The reader’s question:
Hi Wally, I keep getting requests that fail due to a fatal hardware error in the device when I try to copy files. Is there something wrong with the hard drive? We are grateful for all the help. – Prakash O, Canada

Before you fix a computer problem, I always recommend scanning and correcting the underlying issues that are affecting your PC’s health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download the PC repair and optimization program (WinThruster for Win 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000 – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click on the Start scan button to detect problems in the Windows registry that may cause PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click the Fix All button to fix all issues.

Setting up automatic weekly (or daily) scanners will help you avoid system problems and get your PC up and running quickly and smoothly.

Wally’s reply: It can be frustrating to try to copy some files and suddenly not be able to do so. This can also happen with external hard drives and SD cards.

Don’t worry about it. It’s not that complicated. We need to be able to locate the problem and fix it quickly.


The following error message is displayed when the user tries to copy files from the computer to the external hard drive. It is also known as error 00701E3.

Error - Windows Wally


The external hard drive may fail.


Here are some ways to address the problem.

Checking the S.M.A.R.T. log of the external hard drive.

A fatal hardware failure of a device can be caused by a damaged external hard drive. Make sure the hard drive is in good condition by reading the S.M.A.R.T. log.

SMART is the abbreviation for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting technology and is the monitoring system included in modern hard drives. Nearly all SATA hard drives and SSDs are supported.

How do I use SMART from the Windows command line?

Open the command line. Press the WindowsKey+R key and type cmd> and press the Enter key.

Fatal Device Hardware Error - Windows Key + R - Run - cmd - Windows 10

Now enter the WMIC and press the Enter key.

Then type the player, view the status and press the Enter key.

Fatal Device Hardware Error - Windows Key + R - Run - cmd - WMIC - Windows 10

If the hard drive is fine, there is no problem.

He said twice that it was fine because there were two hard drives connected to the computer.

You can also use software like CrystalDiskInfo to check the S.M.A.R.T. status of various storage drives, using an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).

If your hard drive fails the S.M.A.R.T. test, you should replace it as soon as possible. It can’t be repaired.

Restart the computer and try another USBport.

Sometimes something as simple as restarting the computer can work wonders. This is the first thing you should try if you are confused about your computer.

Trying a different USB port is another easy way to solve the problem with minimal effort.

Scan and repair hard disk with Windows

A fatal hardware error occurred while backing up files to an external drive. So I decided to fix the Windows hard drive and it worked.

Just press Windows + E to open the file explorer.

Fatal Device Hardware Error -- Windows Key + E - File Explorer - Windows 10

Then right-click on the partition where Windows is installed (it has a small Windows logo), which for most people is C:, and click Properties

Fatal device hardware error - Windows Key + E - File Explorer - 2 - Windows 10

Click the Tools tab and then the Validate button as shown in the figure below.

Fatal Device Hardware Error - Windows Key + E - File Explorer - Tools - Authentication - Windows 10

The scanning process may take several minutes, depending on the speed of your computer equipment. Restart the computer when the scan is completed. I hope this will solve the problem.


You can try to repair Windows with the SFC and DISM commands. I wrote about it in the article I’m binding here.

Power Guage - sfc scannow - Windows Wally

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you need further help on this topic, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook.

Is your PC in good health?

I always recommend my readers to regularly use a reliable registry cleaner and optimizer like WinThruster or CCleaner. Many of the problems that occur can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Have fun doing the math).

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A simple solution (How simple?)

Suitable for beginners (Recommended for beginners?)

Synopsis: Every post on the Windows Wally blog is judged on these three criteria. The average of these three elements determines the overall score of each blog post.


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About the author

Wally PhillipsWinds Wally is a useful guy. It’s in his nature. That’s why he started a blog. He had heard repeatedly how difficult it was to find simple and clear solutions to Windows problems on the Internet. Come on in: Wally’s window. Ask and he will answer.

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