Fix: I/O Error on an External Hard Disk

External Disks are fantastic devices which can be used to store backups, or any other files for that matter. Some users have reported that the device starts to malfunction all of a sudden. What happens is that the disc within it rotates (which is a sign that it’s working), but it doesn’t show up in the file manager. If you too are having this problem, then read on as we present a method to possibly fix the issue.

This is a considerably grotesque issue. When you try to initialize such a hard drive, you get a certain I/O error. This I/O error is normally caused by bad USB cables or bad USB ports of the computer or your drive.

The first step would be to try a different USB port on your computer. If this works for you, then you don’t have to continue reading.

If the problem is not because of the port, then you need to buy a new USB cable (or just borrow it from your friend) and use that instead of your current one, to see if it’s the guilty party.

As a third step, you should try to connect the hard drive to another computer. If it works on that computer, then you will know for sure that the problem is not with your hard drive.

If the hard drive is not getting detected on another PC either, then it’s probably faulty. If you have data on it that you would like to backup, then we suggest not trying to do that yourself. Unless you are a technical expert, you run the risk of damaging the hard drive further. Instead, you can contact one of the data recovery partners or in case of Western Digital disks you can check them out by visiting this link.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: I/O Error on an External Hard Disk

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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