Sometimes while connecting an external hard drive, SD card, USB drive or other storage media to a Windows PC, you may encounter “The parameter is incorrect” error. If not corrected in time, the error will cause you to lose your important files and data. Here’s exactly 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 in 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.”
It is also known as Error 0x80070057. There could be many reasons for this – from USB ports to bad sectors in the drive or a need for a driver update. The solutions also vary from simple command line fixes to using a full-fledged data recovery software. We will run them step by step.
1. Perform a Quick Scan Check
Initially, run your system through a routine 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 could be the source. In most cases, Windows 10 will alert you about such malware in advance, as it detects them upon arrival.
2. Run Chkdsk to Fix Drive Errors
If you don’t find any malware, then the external drive should be checked for data integrity. Windows Chkdsk is the most useful utility for such detection. Open the command-line window in administrator mode from Start menu. Enter the following based on the automatic name assigned to the external drive:
The system will run a complete disk scan of the drive and fix any data integrity issues. It checks basic file structures, security descriptions, USN journals, and bad clusters in file data. Restart the computer once the scan is over, and you should no longer have any problems connecting the external drive.
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 corrupt files in the external drive? To access this repair setting, open command-line window in Administrator mode and slightly change the command as shown below:
The target drive has now been selected for system file checking. You will now be presented with a menu of options. Select the first option:
sfc /scannow to finish the drive’s scanning. Give it enough time, as this process can be time-consuming and go to 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. The errors are automatically detected and fixed by the system file checker.
4. Reformat the External Drive
If none of the above techniques worked, we could be looking at some 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 click “Format.”
Depending on whether your file system format in the drive is “NTFS” or “FAT” (which you can find in the Chkdsk utility discussed above), you should make the selection. If you want to make a new volume label for the drive, you can give it a go, as it will ensure a fresh approach to the drive. “Start” the formatting – do note it will delete all the data on the drive.
5. Update Disk Drive and USB Driver
If the fault lies with the disk drive or USB ports, you can check if any drivers need to be updated. (Usually you will get an alert from Windows beforehand.) Otherwise, go to “Device Manager” from the Start menu.
Now select both the Disk Drive and USB drive and right-click to update the drivers.
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 is gone.
6. Ensure Decimal Symbol in Date Time Settings
Sometimes a syntax issue 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 ensure that the decimal symbol “.” is being used.
“The parameter is incorrect” error is a common error in Windows 10. However, with the above methods discussed here, you should be able to solve the issue on your own. If you are having the “Bad System Config Info” error instead, here is how to fix it.