11 Fixes: The Parameter Is Incorrect Error On Windows

the parameter is incorrect

You might be at risk of losing precious data and files.” The Parameter Is Incorrect” is one of the worst errors you can encounter.

It means that the external storage device you’re using cannot connect properly. Removing and reconnecting the device won’t do the trick. You could even lose the data. There is a chance of corruption.

Now, the question is if you can fix The Parameter Is an Incorrect Error? The good news is that this guide covers all the available and functional methods. So, let’s begin right away:

What Is The Parameter Is Incorrect Error?

The Parameter error could appear in external hard drives, SD cards, and other storage units. You can visit a shop to repair the drive, but it might not work.

If you get the error message, using the above-given options is the best choice. You can also try using older windows (if your drive is old) to transfer files. For example, using XP and Vista.

The reason behind the error could range from incompatibility to driver error and more. Hence, I have created this guideline for you: 

Methods to Fix The Parameter Is Incorrect Error

  1. Use The Hardware And Device Troubleshooter
  2. Scan And Repair The Device
  3. Run CHKDSK (Check Disk) Utility
  4. Run SFC Scan And DISM
  5. Use An Antivirus Software
  6. Update The Drivers And Disk Drives
  7. Change Decimal Symbol Settings
  8. Formatting The Device
  9. Windows Update 
  10. A Clean Boot
  11. Trying A Professional Data Recovery Software  

1. Use The Hardware And Device Troubleshooter

Troubleshooters have improved a lot. It is also the first step to solving any issue on Windows PC. Whenever you have hardware-related issues, run a corresponding troubleshooter. In this case, we will run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter:

  • Launch the Run Command by pressing Windows + R Key.
  • Go ahead and type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press Enter.
Device Diagnostic Troubleshooter tool
  • It is challenging to find this option in Troubleshooters, Troubleshooting Settings, or Additional Troubleshooting.
  • So, rely on the Run option and then follow the on-screen instructions. Choose the drive or device you want to scan. It is that simple.
Hardware and devices troubleshooter
  • Let it execute, and then wait for it. Once done, close the troubleshooter.

2. Scan And Repair The Device

There is an option for error checking for the connected storage device. First, go to the Computer or the File Explorer.

  • Find and select the connected device. Right-click on it and go to Properties.
properties of a disk drive windows 11
  • Once you open the Properties Window, navigate to the Tools tab. You will find an option for ‘Error Checking.’
Error checking for a disk drive
  • Click on the Check button.
  • You might get the ‘ You don’t need to check this drive.’ Just go ahead and click on ‘Scan Drive.’
Scan Drive you don't need to scan this drive
  • For some people, the option could be ‘Scan and Fix Drive.’ and let the tool do the job.
  • This option is like a troubleshooter for storage devices. It will mostly fix any issue that your storage device might have. 

3. Run CHKDSK (Check Disk) Utility

Command prompt is a great tool. It can help you achieve a lot of things if you know how to use it. The check disk or CHKDSK command is quite helpful for this error:

  • First, you will have to learn the name of the driver that is causing the error. Go to ‘This PC’ and check the Driver’s name.
  • Next, go to the Start Menu and search for Command Prompt.
  • Right-click on it and select ‘Run As Administrator.’
Run as an administrator
  • Now go ahead and type: CHKDSK and hit space. Then type the Drive letter, including the semi-color. For example, J:
  • Then hit space and type /f, space again, /r
  • The command will look like this: CHKDSK J: /f /r
  • Now, press enter.
the CHKDSK process on Command prompt
  • Let the command prompt do its job. Depending on your PC’s specifications, the process can take minutes to hours.
  • Often, it just takes a couple of minutes. So, let it run.
  • This will automatically fix the issues.

Chkdsk is an excellent asset for checking and fixing the bad sectors for almost any drive. 

4. Run SFC Scan And DISM

System File Check Scan in Process

System File Checker Scan has become a ‘go-to’ option for any issue on Windows PC. And it is worth trying at least once.

Corrupt system files could be the reason for the parameter’s incorrect error. Try these: 

  • You may go ahead and launch the Command Prompt. Go running and type CMD, then hit enter. Then Type: SFC / scannow
  • This will scan your entire PC for Windows File. It will automatically restore or repair corrupted files if that’s achievable.

The problem with this is that it often works with only internal drives. What if the problem isn’t with your system files or drive? Maybe it is the external drive you connected.

Follow these steps to single the new drive out:

  • In the command prompt, before running scannow, type the following:
  • sfc / scannow / offwindir = [drive name here that you want to select, for example: J:] \windows /offbootdir = [repeat the drive name] \
  • So. It will look something like: sfc / scannow / offwindir = J: \ windows / offbootdir = J:\
  • After that, hit enter.
  • This should launch the SFC Scan for that specific driver.

For most windows users, it is advised to use DISM first and then follow with SFC.

Deployment Image Servicing And Management (DISM) will download internal files. It uses a server.

Meanwhile, SFC will replace the corrupted files.

The command line for DISM is:

launching DISM on Windows 11
  • dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /scanhealth.
  • dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /restorehealth.
  • dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup.

Use these commands in a sequence. Enter the first one, hit enter, and wait for the process to complete. Repeat for the second and third commands. 

You can run it first, then run the SFC Scan, then rerun DISM. This should fix most errors.

5. Use an Antivirus Software

Malware or virus infection is still quite common for external storage devices. This especially applies to external hard drives. After SFC and DISM, there can still be a few problems. So, you can try these steps:

  • Open Windows Settings by pressing Windows and I Keys together.
  • Find the Update & Security option from the list. Go to Windows Security in that field and find Virus & Threat protection. In Windows 11, it will be Privacy & Security.
Privacy & Security Windows 11
  • Go to Windows Security (If windows 11).
Selecting Windows Security
  • Click on the Scan Options. If you have time, a full scan is a great option. It is something you should do once a month.
Scan Option Current Threat Quick Scan
  • If you don’t have time, you can quickly scan your PC. But, if you want to scan a specific disk, or device, use a custom scan.
  • Once you decide on these options, click on Scan Now.
  • If your Virus & Threat protection finds anything, use Start Actions. You will see a Current Threats option for Start Actions.
  • If everything is fine, you will receive the ‘No current threats’ message. You can now use other solutions.

If you use any other antivirus, you can also use their scanning options. Windows Threat Protection and Security are well-versed. But, some antivirus tools offer premium features. They can be worth a try.

 6. Update The Drivers And Disk Drives 

The first step will be for you to check the driver for the given external device.

Going to hardware properties of a device
  • Open the File Explorer or This PC.
  • Locate the Device (Drive or Storage Device) and right-click on it.
  • Click on Properties and go to the Hardware tab.
  • You will see all disk drives options and properties at the bottom of the window.
  • Click on Properties after selecting the driver. Go to the Driver Tab.
driver properties for a storage device
  • See if the Update option is available. If there is, then go ahead and update.

If this doesn’t work, go to the Device Manager for USB drive updates:

  • In the Start Menu’s Search option, type Device Manager.
finding device manager
  • Click on it to launch it.
  • Scroll down to find the Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
Universal Serial Bus Controllers Device Manager
  • If you can find the USB ports that are your Device, right-click on them and select Properties.
update driver option for Intel USB
  • Once again, go to the Drivers tab and select Update Driver.
  • If you can’t find which USB it is, you may choose to update each one.

If none of the options worked for you. Then you can try reinstalling the USB drivers. Simply follow the same steps for Device Manager, but instead of updating, click on Uninstall.

After that, reconnect the external drive and see if it is working fine now. If there are still issues, try the same with the device’s drivers. This should fix the issue.

7. Change Decimal Symbol Settings 

Syntax error could also cause the parameter to be an incorrect error. This happens in the date and time settings. More specifically, the format you have for it. It is strange, but this can impact communication. So, it is worth checking out:

  • Go to the Start Menu and use the Search option to find the Control Panel and launch it.
finding control panel
  • Next, look at the Clock and Region options in the list.
  • Under it, you will see Change date, time, or number formats. Click on it.
change date, time, or number formats
  • A new window will pop up. In the formats tab, you will see ‘Additional settings…’ at the bottom. Click on it.
Additional Settings in the clock region settings
  • Next, find the Decimal Symbol field in the options. Make sure you have the correct decimal point (.) without brackets.
Decimal symbol settings
  • If not, then make changes and then click on Apply, then hit OK.

8. Formatting The Device

It won’t save any data or files on your hard drive. Whether you’re using a USB flash drive, or something else, everything will delete.

So, if you want to save your storage device more than saving your data, you may use this option.

  • Right-click on the Drive you want to format.
Formatting a USB Drive
  • Click on Format. If the option isn’t available, it will be available in the Properties option.
formatting a device options

9. Windows Update

Windows Update option in Windows 11

This is just a suggestion that is worth a try. You could try the Windows update. This becomes important if you use the external hard drive on older windows.

If the hard disk is encrypted, there could be some issues with communication. So, it is worth a try.  For security, it is always better to keep your system up to date.

10. A Clean Boot

General boot option

It’s quite rare, but there can be some third-party software or tools interfering. Clean boot allows you to only run the PC on the essential programs and processes. 

It can help you narrow down the issue. You can re-run each program individually until you find the one causing the issue.

11. Trying A Professional Data Recovery Software

data recovery tools

You may try using third-party tools, as we don’t necessarily support them. It is at your sole discretion if you want to use them. 

There are plenty of data recovery or device recovery tools. Some even recover data after you format the drive. So, it could be worth a try. But it is not a surefire thing.