What is an I/O Device Error and How To Fix It?
What is an IO Device Error?
An I/O Device Error happens when Windows XP or Vista, is not able to perform an Input/Output action (such as reading or copying data) when it is trying to access a drive or disk.
An I/O error can occur with different types of hardware devices or media, such as:
- External hard drives
- SD cards
- USB flash drives or pen drives
- CD-Rom or DVD drives
- CD or DVD discs
Common IO Error Messages
The most common IO error messages and codes are:
- “The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.”
- “Only part of a readprocessmemory or writeprocessmemory request was completed.”
- I/O Error codes: error 6, error 21, error 103, error 105, error 131
Causes of an IO Device Error
I/O error issues might occur for any of the following reasons:
- Windows is trying to use a transfer mode that the hardware device cannot use.
- The hardware device that you are trying to access is damaged or defective.
- The hardware drivers are damaged or incompatible.
- There is a connection problem, such as a bad cable.
- The CD or DVD disk that you are trying to access is dirty or damaged.
First Steps to Resolve I/O Device Error Problems
Before you continu you should first perform the following steps:
- Restart your computer, and then try to access the drive or disk again.
- Use a cleaner disc to clean the disk.
- If you have another computer available, try to access the data on the drive or disk with the other PC to confirm that the drive or disk is not damaged.
- If you do not have another computer available, try a different disk to make sure that the problem is with the computer and not with the original disk.
If the problem is fixed and you no longer get the error message, you are finished. If the problem remains, continue to the next paragraph.
How to Fix I/O Device errors?
There are several solutions that you can use to troubleshoot and try to fix an I/O errors. Try these solutions in the following order:
Solution 1: Make certain that all cables are connected correctly
If the drive is an external drive, make sure that the cable that connects the computer to the drive is functioning correctly. If the cable fails, the drive will not work correctly. If you have another cable, try to use it, and also try to attach it to another (USB) port.
Note Changing cables for an internal drive for a desktop computer is recommended only for advanced computer users, because there are many internal items that can be easily damaged. You should not try to change cables inside a laptop or portable computer.
If above solutions resolved the issue, you are finished. If this did not resolve the IO issue, continue to solution 2.
Solution 2: Start the computer in a clean boot state
Try to perform a clean boot of your computer to determine whether a program or driver is having a conflict with the drive. Click the following links for more information about how to configure Windows XP or Windows Vista to start in clean boot state.
If a clean boot fixes the problem, there may an incompatible program or driver on your PC. For more information, click the following links for more information about how to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP or Windows Vista.
If this solution fixed the problem, you are finished. If this solution did not resolve the I/O problem, go to solution 3.
Solution 3: Change the transfer mode for the drive in IDE Channel Properties
If the transfer mode for the drive was changed or is incorrect, Windows cannot transfer data from the drive to the computer. You can fix this problem by changing to the correct transfer mode. To change the transfer mode, follow these steps:
- Click the Start button
- Right click My Computer
- Select Manage from the resulting menu
- In the Computer Management window, select Device Manager
- Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. A subset will open, listing the different IDE ATA/ATAPI channels for the computer.
- Right-click the channel where the appropriate drive is connected, and then click Properties. Typically, this channel is Secondary IDE Channel.
- On the Advanced Settings tab, select PIO Only in the Transfer Mode box for the device that represents the appropriate drive. Typically, this is Device 0. Then, click OK and exit all windows.
- Test the drive.
Warning: Do not change the Primary IDE Channel, Device 0, because this is typically the system disk. Changing this transfer mode setting may cause the computer to operate incorrectly or not at all.
If the problem is not resolved after you change the transfer mode for the secondary IDE channel device 0, the drive may not be located there. Use the same procedure to change the transfer mode back to DMA if available. Then, repeat steps 1-6 to change the transfer mode for IDE devices in the following order until the issue is resolved:
- Primary IDE channel, device 1
- Secondary IDE channel, device 1
After you change your settings, make sure you restart your system so that the computer recognizes the changes you have made. After you reboot, check the settings to make sure they are in effect. If they are, your device should now work properly.
If this solution fixed the I/O error, you are finished. If this did not fix the problem, try solution 4.
Solution 4: Check the status of the device in Device Manager
You can check the status of the drive in Device Manager to ensure that the device driver is working properly. If there is a hardware problem or a software conflict preventing the device from working properly, usually Device Manager will identify the problem. Click the following links for more information about how to manage devices in Windows XP or Windows Vista.
If this solution fixed the problem, you are finished. If this did not fix the problem, go to solution 5.
Solution 5: Contact the hardware manufacturer
Visit the website or get in touch with the manufacturer of the hardware device to find out whether there is a firmware or a driver update available for download.
Other Solutions to Windows Errors and Slow PC Performance
The best thing you can do, to stop your computer from getting more error messages or slow down your PC performance, is to repair and clean your Windows Registry.
Tune Your PC recommends to run a Free Registry Scan from the multi-award winning registry repair tool, RegCure. RegCure cleans, repairs and optimizes the Windows Registry in under 2 minutes. And because it is an user-friendly tool, you don’t have to be a PC geek, like us.
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