Sometimes, while connecting an external hard drive, SD card, USB, or other storage media to your Windows PC, you may get the “The parameter is incorrect” error. If the error is not fixed in time, you will lose important files and data. This is exactly what to do when you notice this problem with any external hard drive.
What does the error “The parameter is incorrect” mean?
Whenever you connect an external hard drive to your PC, you will be able to view your files in File Explorer. For some reason, the external hard drive might fail (temporarily) and display the error message: “Location Drive is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect“.
It is also known as error 0x80070057. There can be many reasons for this error, from the USB port to bad sectors in the drive or the need to update the driver. Solutions also vary, from fixing errors with a simple command line to using official data recovery software.
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How to fix “The Parameter Is Incorrect” error in Windows 10
1. Run a quick scan check
Initially, check if the system has malware. Head to Virus & Threat Protection from the Start menu and perform a quick Quick scan to find any threats. If any malware is found, disconnect the external device immediately, as it could be the source of the problem. In most cases, Windows 10 will warn you in advance about such malware, as it will detect it as soon as it reaches the system.
2. Run Chkdsk to fix hard drive errors
If you don’t find any malware, the external hard drive will be checked for data integrity. Windows Chkdsk is the most useful utility to detect this. Open a command-line window in admin mode from the Start menu. Enter the following information based on the name automatically assigned to the external hard drive:
chkdsk Drive name:/f/x/r
The system will run a full scan of the drive and fix any data integrity issues. It checks the basic file structure, security descriptor, USN journal, and bad clusters in the file data. Restart the computer after the scan is finished, and you should no longer have any problems connecting the external hard drive.
3. Run sfc/scannow on the external hard drive
Sfc/scannow is one of the best built-in Windows tools for repairing corrupted system files. But did you know it can also be used to repair corrupted files on external hard drives? To access this repair setting, open a command-line window in Admin mode and slightly change the command as shown below:
sfc/scannow/offbootdir=Drive Name: /offwindir=Drive name:windows
The destination drive is now selected to check the file system. You will now see a menu of options. Select the first option: sfc /scannow to complete the drive scan. Be patient, as this process can be time-consuming and takes 4 or 5 stages, depending on the number of entries on your external hard drive. For smaller USB drives and SD cards, this won’t take much time. The system file checker will automatically detect and correct errors.
4. Format the external hard drive
If none of the above methods work, the external hard drive may have crashed. This can only be fixed by reformatting. Go to the “This PC” main menu on your Windows 10 computer, select the external hard drive, and click Format.
Depending on whether the file system format on the drive is “NTFS” or “FAT” (which you can find in the Chkdsk utility discussed above), you need to make a choice. If you want to create a new volume label, you can try it, as it will ensure a new approach to the drive. Note that formatting will erase all data on the drive.
5. Update USB drivers and drives
If the problem is in the drive or USB port, you can check to see if any driver updates are needed. (Typically, you’ll get a warning from Windows first.) Otherwise, go to “Device Manager” from the Start menu.
Now, select both the drive and the USB drive, and then right-click to update the driver.
If a new driver is found online, it will automatically be added to your system. You can restart the machine to see if the parameter error is gone.
6. Make sure the decimal notation is in the date and time settings
Sometimes a syntax problem in the date-time format can also cause parameter errors. Go to Control Panel > Clock and Region and select Regional Date and Time format > Additional settings. Here, you need to make sure that the decimal notation “.” is being used.