Accessing your external drives on a Windows PC is generally a hassle-free experience. Plug in your hard drive, USB flash drive, or SD card, and you’re ready to go. What happens if Windows returns “The parameter is incorrect” or “The location is not available” error? You can fix this error.
While the reasons behind such problem range from corrupted data to outdated drivers. We have compiled a list of solutions to fix this problem. So let’s get started.
1. Use Check Disk Utility
Corrupted data is one of the main reasons why you might encounter the “Invalid Parameter” error. Therefore, you can start by using the Check Disk utility in Windows. It will repair your external drive for all corrupted data and bad sectors which might fix the problem.
Step 1: Press Windows Key + E to launch File Explorer.
2nd step: Select the problematic drive and press Alt + Enter to open its properties.
Step 3: In the Properties windows, switch to the Tools tab. In the Error Checking section, click the Check button.
To note: You must be logged in as an administrator to run the error checking tool.
Step 4: Finally, select the Repair Drive option to begin the disk check operation.
Depending on the size of the external drive in question, this process may take some time. Once done, restart your PC and see if you can access the drive.
2. Run an SFC scan
If system files are causing the error, you can try scanning system files on your PC with SFC (or System File Checker) scan. It will automatically detect all missing or corrupt system files and replace them with their cached version.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu icon and select the Windows Terminal (admin) option from the resulting menu.
2nd step: Type the command below and press Enter.
Wait for the scan to complete. If the scan can detect and repair files, you will see a message, “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and repaired them successfully.” Otherwise, proceed to the next solution.
3. Run a DISM scan
You can run a DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan to fix the problem. It will not only scan system files on your PC, but also download internal system files from Microsoft’s server if necessary. Of course, your PC must be connected to the Internet for this.
Step 1: Press Windows Key + X and select Windows Terminal (admin).
2nd step: Enter the following commands one by one and press Enter after each command.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
4. Scan for Malware
Another reason you might face “The parameter is incorrect” error is if the external drive connected to your PC is infected with malware. To rule out this possibility, you can try scanning the external drive using Microsoft Defender.
Step 1: Open File Explorer on your PC, right-click on the external drive and select Show more options.
2nd step: Select Scan with Microsoft Defender.
This will initiate a deep scan of the external drive and report any threats if found.
We recommend trying the free version of Malwarebytes to run a scan and check for any malware.
5. Update disk driver
If the drive is free of errors, the problem may be related to outdated or corrupt disk drivers on your PC. If so, updating these drivers should fix the problem. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Start menu, type Device Manager, and press Enter.
2nd step: In the Device Manager window, expand Disk Drives. Right-click on the problematic driver and select Update Driver option.
Once updated, restart your PC and see if the error is resolved.
6. Format the drive
If all the above methods fail and you face the same error while connecting your drive to another computer, you will need to format the drive as a last option. Note that formatting the drive will erase everything on your drive, so we recommend backing up important files before formatting the drive.
Step 1: In the File Explorer window, right-click the problematic drive and select Format.
2nd step: In the next window, press Start to begin formatting the drive.
Once formatted, you will no longer see the error.
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While such errors can actually prevent you from accessing the files inside the drive, we hope the above solutions were enough to fix the problem. As always, if you find another solution that works, share it in the comments below.
Last updated on January 15, 2022
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