Drive is Not Accessible the Parameter is Incorrect on External Hard Drive

Position: How Tos - Disk Utilities - Drive is Not Accessible the Parameter is Incorrect on External HDD

This guide aims to help you fix "Drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect" on external hard drive and other devices without losing data in Windows 10/8/7. This error can happen to almost all storage devices, preventing you from accessing data inside the partition. Do format the drive if it contains important files. This article provides instructions to help you fix it safely as well as recover lost files from the not accessible external hard drive.

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Symptoms and causes


You connect an external hard drive to computer, open File Explorer and double click the partition on the external HD. In general, you can open the partition and access files. However, if the partition gets damaged for some reason and becomes inaccessible, you cannot open it anymore and receive error message "Location is not available. K:\ is not accessible. Accessible. The parameter is incorrect." This is one of the Windows errors you may receive when accessing a corrupted partition. It may occur on any kind of storage devices, such as hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card. Apart from incorrect parameters, you may also get other error messages while opening a corrupted drive, for example, "Drive is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and readable." Whatever the error message, formatting is not recommended to be your first action if the corrupted drive contains important data.

Drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Example: My computers crashed, and I needed to reinstall Windows. Before that, I backed up all data to an external hard drive in WinPE. Then I reinstalled Windows 10 and all drivers. After everything was done, I tried to get data restored to my internal hard disk. However, the external hard drive did not work. It showed in computer but did not allow me to open it. I got an error saying it is not accessible the parameter is not correct. I tried to run CHKDSK, and yet it said "cannot open volume for direct access". I do not want to lose these files. Could you please help me fix this error? Thanks a lot!


The not accessible parameter incorrect error can be caused by a wide range of causes, and here lists the most common reasons:

  • Corrupted file system: a corrupted file system is the cause of most inaccessible partitions. The file system is in charge of where and how files are stored, and corrupted file system becomes unable to tell Windows where to find these files. Many actions can damage file system, for example, force removal of external disk without safely ejecting it; sudden power failure, the device infects virus, partition resizing gets interrupted, etc.
  • Bad sectors: No storage device can escape the fate of bad sectors. Once your external hard drive develops bad sectors, you may get various issues.
  • Physical damages: the USB port, USB cable, or the internal components of the disk may get damaged. For instance, you may get an I/O device error along with incorrect parameter issue.

How do I fix drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect error on external HDD?

IMPORTANT: If there are important files on the external HDD, you should turn to data recovery software in the first place. After files are backed up / recovered, you can try following solutions to solve the error.

Solution #1: Enable Windows Defender or install third-party antivirus software

Virus or malware is the major cause of many issues, and it is necessary to get your computer and storage devices protected by anti-virus software. If you are not going to invest in third-party antivirus software, you can simply enable Windows Defender which can also safeguard your computer in most situations.

Solution #2: Format the inaccessible drive

If solutions talked about above cannot fix the error, you have to give a shot of formatting:

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to computer. Open Windows File Explorer.

Step 2. Right-click on the inaccessible drive and choose Format option.

Step 3. Select a proper file system type and click Start button.

If Windows cannot complete the formatting, then the external hard drive must have bad sectors. In that case, you can move to solution 4 to check and repair bad sectors.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Solution #3: View S.M.A.R.T. information of the external hard drive

Hard drives, external hard drives and SSDs do not live forever, and the lifespan differs one from another. In some cases, the incorrect parameter issue indicates the drive is failing with severe damages. We can have a check of S.M.A.R.T. information to see the health status quickly. DiskGenius Free Edition makes it quite easy to view the S.M.A.R.T. data for connected drives.

Step 1. Launch DiskGenius Free Edition on the computer where the damaged hard drive is connected.

Step 2. Select the hard drive and choose "Disk" menu to find "View S.M.A.R.T. Information"

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 3. Now you can view a list of detailed information about the disk. If the "Health Status" is "Bad" or "Warning" instead of "Good", you should be watchful.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Solution #4: Check and repair bad sectors


Checking or repairing bad sectors is not helpful for external hard drive recovery, instead, repairing bad sectors will destroy data. Thus, any files that are important to you should be backed up in advance.

Not all bad sectors can be repaired by the software. It is recommended to contact a professional repair shop if your disk cannot be repaired by this tool.

Step 1. Launch DiskGenius Free edition, select the damaged disk and click Verify Or Repair Bad Sectors under Disk menu.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 2. Click Start Verify button on the pop-up window and the software starts to scan the disk.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 3. Wait for the scanning to complete. Then you can click Repair button if bad sectors are found by the software.

How to recover files when external hard drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect?

DiskGenius is powerful data recovery software and it is capable of recovering files from a corrupted, unformatted, inaccessible or RAW partition. It supports to recover files from NTFS, FAT(FAT16, FAT32), exFAT, EXT4, EXT3 and EXT2 drives of any hard drive, external HDD, USB flash drive, memory card, virtual disk, etc.. Apart from RAW partition recovery, it also supports to imaging disk with bad sectors, so that you can perform data recovery from destination disk without scanning original disk.

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Step 1. Connect the inaccessible external hard drive to computer. Then open Disk Management to make sure it can be detected by Windows.

Step 2. Install and launch DiskGenius from your PC. Right-click the corrupted partition on the external hard drive and choose Load Current Partition Intelligently, as the picture below.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

The "Load Current Partition Intelligently" is developed to rapidly retrieve files from corrupted NTFS partitions, and it is able to load files in the inaccessible partition within a couple of second. Hence, you do not have to scan the entire drive once this function works on your drive. After wanted files are loaded by this function, you can register DiskGenius to the Professional Edition and copy files to a working partition to complete the recovery.

However, if the partition on your external hard drive was not in NTFS format or it was damaged very badly, lost file cannot be found by this function. In this case, you can continue using File Recovery function to scan this drive (See Step 3). The "Load Current Partition Intelligently" function is read-only to the partition, and it does not affect the scanning result of File Recovery.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 3. Run File Recovery: select the corrupted partition > click File Recovery button > click Start on the pop-up windows.

Tip: File recovery supports to recover files from formatted, RAW, corrupted and damaged partition as well as search for lost data from unallocated disk space; the "Partition Recovery" is used to search for deleted or lost partition.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

DiskGenius is scanning the partition. The following picture shows the scanning process goes on 1 minutes and scans 63392MB space, and the basic file directory has been displayed. In many cases, you do not have to scan the entire partition, as you can stop scanning in advance once wanted files have been found by the software.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 4. Preview recoverable files to check if they are corrupted.

The scanning result shows all possible files for the recovery, and you can preview them (double-click to preview) to verify if they got damaged due to the incorrect parameter error.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 5. Choose files you want to recover and copy them to a secure location.

Right-click on selected data to choose "Copy To", and a window will pop up to let you specify a location and store recovered files.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Bonus tip: How to recover data from not accessible external hard drive with bad sectors?

There is possibility that the external hard drive that reporting RAW or not accessible contains bad sectors. In that case, the file recovery or partition recovery cannot be carried out smoothly. No worries. You can try disk cloning the external hard drive via skipping bad sectors, after which you can recover data from the target disk instead of scanning the damaged disk. DiskGenius Professional edition provides the function to create a sector-by-sector copy of a disk, partition or a segment of sectors.

Step 1. Prepare a healthy hard drive whose space is not smaller than the external hard drive you are going to clone. Make sure the hard drive does not contain any important data.

Step 2. Connect both working disk and damaged disk to computer. Then Launch DiskGenius > choose Tools menu > Copy Sectors, as follows.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 3. Select source and target disk and configure how to deal with bad sectors. The click Copy button.

The copying process may take quite a while if there are many bad sectors on the disk, the source disk has a very large capacity, etc.

drive is not accessible the parameter is incorrect

Step 4. After sector copy process completes, you can remove the source disk and use File Recovery function to scan the target disk and recover data.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I fix the incorrect parameters?

A partition formatting can fix most of corrupted partitions, and you can try format it in Windows. However, formatting removes all data from the partition, and data recovery should be carried out prior to formatting.

2. What does the incorrect parameters mean when copying files?

Error copying file or folder prevents you from copying data to a specified location, and this error can be caused by many factors, for example, target disk is corrupted, file or folder ownership changed, bad sectors, etc. To remove this error, you can try formating the target drive, checking bad sectors, changing drive permissions, etc.

3. How can I fix my external hard drive RAW error in Windows 10/8/7?

When external hard drive becomes RAW in Windows 10/8/7, you can neither open the disk nor access files in it. Here are steps to get it fixed without losing data:

Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to computer.

Step 2: Use the function "Load Current Partition Intelligently" or "File Recovery" to recover lost data.

Step 3: Format the RAW drive on the external hard drive.

4. What is a RAW drive? How to recover data from RAW drive?

RAW indicates there are errors in the file system part of your partition, and it cannot be recognized by Windows. Thus, a RAW drive is not accessible. Whereas, it is easy to recover data from a RAW drive. You can refer to this guide to learn detailed steps: RAW Partition Recovery - How to Recover Data from RAW Drive Without Formatting?

Final words

An inaccessible external hard drive due to incorrect parameter may bring about a big trouble to users. After reading this tutorial, you should be able to fix it without losing data for external hard drive and other storage devices. Should you need any help regarding RAW partition recovery, feel free to contact us please.

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