Fix The Parameter Is Incorrect on External Hard Drive in Windows

Do not panic if the "Drive Is Not Accessible. The Parameter Is Incorrect" error occurs on your device. In this guide, you will learn:

If you don't know where to start, the following fixes will teach you to make your problematic device work normally again:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Run FSC Command Prompt > Type SFC/scannow...Full steps
Fix 2. Change Decimal Settings Go to Settings > Time & Language > Region...Full steps
Fix 3. Format Device  Run the software to scan and recover data...Full steps
Fix 4. Run CHKDSK Plugin problematic device > Command Prompt...Full steps

Applies to: Fix "The parameter is incorrect" error on an external hard drive, USB or memory card, etc.

What Is "The Parameter Is Incorrect" Error

'The parameter is incorrect' is an error that usually occurs in Windows 10/8/7 and prevents you from opening the device and accessing your data. It usually attacks an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or SD memory card with the message: 'Location is not accessible, the parameter is incorrect'. 

The parameter is incorrect' error on external hard drive or USB drive

Causes of This Error:

Go through the following sections and you'll get full data out of the inaccessible device. You'll also remove the error from your hard drive, external hard drive, USB, SD, etc., successfully.

First Thing to Do: Recover Data from Hard Drives with "Parameter Is Incorrect" Error 

Note that some fixes for the "The parameter is incorrect" error may cause data loss on your storage devices, like hard drive formatting or running the CHKDSK tool. To protect your data, you should first recover your files from your hard drive or external storage devices with professional data recovery software.

Qiling hard drive data recovery software is capable of accessing everything on your problematic hard drive and getting data off. Its advanced scan feature will thoroughly scan and restore all files on the HDD, SSD, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, and more.

This data recovery software enables you to retrieve deleted files from emptied Recyle Bin, formatted or corrupted hard drive, lost partition, RAW drive, ete. Free download it and follow the guides below to recover data from an inaccessible hard drive. 

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1. Use a correct USB cable to connect your external hard drive to your computer. Run Deep Data Recovery and you will see your external disk under External drives. This software supports all the popular external disk brands, including WD, Seagate, Toshiba, LaCie, SanDisk, Samsung, etc. 

Select file types that you want to recover

Select the external hard drive and then click the "Scan" button. 

select your seagate external hard drive and click scan

Step 2. As soon as the scan process starts, the software will find more and more lost and deleted data and display the data in the scan results. The recovered data will be nicely organized. You can quickly find the target files/folders by file type or search in the search box with exact file name. 

can the lost data on the seagate external hard drive

Step 3. You can preview the files found by Deep Data Recovery's scanning algorithms. Then, select files and click "Recover". To avoid data overwriting, we recommend that you save the recovered data to a different drive than the original Seagate drive.

After retrieving all your data from the external hard drive, USB drive, etc., storage devices, follow Part 2 below to permanently remove the "The parameter is incorrect" error.

Part 2. Fix "The Parameter Is Incorrect" in Windows 10/8/7 [5+ Fixes]

Applies to: Remove the "Parameter is incorrect" error so as to make storage devices accessible and work again.

After restoring your data from your devices, follow the fixes in this part to remove the error and repair USB drives, external hard drives, or memory cards for reuse.

5 Fixes to Get Rid of "The Parameter Is Incorrect" Error:

The former the fix is listed, the more effective it will be. 

Fix 1. Run SFC Command to Fix Corrupted System File

Difficulty Level: Medium Risk Level: Medium, false operation may cause serious problems. 

The "parameter not correct" error is mostly within the computer system, where the system files are missing or corrupted.

You can use the Windows utility called System File Checker (SFC) to scan the corrupted system files. The tool automatically finds and fixes the files for you.

Step 1. Open Windows Command Prompt in the same way as shown in Fix 2.

Step 2. This time input SFC /scannow in the black window and hit Enter.

Run FSC to fix corrupted file system that cause the parameter is incoorect error

Step 3. Exit command prompt when the scanning process completes. 

After this, restart the PC and reconnect your device to see if the problem has been resolved.

Fix 2. Change Decimal Symbol Settings

Difficulty Level: Easy Risk Level: Low

If the decimal symbol is not set to ".", you may encounter the "device parameter incorrect" issue on the computer. Here are the steps to change the settings and fix this issue:

Step 1. Go to Settings > Time & Language > Region & language.

Step 2. Click "Additional date, time, & regional settings".

Step 3. Under the Region section, click "Change date, time, or number formats".

Step 4. Click "Additional settings", then in the Decimal symbol, type . (dot), and click "OK" twice. 

Change decimal symbol settings

After this, restart the PC and try to access your hard drive, external hard drive, USB, etc., on your computer.

Fix 3. Format Internal/External Hard Drive or USB to Reset the File System 

Difficulty Level: Easy Risk Level: High, formatting will cause data loss. Remember to recover data first.

The most effective way to fix the "The parameter is incorrect" error is to perform high-level formatting, also called quick format in Windows. It will reset the file system of the target device, making it accessible again.

Step 1. Connect the inaccessible disk to your PC

Step 2. Open File Explorer and right-click the inaccessible device and select "Format".

Step 3. Reset the file system - NTFS (for Internal hard drive), FAT32 (for USB, external hard drive less than 32GB).

Step 4. Then click "OK" and the formatting will be done quickly. 

format hard drive with parameter is incorrect error

This operation will create a new file system for the volume and repair all the possible errors or corruptions on it.

Fix 4. Run CHKDSK to Repair Disk Errors/Bad Sectors

Difficulty Level: Medium Risk Level: High, CHKDSK command may cause serious file loss. Recover data at first.

The CHKDSK command can check and repair file system corruption, errors, corruptions, and bad sectors on the external hard drive or USB disk which has the "Drive Is Not Accessible. The Parameter Is Incorrect" error.

Note that the CHKDSK command will erase all data while fixing the device error. So make sure that you recover all data from the problematic device first with reliable data recovery software.

Step 1. Plugin your external hard drive, USB drive, or memory card to PC.

Step 2. Open Command Prompt.

Step 3. Type chkdsk F: /f /x /r and hit Enter.

Replace F with the drive letter of your external hard drive or USB device.

Run CHKDSK to Fix parameter is incorrect error

Once complete, exit the Command Prompt and re-connect the storage drive to your computer. See if the error persists.

Fix 5. Run CHKDSK Alternative - Automated Repair Tool

Difficulty Level: Easy Risk Level: Low. 

Download Qiling CleanGenius and install it on your computer. Let's start checking and refixing file system error on your device now.

Step 1. Click "File Showing" to enter the next step.

Step 2. Choose the target device and tick the box of "Check and fix file system error". Click "Execute" to start fixing the problematic device.

Step 3. When the fixing process completes, click "here" to open and use your device. 

Bonus Tips to Fix The "Parameter Is Incorrect" Error

In addition to the aforementioned fixes, you can try the tips listed below to make your drive usable and accessible:

Part 3. How to Protect Drive Against The "Parameter Is Incorrect" Error

After implementing the methods provided in Part 1 and Part 2, you should now be able to access your storage devices and data without any issues.

However, this is not the end, yet. It makes sense to learn some useful tips to prevent hard drive, external hard drive, or USB from the "parameter incorrect" issue.

Try the tips given below to fully protect your data and your device from this error:


"The parameter is incorrect" usually hints at an unseen problem on a hard drive or a removable storage drive, blocking the access to data on it. In view of the reasons for such an error, you should have a clear understanding now.

To address this issue without losing data, you need to perform data recovery with Deep Data Recovery in advance. 

Among all possible fixes, formatting is the most efficient way to remove this error and make the device accessible again. If you directly formatted your hard drive and lost data, use Qiling data recovery software to recover formatted hard drive as soon as possible.

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