Fix: The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error

The error “The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error” occurs when the hard drive/SSD on your computer is physically damaged and the operating system is either unable to access or perform read/write operations on it. This error condition is also seen in removable drives.

This error is very common and in the majority of the cases, the hardware is indeed damaged physically due to which you are unable to perform operations. However, there are ‘some’ fixes which you can try before attempting to back up your data and moving it to another hard drive.

What causes the error ‘The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error’?

Like mentioned before, the error itself is pretty self-explanatory and gives an idea to the user that there is either corruption or the hard drive is in a bad state. This error is most commonly provoked when:

  • The hard drive cable is faulty. If the cable is faulty, the data cannot be transferred hence the computer prompts the error message.
  • There are bad sectors in the disk. There can also be corruptions and wrong mappings.
  • If the cable isn’t faulty and the hard drive is showing the same error message in all computers, it probably means that there is a hardware fault in the hard drive.

Solution 1: Verifying hard drive using SMART attributes

Windows has an inbuilt feature of SMART analysis which analyzes your hard drive/SSD and checks all parameters by performing minor operations. If the analysis returns results like ‘Bad’, ‘Caution’, or ‘Unknown’, it probably means that there is some serious error and you should backup your data as a first priority. After backing up, try to replace your drive.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “command prompt”, right-click on the application and select Run as administrator.
  2. Once in elevated command prompt, execute the following command:
wmic diskdrive get status

  1. If the response is normal as in the picture above, you can move with the other solutions.

Solution 2: Running Error checks and ‘chkdsk’ command

If the problem lies with the mapping of the hard drive or some minor error, there is a chance that it can be fixed using the ‘chkdsk’ command or using the error check utility in Windows. These commands basically scan the entire hard drive and if they encounter any bad sectors or memory, those blocks are shifted to a ‘no-access’ zone.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “command prompt” in the dialogue box, right-click on the application and select “Run as administrator”.
  2. Once in elevated command prompt, execute the following command:
CHKDSK [volume [[path] filename]] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/C] [: size]]

Here [/F] will attempt at fixing system errors while [/R] will attempt at fixing bad sectors.

  1. If you are prompted to run chkdsk after a restart, press Y and reboot your computer.

If chkdsk is unable to locate any errors, press Windows + E, navigate to the access window, right-click on the drive and click Properties. Once in properties, click on the tab Tools and select Check under Error checking. Wait for the process to complete and reboot your computer.

Solution 3: Formatting your drive/initializing

Since this error also occurs in portable hard drives, you can try formatting the drive and see if this fixes the problem. Also, if your drive is not initialized properly, this error might also come forward. Make sure that the hard drive is initialized and the correct partition style is selected.

  1. To format the portable hard drive, press Windows + E and navigate to the drive access page. Right-click on the drive and select Format.
  2. Remove the check Quick format and format your drive properly. After formatting, unplug the drive, plug it again and check.

  1. If the drive is not initialized, press Windows + R, type “diskmgmt.msc” and press Enter. Right-click on the volume and select Initialize Disk. Select the correct partition type and proceed.

Note: If even after following all the solutions the error message persists, it is advised that you try plugging the hardware to another computer and check if it gets detected. If the error still persists, consider replacing your hard drive.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.