I'm Getting a Flash Drive I/O Device Error

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Troubleshoot your flash drive to correct an I/O device error.

A flash drive is a solid-state, removable storage device that allows you to quickly and easily transport information from one computer to another. Flash drives use USB connectivity, making them a universally recognized storage device. If you are experiencing problems with a flash drive such as an "I/O device error," you can perform basic troubleshooting to address the issue. If none of the troubleshooting techniques resolves the problem, the device may be beyond repair and should be replaced.


Step 1

Unplug the flash drive from your computer. Wait approximately 30 seconds and then plug it back in and attempt to access the files on the device.

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Step 2

Press the "Windows" and "R" key at the same time to launch the Windows Run command. Type "devmgmt.msc" (without quotes) into the Run window and press "Enter." Scroll down to and double-click "Universal Serial Bus Controllers." Right-click "USB Mass Storage Device" and select "Update Driver Software." Click on "Search automatically for updated driver software" and allow Windows to search for and install driver updates for the device. Restart your computer after Windows installs any driver updates.


Step 3

Click on "Start" and select "Computer." Locate the flash drive in the "Devices with Removable Storage" section. Right-click on the flash drive and select "Properties." Click the "Tools" tab and click "Check now" in the "Error-checking" section. Place a check mark next to "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors." Click "Start." Allow the computer to scan the flash drive for errors and fix them automatically.



Step 4

Click on "Start" and select "Computer." Locate the flash drive in the "Devices with Removable Storage" section. Right-click the drive and select "Format." Click the "File System" drop-down menu and select "FAT32 (Default)." Remove the check mark next to "Quick Format" and click "Start." Allow the computer to format the flash drive. You should only use disk formatting as a last resort, as it removes all information on the drive.



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