How to Fix “The device is not ready error” in Windows 10/8/7

When you connect an external hard drive to your system, you may sometimes encounter error messages like ’The device is not ready’. This error message indicates an issue with the hard drive. The data on the device becomes inaccessible when you encounter such messages.

There are manual methods to troubleshoot the error, but some of these methods may result in the deletion of data. Hence, it is advisable to first retrieve data from your drive before fixing your hardware.

About Remo Recover

To retrieve data when you encounter ‘The device is not ready’, you can make use of professional data recovery tools like Remo Recover. Remo Recover is a great tool to recover data from corrupt or inaccessible hard drives. The software performs a thorough scan and recovers data from your drives. It uses a non-destructive mechanism, meaning the data on your drive is not modified or damaged in any way. Detailed steps to recover data from your hard drive are explained in this article.  All versions of Windows including Windows 7, 8 and 10 are supported.

In addition to recovering data from hard drives, the software can also be used to recover data from USB’s, memory cards and other storage devices. Sometimes you may encounter errors such as ‘Your drive needs to be formatted, do you want to format it now?’ In such cases, if you’re wondering How to access data on the hard drive without formatting, Remo Software can do it for you.

After data retrieval, you can troubleshoot the error using the steps explained.

  1. Run the Hardware & Devices Troubleshooter
  • Click on Start menu and in the Search bar, type Troubleshooting and hit Enter
  • Click on View All in the left pane
  • Choose Hardware & Devices and follow the onscreen instructions

Then check if the issue is resolved. If the error persists, proceed to the next step.

  1. Uninstall USB controllers

If running the troubleshooter doesn’t help fix your problem, try uninstalling USB controllers by following the steps.

  • Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager
  • Navigate to Universal Serial Bus controllers and expand the menu
  • Right on your drive and click on Uninstall
  • Then restart your computer and check if the issue persists.
  1. Disk Management

To troubleshoot for ‘Device is not ready’, you will have to see how the disk is shown in Disk Management. Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager. Then select your drive and check how the drive is shown.

Case 1: If your drive shows ‘unallocated’

  • Right click on ‘Unallocated’ and select ‘New Simple Volume’.
  • Set the size of the volume and choose a letter for the drive
  • Then follow the onscreen instructions to format your drive
  • When the operation is complete, close Disk Management and restart your system

This method will erase the data on the drive, hence it is advisable to retrieve the data first and then attempt this method.

Case 2: Drive shows RAW

In some cases, for users who encounter ‘The drive is not ready’ may see ‘RAW’ hard drive in Disk Management. In such cases, you will have to format it to NTFS file system.

If you’re wondering why is my hard drive RAW, you will find detailed information in this article.

  1. Perform Chkdsk

‘The device is not ready’ error may also be a result of file system errors. In such cases, you can run Chkdsk to troubleshoot by following the steps below. Running Chkdsk will check and fix any issues with file systems.

  • Go to Start menu and type cmd in the search bar
  • Right click on cmd and choose Run as administrator
  • Type chkdsk volume: /f (volume is your drive)

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