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5 Ways to Fix the Fatal Device Hardware Error Without Losing Data

If you experience a problem that reports 'The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error', then you'll find that your internal or external HDD/SSD, USB flash drive, or other storage media will have become inaccessible. Don't panic though, as we provide five different methods for fixing this issue, along with how to use the EaseUS file recovery software to restore all your valuable data.

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Table of Contents

The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error can be scary. But it isn't necessarily as bad as it first appears. Read on to learn how to fix this problem and recover your files.

Overview of The Request Failed Due to a Fatal Device Hardware Error 

What does the 'fatal device hardware error' mean? This usually appears when the operating system can no longer access the hard drive or is unable to perform read and write operations upon it.

the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error

So what caused this error and how to define if you are having this error on your drive? Check the table below:


  • Faulty USB cable or a loose connection.
  • Too many bad sectors on the disk.
  • System or hardware fault.
  • The hard drive is dying.


  • "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."

5 Ways to Fix The Request Failed Due to Fatal Device Hardware Error

So how do I fix "the request failed due to fatal device hardware error" on my external hard drive? Here we listed 5 effective ways that can help:

  1. 1. Check the connection
  2. 2. Verify the SMART status
  3. 3. Check and repair bad sectors
  4. 4. Update storage device disk driver
  5. 5. Send problematic device for repair

Fix 1. Check Hard Drive Connection

  • Check if the cable connections are loose, if so, push them firmly back into the ports.
  • Try unplugging then reconnecting the external hard drive or switching to another USB port.
  • Replace the USB cable with a new one.
  • Connect the drive to another computer if possible, to see if the problem is with the PC rather than the drive.

If these don't fix the problem, you can try the options outlined below.

Fix 2. Verify SMART Status

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. Checking a drive’s SMART attributes, it can help you determine whether a drive is damaged as well as assessing the extent of the problem.

This is how to check a hard drive SMART status:

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Links menu, then select Command Prompt (Admin).

open command prompt with the admin privilege

Step 2. Type wmic diskdrive get status and hit Enter.

Step 3. The command returns four different statuses: "OK", "Bad", "Unknown", and "Caution".

  • Ok: Don't worry, try Fix 3 (see below) to restore your hard drive to its normal state.
  • Bad, Unknown: You can correct the error by using Fix 3, 4, or 5 (see below). It’s also highly advisable to immediately use a data recovery solution.
  • Caution: Suggests that the hard drive corruptions are quite bad. In this instance, it's best to take the disk in for repair

Fix 3. Check and Repair Bad Sectors

Bad sectors are not as horrible as you might think unless they are spread out across the hard disk. We often use the Windows DiskPart utility to check and repair file system corruption and hard disk bad sectors. It’s a good tool and well worth trying for the majority of hard drive inaccessibility issues.

Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the bad sector errors, however, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery in advance, and then continue with the CMD method.

This is how to run the Diskpart command to fix bad errors:

Step 1. Press Windows + S keys, type cmd in the Search box.

Step 2. Right-click Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator".

Step 3. Type chkdsk F: /f or chkdsk F: /f /r /x and hit Ener.

(F: represents the drive letter of the problematic HDD, so change the letter to match that of your drive when entering the command.)

Fix bad sectors on prolematic disk with fatal device hardware error

The syntax for check disk:

  • /f fixes system errors.
  • /r locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.
  • /x forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary.

Fix 4. Update Disk Driver 

If the driver for the problematic storage device is outdated, then this can cause the fatal device hardware error. Therefore, updating the driver can fix the issue.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + S keys, type device manager in the Search box. 

Step 2. Expand "Disk drives", locate and check the state of the hard drive with fatal device error.

See if it's covered by a yellow exclamation mark as shown below, if yes, update the disk driver with Step 3.

Check Second hard drive driver state in Device Manager.

Step 3. Right-click the problematic hard drive and select "Update driver".

Update hard drive driver.

Step 4. Click "Automatically search for driver software online" and wait for the process to complete.

After this, restart the computer and see if you can now access the drive.

Fix 5. Send Problematic Device for Repair

If you've tried the methods outlined above, but still have a problem with the drive, the last option is to take it in for repair. In most cases, you’ll have options open to you.

  1. 1. Contact the hardware manufacturer for help.
  2. 2. Find a local repair center and send your device for repair.

3 Steps to Recover Data After Fixing Fatal Device Hardware Error

When 'The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error' occurs, your HDD, external hard disk, or removable disk turns inaccessible. You must fix the error first.

Once the 'fatal device hardware error' is fixed, you may still find that your data is missing. To get it all back you'll want to use a reliable recovery tool like the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This enables you to scan the problematic drive, find all of your files and move them to another storage device.

Key features of EaseUS hard drive data recovery software:

  • Recover 1000+ types of files, including photos, videos, documents, audio files, etc.
  • Restore data from SD card, USB, pen drive, HDD, SSD, external hard drive, and more
  • Retrieve lost data due to deletion, derive formatting/corrupting, partition loss, RAW drive, etc.
  • Repair corrupted files after data recovery. Support repair Word, Excel, PDF, videos, photos, etc.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

3-Step Guide to Recover Data After Fixing Fatal Device Hardware Error:

Step 1. Scan the hard drive partition

Select the drive on your hard disk where you lost or deleted files. Click "Scan" and let EaseUS data recovery software scan for all lost data and files on the selected drive.

select a location and scan hard drive

Step 2. Check the results

When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" option to find the lost files on the hard drive.

Find and preview all lost hard drive data

Step 3. Restore lost hard drive data

Select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click "Recover" to save them to another location.

Restore lost hard drive data.

Hopefully now, after following the methods above, you will have a working hard drive or at the very least managed to recover your precious data. Hardware is prone to failure when you least expect it though, so we'd advise always having a copy of the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on hand to salvage your data immediately if disaster strikes.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Stop Using Fatal Device, You Can Fix The Hardware Error

Remember, whenever you have this problem with your storage devices, stop using the drive first. On this page, we discussed what is the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error, common symptoms, and 5 reliable ways that work to fix your problematic device to a normal state.

If you have valuable files saved on the problematic device, remember to run the best data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and restore all your data immediately after fixing this error.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Approved by Martyn Casserly

Martyn Casserly has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews. He is a professional content contributor for many known ITwebsites like Macworld.co.uk and techadvisor.com.

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