By Lena / Last update April 22, 2021

The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error

When you are trying to copy files from or to another device, a pop-up window appears and says that ‚ÄúThe request failed due to a fatal device hardware error‚ÄĚ. The device just turns inaccessible. Actually, it‚Äôs a quite common error that can happen on any device. And for Western Digital (WD) and Seagate external hard drive users, you might see the fatal error is followed by "0x800701E3" error code.

Thus, the error message should like this:

  • "X: is not accessible. The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error."
  • "Error¬†0x800701E3: The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error."
  • "Virtual Disk Manager:¬†The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error."

A Fatal Device Hardware Error

Possible reasons for the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error

Various reasons can lead to the device hardware error and the following three are the commonly seen:

  • The USB cable loose connection.

  • Bad sectors on the disk. Even one bad sector can make the drive inaccessible.

  • Hardware fault in the hard drive.

In fact, such hard drive failure can happen at any given moment. And you should know that it means that your drive is dying. You might need to get a new one to replace it.

But don’t be too worry, you can fix this error with the following solutions. But before that, you need to do something simple and check if it works for this error. 

  • Check if the hard drive cables are loose. If it is, tight the cables.
  • Reconnect the device.¬†
  • Connect the device to another USB port. To be sure, you still can try to connect it to another computer.¬†
  • Change drive letter for it.¬†

Other solutions you can try: 

Solution 1. Check the SMART status

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. By checking its attributes, you will know the status of your hard drive health. Is it damaged or how severely of the damage?

Then. let's get started to check your hard drive. 

Step 1. Type ‚Äúcommand prompt‚Ä̬†in the search box > right-click Command Prompt¬†and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. In the elevated command prompt, type wmic diskdrive get status and hit Enter. Then, you may get 4 different statuses, namely, "OK", "Bad", "Unknown", "Caution". 

>> If everything is fine, the OK status will be displayed. You can move on to other solutions.

>> But if it shows Caution, Unknown or Bad, it means the drive is in the falling process and you’d better make a backup for the drive immediately to ensure data safety. Then, continue to fix this error using other solutions below. 

Smart

To help you backup your drive easily, you could consider using a trust and reliable backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard. You can choose to backup entire hard disk with "Disk Backup" and then restore disk image to a new disk. 

Also, you can choose to clone disk to larger disk with its intelligent clone, which has the ability to skip bad sectors. And you can use it to boot computer without restoring image file first.

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click Backup and choose Disk backup.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Disk Backup

Step 2. Click Add Disk to choose the disk with fatal device hardware error. 

Add Disk

Step 3. Then select the destination path to save the image. If it's an external hard drive, please connect it first. Confirm the operation and click Start Backup.

Select Destination

Solution 2. Run Diskpart Utility

Diskpart Utility can help you¬†check and repair hard drive problems related to bad sectors or file system errors. So you can run it to fix ‚ÄúThe request failed due to a fatal device hardware error‚ÄĚ.

If CHKDSK finds any bad sector, it will try to repair the error. The data stored in the bad sector will be lost. You can backup the disk in advance to avoid data loss.

Then, run this tool with following steps.

Step 1. Type ‚Äúcommand prompt‚Ä̬†in the search box > right-click Command Prompt¬†and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. Input chkdsk F: /f /r and hit Enter.

Among them:

  • F is the drive letter of the inaccessible drive.
  • /f fixes system errors.¬†
  • /r locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.

Chkdsk

Solution 3. Run an error check

The Disk Error Checking can resolve the inaccessibility problem and check the bad sectors, file system errors, losr clusters, etc. Besides, it can help improve the performance of the computer.

To repair this error using error checking, just go through these steps. 

Step 1. Right-click the faulty hard drive and choose Properties.

Step 2. Click the Tools tab and click Check under Error checking.

Disk Error Checking

If there is an error, it will prompt a message to scan the drive. When the scan is complete, you will be asked to restart your computer at once or schedule the error fixing on next restart.

Solution 4. Update the device driver

The outdated drivers can be another reason why you receive the fatal device hardware error. Thus, it's suggested to update the driver using Device Manager.

To update outdated drivers, try the following steps. 

Step 1. Press "Win + R" key together to and type "devmgmt.msc" in the Run box. Then, hit Enter to open Device Manager.

Step 2. In the Device Manager, expand Disk drives > find the external hard drive or USB drive with error > right-click it and select Update driver. 

Step 3. Click Automatically search for driver software online and wait. 

Step 4. Once the process complete, restart your computer and see if it works.

Solution 5. Format the disk and initialize

Formating hard drive and initializing it can also be a working method to fix the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error. This operation will change the file system and delete all the data on the disk, so do not forget to backup your drive before formatting. 

Here you will format hard drive and initialize disk with Disk Management. If you encounter any error during the format process, such as, "The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error when initializing disk," please turn to a professional disk wipe utility to write zeros  to a hard drive completely. It will be introduced in the next part.

Format the disk

Step 1. Connect your drive to the computer.

Step 2. Right-click ‚ÄúThis PC‚Ä̬†> choose Manage¬†> Disk Management.

Step 3. Right-click the drive > select format > click OK.

Step 4. Set the volume level, file system format > choose to Perform a quick format option > click OK to confirm.

Format

Initialize the disk

Step 1. Go to Disk Management > right-click the drive and choose Initialize Disk.

Step 2. Select the correct partition type (MBR or GPT) > click OK to confirm.

Solution 6. Wipe hard disk completely 

This is the last method to fix internal or external drive is not accessible The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error. Compared with quick format, this way is more thorough. Thus, don't forget to backup disk, otherwise you will regret not doing it. 

Here you will use AOMEI Backupper Standard. If you don't have this software, please download and install it on your computer. Then, connect the hard drive with fatal device hardware error.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, go to Tools > Disk Wipe and click it.

Disk Wipe

Step 2. In the wiping type window, select Wipe disk and click Next. If you only want to wipe specific partition(s) or unallocated space, select the first option. 

Wipe Disk

Step 3. Select the disk with fatal device hardware error and click Next.

Select Disk

Step 4. In the wiping method window, select Fill sectors with zero and click Start.

If you are wiping system disk of the current computer, this software will finish the zero filling process under the windows PE environment. Thus, don’t stop it if your computer restarts.

Fill Sectors with Zero

‚ėÖTips:
If you want a more thorough way, Gutmann, fill sectors with random data, DoD 52220.22-M will be better choices. To enjoy them, you need to upgrade to the professional version first.
If you have any further question, you could click the Help button at the left-bottom corner and learn more about Disk Wipe.

Conclusion

The causes of  the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error may be different for different users, so please try some of all solutions above per your needs.

Also, backing up your drive in advance with AOMEI Backupper Standard can help you ensure the safety of data before trying these solutions Also, it can be used to protect your data in the future by making a schedule backup, which will include all of your data including changes made later.

Thus, if the fatal device hardware error occur again or you encounter other hard disk problems, you can restore files or system from a backup to get your computer back in a very short time.