"The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error"

Sometimes when trying to access data stored on the device (an external hard drive, a thumb drive, or a memory card) or to write some new data you can face the error message "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error".

I/O device error

It means that the system accesses the device, tries to read or write some files but due to some reason it can't do that.

If you faced such an error for the first time, the simplest decision is to reboot the PC in the hope it hepls and you do not to see the I/O error any more. If it does not work, you can try to fix the error.

Main reasons of the "I/O device error"

  1. Mechanical damage of a disk. Failure of some parts of the disk, bad sectors, disk sticking - these are the factors that lead to the I/O error. Besides, if you hear some unusual sounds from the disk, it is a sure sign that this device is about to die. If the data stored on the device is important for you, you should immediately disconnect the device from the PC and bring it to a trusted data recovery lab. Be ready to spend a significant amount of money on the case. If you can't afford in-lab recovery, you can try DIY data recovery using data recovery software. If you suspect mechanical damage, first you need to create a disk image and then use the file in the recovery process. How to create a disk image file, read here. As soon as the disk image is ready, you can start the recovery without fears that the disk will die at the most inopportune moment. Keep reading to learn more about the recovery process.
  2. Connection issue. Plug damage can cause contact loss and, consequently, the error. Also, a motherboard port may fail over time. To exclude this reason try using another motherboard or USB port, or different SATA/USB cable.
  3. Logical error of the filesystem. Such an error can be caused by the power cut or unsafe device removal. In this case the device is physically good but the data is inaccessible. To fix the error you need to use a data recovery software and then format the device.
  4. Unsuccessful operating system update. If you noticed that the I/O error occurs after the operating system update, try to go back to the previous settings and to check if the error still remains. To delete an update in Windows 10, go to Control Panel, then choose Programs – Programs and Features. In the left part of the window click View installed updates, choose the latest and click Uninstall.

How to recover data in case of the I/O error

  1. Download, install, and run ReclaiMe software.
  2. In the list of available devices, choose the one you need to recover data from and click Start. If you created the disk image, upload it at this stage. Click the arrow near the Disks button and choose Open disk image.
  3. ReclaiMe immediately starts recovering data. In the left part of the window you get several top-folders, one of them has the name of the file system used on the device (most likely FAT or NTFS). Also, there is a folder named RAW which stores files found by signatures rather than by filesystem metadata. Typically, you do not need files from the RAW folder.
  4. Estimate the quality of the recovery using the Preview function. Choose image files - if they are good in preview, all other files are also OK.
  5. RAW drive recovery
  6. Buy a license key. If you deal with a Windows file system (FAT, NTFS, ReFS), you need ReclaiMe Standard edition.
  7. Save the recovered data to a prepared storage.

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