How to resolve I/O device errors in Microsoft Windows PC?

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I/O device errors are not uncommon for Microsoft Windows users when attempting to read or write to drive, disc or portable media devices. When this error is triggered, it usually halts any transfer that is going on at that particular time, or it may prohibit it altogether. There are many different media storage types that the end-user may encounter this error on, such as:

  • External Hard Drives
  • DVD ROM Drives
  • SD Cards
  • USB Sticks/Drives

The most common causes for this error are quite numerous. So continue reading for that.

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Table of Contents

Common I/O Device Error Messages

Unfortunately, there are a number of different error messages that are associated with I/O device errors. Of these error messages, the most common are the following:

  • The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.
  • Only part of readprocessmemory/writeprocessmemory request was completed.

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End-users may also encounter several different Windows error codes, such as error 6, error 103, error 105, error 131 and error 21, all of which are associated with the I/O device error.

Why Do I/O Device Errors Occur?

As I previously stated, there are several different things that are to blame for I/O device errors. The most common being the following:

  • The operating system is attempting to use an unsupported transfer mode.
  • The hardware component is either defective or damaged.
  • The drivers for the hardware device are either incompatible or corrupted.
  • The cable connecting the device in question is defective.
  • The CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc you are trying to access data from is damaged or dirty.

Basic Troubleshooting

Before taking the drastic step of throwing away a CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc, or attempting more complex troubleshooting methods, there are a number of basic measures that you can and should take. If these steps are unable to fix the problem, they may at least help you get a little closer to the real cause of the problem.

Anyway, these solutions are the following:

  • Restart your system, then try and access the disc or drive again.
  • Consider cleaning your CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc with a professional cleaning solution.
  • If you have access to another computer, try accessing the data on the drive or disk, just so you can confirm whether it’s your computer or the portable storage device at fault.
  • If you don’t have access to another computer, then consider using a different drive or disk on your computer, to evaluate the same condition.

If you were able to fix the problem using the steps above, then you are good to go, if you weren’t, then there are several other steps below, that you may want to consider attempting.

Check All Cables

If the error occurs on an external drive, then make sure the cable that is being used is working properly. If the cable is faulty, then your computer will have a hard time accessing data through it. If you have access to another cable, then try swapping it out. If the device is USB based, then try plugging it into a different USB port.

Note: If the issue is internal, then it means you will need to open up the computer and change out the cables. This is a method I recommend only advanced users carry out, as you can very easily damage your system if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

Start In a Clean Boot State

Consider starting your system in a clean boot state so that you can better determine whether a driver or program is at conflict with the drive. I recommend you visit Microsoft’s official website on how to enter a clean boot state on your version of Windows.

If you’re able to fix the problem using a clean boot, then it’s likely that you’ll have to update some drivers or uninstall an incompatible program to do so.

Other Solutions

Preventative measures are always better than fixes; you always want to be doing things on your computer that prevent problems from occurring in the future. In this particular case, you may want to look into cleaning your registry as a means of preventing hardware and software issues in the future.

I personally recommend you use Ccleaner, and that’s because it’s free and amongst the most popular. It’s a tool capable of not only repairing your registry but also carrying out various maintenance tasks, which will ensure your system runs at optimal performance for many years into the future.

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