option under Permissions For Authenticated Users
  5. Once done, click Apply and click OK

    Editing Disk Permissions
    Editing Disk Permissions
  6. After giving full control, try accessing the drive to check if the error is fixed.

2. Change the Drive Letter

The mismatching drive letter can lead you to this error message. You can see the drive letter shown in the error message. If that drive letter does not match the one you can see in the disk management utility, the error will likely appear. Therefore, try manually changing the drive letter by following the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows key and type Disk Management

    Opening Disk Management Utility
    Opening Disk Management Utility
  2. Open the disk management settings
  3. Right-click the causing drive
  4. Then, click Change Drive Letter And Paths

    Clicking Change Drive Letter and Path
    Clicking Change Drive Letter and Path
  5. A short Window will open; click on the Change button
    Clicking Change
    Clicking Change
  6. Then, change the drive letter from the alphabet dropdown menu
    Changing Drive Letter
    Changing Drive Letter
  7. Click OK and click Yes when warning popups
  8. Once done, try accessing the drive to check if the error is resolved.

3. Uninstall And Reconnect Device

If the error is not fixed yet, another solution you can apply is to uninstall the device via the disk management utility, which might fix this error. Remember, after uninstalling the device from the disk management, you will have to open your CPU case to remove and reconnect the drive, as it might not be connected properly, and due to that reason, you might frequently receive this error message. Below are the instructions to do that:

  1. Right-click the Start Menu and click Device Manager

    Opening Device Manager
    Opening Device Manager
  2. Expand the Disk Drives option
  3. Right-click the drive causing the error, then click Uninstall Device

    Uninstalling Hard Drive
    Uninstalling Hard Drive
  4. Again click Uninstall to conform
  5. Once done, shutdown the computer and open the CPU case
  6. Disconnect and reconnect the hard drive, then check if the error is fixed.

4. Re-Scan Disks

You can also try using a Re-scan Disks option if none of the methods has worked. Re-scanning the disk will detect the changes and update the disk information according to changes. In simple words, it refreshes the disk, which might help fix this error. To do so:

  1. Open the Disk Management by searching it from the Start Menu

    Launching Disk Management Utility
    Launching Disk Management Utility
  2. Select the hard drive, which is not accessible
  3. Click Actions, then click Rescans Disks

    Rescanning Disk
    Rescanning Disk
  4. Once done, try to access the hard drive and check if the issue is resolved.

5. Re-create Disk Partition

If the error still persists, try re-creating a partition using the diskpart utility to fix this error. Dispart is an inbuilt tool that allows users to manage partitions, volumes and disks. You can easily create partitions by just executing commands through the command prompt. Below are the steps to do that:

  1. Click Start Menu from the left pane
  2. Type Command Prompt and right-click on it
  3. Choose Run As Administrator

    Opening Command Prompt With Administrator privileges
    Opening Command Prompt With Administrator privileges
  4. Now type diskpart and hit enter
  5. Then type list disk and hit enter
  6. Note: If you are able to see a causing disk, type select disk and the number of the disk. For example, select disk 0
    Selecting Disk
    Selecting Disk
  7. Then, type the following commands one by one
    clean
    list disk
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    Creating A New Partition
    Creating A New Partition
  8. After creating a partition, assign a letter to a newly created partition by typing the following commands
    format FS=NTFS label=Data quick
    assign letter=g
    Assigning Letter to a Partition
    Assigning Letter to a Partition
  9. Once done, close the terminal by typing exit and check if the issue is resolved.

6. Update Motherboard Drivers

Motherboard drivers are essential for all components as they make components function properly. If they are outdated, you will likely face issues like this. Hence, it is important to keep the drivers updated.

To update the chipset driver, you must visit the motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the driver from there. For the guidelines, you can read the full tutorial from the website to install the chipset driver.

  1. To check the version of your motherboard drivers, press the Windows key and type msinfo32
  2. Click OK to open the system information
    Opening System Information Window
    Opening System Information Window
  3. If the Bios version is outdated, go to your manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest driver by following the given instructions.
    Checking Bios Version
    Checking Bios Version

7. Change Motherboard Headers

If none of the methods worked, there may be a possibility that the motherboard header is not working properly, and for that reason, the USB is not connected correctly, and the error is frequently displayed. To fix this, you will need to visit the technician to describe your issue.

Zubyan Gul
Zubyan is a Professional PC Gamer and a Systems Analyst. He has written numerous batch scripts for task automation to make his and others life easier.

Expert Tip

Fix: “A device which does not exist was specified” On Windows?

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