How to Fix “The Parameter Is Incorrect” Error in Windows

If not fixed in time, this error can cause you to lose your important files and data.

Featured Image Parameter Incorrect Windows10

Sometimes while connecting an external hard drive, SD card, USB drive or other storage media to a Windows 11 or Windows 10 device, you may encounter “The parameter is incorrect” error. This error prevents you from opening the drive folder path and accessing the files contained within the drive. If not fixed in time, it can cause you to lose your important files and data. This tutorial shows you what to do when you notice this unique problem in any external drive.

What Does “The Parameter Is Incorrect” Error Mean?

Whenever you connect an external drive to your PC, you should be able to view your files using the File Explorer. For some reason, the external hard drive may get corrupted (temporarily) and display the error message: “Location Drive is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect.”

This error means that a user’s request for access to a folder path has failed. According to the error’s definition, the user is unable to access their data on the device or copy/paste and move the files along a folder path.

Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Error Apperance

“The parameter is incorrect” error is alternatively known as Error 0x80070057. Most Windows users have reported this error for external hard drives, SD cards or USB pen drives. Some, however have also confirmed it for a computer’s built-in hard drive. There are many possible reasons behind this – virus infections, file system corruption, faulty USB ports, bad sectors in the drive, or the need for a complete driver update.

Solutions for “The Parameter is Incorrect” Error in Windows 11/10

Our solutions for “The parameter is incorrect” error vary from simple command line fixes to full-fledged formatting techniques. We will run all these methods step by step. The instructions below have been demonstrated on a Windows 11 device but are exactly the same for a Windows 10 system.

1. Perform a Quick Scan Check

Initially, run your system to check for malware presence. Go to “Virus & Threat Protection” from the Start menu and do a “Quick scan” for any threats. If any malware is found, immediately disconnect your external device, as it may have been infected and become the source of the error. In most cases, Windows 11/10 Defender will alert you in advance about any removable media malware, as it is well-equipped to detect them on arrival.

Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Virus Quick Scan

2. Run Chkdsk to Fix Drive Errors

If you didn’t find any malware, the external drive should be checked next for data integrity. Windows Chkdsk is the most commonly used utility for such detection, as it deep dives into errors due to bad sectors, file system corruptions, and any unresolved software issues.

  1. Make a backup of your data in the drive, as during repair, Chkdsk may delete some of the valuable data in the bad sectors.
  2. Open the command-line window in administrator mode from the Start menu. Enter the following based on the name assigned to the external drive by the computer.
chkdsk Drive name:/f/x/r
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Run Chkdsk
  1. The system will automatically run a complete disk scan of the drive to fix any data integrity issues. It checks basic file structures, security descriptions, USN journals, and bad clusters in file data.
  2. Restart the computer once the scan is finished, and you should no longer have any problems connecting to the external drive.
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Run Chkdsk Bad Clusters

3. Run sfc/scannow on External Drive

Sfc/scannow is one of the best Windows built-in tools for repairing corrupt system files. Did you know it can also be used to repair any corrupt files in the external drive? To access this repair setting, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open a command-line window in Administrator mode and slightly change the command as shown below:
sfc/scannow/offbootdir=Drive Name: /offwindir=Drive name:\windows
Windows11 10 Parameter Sfc Scannow
  1. The target drive has now been selected for system file checking, and you will see a menu of options.
  2. To finish the drive’s scanning, select the first option: sfc /scannow. Give it enough time, as this process can be time-consuming and will go through four or five stages based on how many entries are in your external drive. For smaller USB drives and SD cards, it shouldn’t be as time-consuming.
  3. The errors are automatically detected and fixed by the system file checker.
Windows11 10 Parameter Sfc Scannow Drive

4. Use DISM.exe

Sometimes, the parameter error can be traced to an improper application installation on your Windows device, which leads to errors while creating a folder path. In such cases, DISM.exe is a reliable system file checker tool that can be used to repair Windows installations.

To run DISM.exe, open the command line in Admin mode and type:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /scanhealth
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect User Profile Dism Cleanup

5. Reformat the External Drive

If none of the above simpler techniques work, there could be some possible corruption in the external hard drive. This can only be fixed by reformatting.

Go to the “This PC” main menu on your Windows 10 computer, select the external drive, and right-click to select “Format.”

Win Parameter Error Format Bad Drive
  1. On a Windows 11 device, you only need a simple click to access the format drive option from a context menu on the top. It is a faster approach, as you don’t have to deal with cluttered menu options.
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Format External Drive 1
  1. To format the drive, select your correct file system. Make a selection depending on whether your file system format in the drive is “NTFS” or “FAT” (which you can find in the Chkdsk command prompt utility discussed above).
  2. If you make a new volume label for the drive, it will ensure a fresh approach to the drive.
  3. “Start” the formatting. Do note it will delete all the data on the drive. Afterward, restart and check the external hard drive to see if the “parameter is incorrect” error is still visible.
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Format Start

6. Update Disk Drive and USB Driver

If the fault lies with the disk drive or USB ports, you can check whether any drivers need to be updated. (Usually you will get an alert from Windows beforehand.) Follow the steps below to update.

  1. Go to “Device Manager” from the Start menu search in Windows 11 or the searchbox in Windows 10.
Win Parameter Error Device Mgr

Alternatively, you can open the Device Manager from a simple run command: Win + R , then typing “devmgmt.msc.”

Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Devmgmt.msc
  1. Once the Device Manager is open, select both the Disk Drive and USB drive, and right-click to update the drivers.
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Device Manager Update Driver
  1. To search for the drivers online, click “search automatically for drivers.” This will ensure Windows searches for and installs the best available driver on your device.
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Search Automatically
  1. If a new driver is found online, it will be automatically added to your system. You can restart the computer to see if the parameter error has been fixed.
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Device Manager Searching For Drivers

7. Ensure Decimal Symbol in Date Time Settings

Sometimes a syntax issue in the date-time format can cause parameter errors. On a periodic basis, you should check whether you have a proper decimal symbol enabled in date-time settings.

  1. Go to “Control Panel -> Clock and Region” and select “Region: Change date, time or number formats.”
Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Clock And Region Additional Settings

2. Once the window opens, click “Additional settings.” Here you need to ensure that the decimal symbol “.” is being used.

Windows11 10 Parameter Is Incorrect Clock And Region Decimal Symbol

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I use external software to format Windows or an external hard drive?

While there are many external software that format a Windows hard drive, it is recommended to use Windows 11/10’s built-in tools such as Chkdsk, SFC Checker, DISM.exe, and other native tools, as they are better designed for diagnosing errors in a Windows environment. However, you may prefer to use the software for external USB and hard drives.

2. What are the signs of hard drive failure? How do I know if my hard drive is bad?

If your hard drive is prone to failure, you will see many warning signs. The most obvious one is frequent blue screens of death (BSOD )when running the hard drive-based applications. If you’re hit with a BSOD, try one of these solutions. Another warning sign is Windows failing to start properly, with errors such as 0xc00000f. Is your computer overheating for no reason? That’s a big sign of hard disk failure, meaning you’ll need to replace it.

Wrapping Up

“The parameter is incorrect” error is a common error in Windows 11/10. However, with the above methods discussed here, you should be able to solve the issue on your own. You can also do a self-assessment to check RAM health and motherboard health on your Windows PC. If you haven’t installed Windows 11 yet, read on to learn what you should do before after installing it.

Sayak Boral
Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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