How to Fix a Device Error on an External HDD

by Sara Bailey

An external hard drive that has a corrupt file system will often report a device error when it is plugged into your computer. This will make the hard drive unresponsive and prevent you from using it. In order to fix the hard drive, you will need to format it to clear out the corrupt file system. Once formatted, the external hard drive will allow you to save your data onto it again.

Plug the external hard drive into a computer. Ignore the device error message.

Single click the "Start" button on the computer desktop, then click "Computer" from the "Start" menu. A list of drives and storage devices will populate.

Right click the external hard drive that is reporting a device error and single click "Format" from the small context menu that comes up.

Click the "Quick Format" option on the "Format" menu, then click "Start" to format the external hard drive. This will erase everything on the hard drive.

Click "OK" when the format is complete. The external hard drive will now work correctly.

About the Author

Sara Bailey is a writer from Manhattan, N.Y., with work appearing in "Giant" magazine. She is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where she received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communications.