How to Fix Parameter is Incorrect on External Hard Drive?

By Dominic Chooper on July 21, 2023

While using your computer system, you may encounter several issues or errors related to hardware or software or both. One such error is “Parameter is incorrect” error on your external hard drive, which is quite common and not fatal.

There are some solutions to this particular error. A few of them involve simple troubleshooting, while others are a bit complex.

If you have no clue about them, you are fortunately at the right place. This article will guide you through so that you can successfully rectify the errors and put your external hard drive “back on track.”


What are the Reasons for Incorrect Parameter Error on an External Hard Drive?

There are some common causes for the “Parameter is incorrect” error on an external hard drive. One such cause is incompatibility of the file system of the hard drive and the operating system.

There may also be some issues with the settings or input provided to a particular operation or command.

Other significant reasons for this error are:

It is very important to know the specific cause of the “Parameter is incorrect” error because it can vary according to the combination of software and hardware related to it as well as the specific circumstances.

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Depending on that the solutions will also vary, which are mentioned in the following section of the article.

Ways to Fix Parameter is Incorrect Error on External Hard Drive

Parameter is Incorrect

You can resolve the “Parameter is Incorrect” error on your external hard drive easily by some simple and complex solutions.

A simple solution includes but is not limited to safely removing the drive from your system and reconnecting it. Also check for damaged ports or cables in your system and change if necessary.

In most cases, checking for errors in the file system and its compatibility by running error-checking commands like check disk and scan now commands may also resolve the issue.

Sometimes, running simple commands to find errors may not be enough. You will need to check for viruses and malware as well by running a reliable third-party antivirus software. Additionally, you may also need to format the drive.

Updating the driver for the drive or drives may also resolve the issue.

Some other useful and advanced solutions for “Parameter is incorrect” error are:

Follow the steps mentioned hereunder to try and perform each solution to rectify this error and get access to and control over your external hard drive again.

Note: Please note that all these solutions and general steps are proven to be effective in resolving the “Parameter is incorrect” error. However, the steps may vary according to the particular type of operating system installed on your PC. It also depends on the particular type of external hard drive you are using.

Method 1: Run the Check Disk Command in the Command Prompt

The first, and perhaps the easiest solution of the “Parameter is incorrect” error on an external drive is by running the Check Disk or CHKDSK command in the Command Prompt.

This command will scan the external drive for errors and issues in the file system and repair them to make things normal again.


Make sure you click on the Run as administrator option before you click on the Command Prompt option.

Typing in the command chkdsk H: /f /x /r

Here the letter ‘H’ is for example. You must replace it with the letter assigned to your external hard drive. Check it from the File Explorer or This PC if you do not know it.

You may also type the command chkdsk H: /f /r only. In this case, the /f parameter will fix any issues found in the file system and /r will bring the external drive into the read-only mode to guarantee there are no I/O actions happening during this operation.

This will take some time, so wait patiently. Once it is complete, restart your computer and check whether the issues have been resolved or not.

Method 2: Use the SFC Command in the Command Prompt

If the above command did not resolve the issue, you may try running the System File Checker or SFC command in the Command Prompt.


Typing in the command sfc /scannow

The command will initiate a full scan of all the files and fix any issues found within them.

Once again, this will take some time and you will have to reboot your PC when it completes. Then check whether or not the issue has been resolved.

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If that did not work, you can type in another command in the Command Prompt as an administrator and try repairing your drive. This time use the DISM command Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and then press the Enter key.

Wait for the process to complete successfully and then type exit and press Enter.

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Check if the issue has been resolved.

Method 3: Format your External Hard Drive

If the above two methods fail to resolve the “Parameter is incorrect” issue on your external hard drive, then you will have to format your drive.

Note: This will, however, delete everything that is stored on your external hard drive. So, proceed with this step if you have a proper backup of your data already created.


Quick Format Option

Wait for a few seconds and you are done.

Method 4: Make Changes in the Decimal Settings

There may be some issues with the decimal settings that can cause this issue. Changing it from the Settings app may resolve the issue.


Selecting Time & Language from the Settings window

Choosing Region

Additional date, time, & regional settings

Clicking on "Change date, time, or number formats"

Clicking on the "Additional settings" button

Decimal symbol

Close all windows and restart your PC. When it reboots, try accessing your external hard drive and check whether the issue has been resolved or not.

Method 5: Use the Repair Option from Properties

You can also scan for errors on your external hard drive and repair them by using the Repair option in drive Properties.


USB Drive

Clicking on Repair drive option

Your external hard drive should be repaired now and not encounter the “Parameter is incorrect” error.

Method 6: Change the Advanced System Settings

Sometimes, minor changes made in the Advanced System Settings can resolve the issue of “Parameter is incorrect” on your hard drive.


Clicking on View advanced system settings

Clicking on Settings in the Advanced tab

Clicking the Change button under Virtual memory

Virtual Memory window

Clicking on the OK button

You must restart your computer to apply these changes

This will resolve the issue.

Method 7: Change the Value of Contact Data from Services and Registry Editor

A lot of Windows services are quite useful in resolving issues, Contact Data being one of them. If this service is available and stopped, changing the value to start it may resolve the “Parameter is incorrect” error on the external hard drive.

If it does not rectify the issue, then you will have to change its relevant value data from the Windows Registry Editor.


Choosing Run as administrator

Contact Data_25e21

Contact Data_25e21 Properties

This might resolve the issue.

If it does not, you will see the “Parameter is incorrect” message box from Services. Click on the OK button in it.

Parameter is incorrect

After the Windows Registry Editor opens, follow this particular sequence to expand the folders by clicking on the small arrow next to each:

When you reach there, double-click on this folder and look for Start in the right side of the window.

Windows Registry Editor


Now close all windows and restart your computer system.

After it restarts, check whether the “Parameter is incorrect” error on the external hard drive is resolved or not.

Method 8: Update the Driver

Finally, users often overlook their drivers which may also cause the “Parameter is incorrect” error for both external and internal drives. If your driver is outdated, update it to resolve the issue.


If it does not show “The device is working properly,” there is an issue with the driver.

Looking for the Device status

However, even if it shows it is working properly, proceed with the next steps to update the drivers.

Selecting Update Driver

Selecting Search automatically for updated driver software

Alternatively, you may follow the same process from the Device Manager as well if you want.

Selecting Update driver

Select Search automatically for updated driver software in the following window as above.

If no updates were found, click on Uninstall device (marked by a red circle in the above image).

Remove the external drive safely, reconnect it, and updated drivers will be force-installed.

Let the process complete, close all windows and apps, restart your system.

Finally, when your PC restarts, check whether the issue is resolved.


Try any of these solutions to fix the “Parameter is incorrect” error on your external hard drive.

However, keep in mind that before going ahead with any of these solutions, create a proper backup beforehand and be extremely careful while handling data.

This will prevent loss of data during or after the process.