Fix Error 0x800701e3 on WD External Hard Drive

Summary: You may encounter the fatal error 0x800701E3? This blog post explains the reasons for this fatal error and some effective workarounds to troubleshoot this error. In case the hard drive is physically damaged, contact a professional data recovery services provider.

Many users have reported about encountering the error 0x800701E3 when trying to copy or move files from the system to WD external hard drive.

Here’s a query posted by a user on the WD community forum.

User Query on WD Forum: My Book 4 TB WDBFJK0040HBK-NESN suddenly stopped working yesterday after a power outage. When I plug the USB into the PC, it gets acknowledged. At first glance, it appears that I have access to all my mp3 files. However, when I tried to play the files, they’re not working.

I tried copying all my mp3 files to another WD external hard drive, but I constantly get this error message: “Error 0x800701E3:” the request failed due to a fatal device hardware error.

I did a quick test on WD Drive Utilities. However, the test stalled at 90%, and ultimately, I had to press cancel when nothing happened.

I noticed that the hard drive stopped making any spinning noise. I am not sure what that indicates.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very grateful!

So, let’s understand about this fatal error 0x800701E3, the causes behind this error, and the ways to fix this error.

What is the 0x800701E3 Error Code?

The error 0x800701E3 occurs when you try to copy or move files from your computer system to the external hard drive. In most cases, this error appears with this message:

“Error 0x800701E3: The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error.”

You may also encounter this error on the internal hard drive and SSD. Usually, this error occurs when you try to copy your files onto a faulty disk or a disk with a defective file system.

In other instances, it may also occur when you try to install the operating system (Windows or Linux). Before the OS installation, the OS runs a check on the hard disk. If there are some issues with the disk, the installation fails with the error code 0x800701E3, showing the error message as:

“Windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required for installation are available and restart the installation. Error code: 0x800701E3”

What are the Causes of the Error?

There are multiple reasons that may cause this fatal hardware device error.

  • Loose cable connections
  • Failing peripherals, like a SATA cable or an SD card adapter
  • Faulty system hardware
  • Bad sectors on WD external HDD
  • Physical damage to WD external HDD

Ways to Resolve WD External Fatal Error 0x800701E3

There are some workarounds that you can try to troubleshoot this fatal error. However, in case your WD external HDD is physically damaged, you need to seek the help of professional data recovery services to recover your data.

Before you proceed, check the criticality of your data stored on the WD external HDD. If you can afford the potential risk of data loss using DIY workarounds, move ahead in that case only. Else, contact third-party professional data recovery services to retrieve your data without any chance of data loss.

Let’s discuss the methods to fix this issue.

  1. Check the SMART Health Status of WD External HDD

You can monitor the health of your WD external HDD using the WD utility, Western Digital Dashboard. It will check the health status and help maintain the optimum performance of the disk. In addition, it analyzes the disk model, capacity, firmware version, SMART attributes, and keeps updating you about the firmware updates.

  1. Run CHKDSK Utility

Running CHKDSK utility will help you scan the WD external HDD for errors and troubleshoot the errors. Follow the below steps to use this utility.

  • Type “cmd” in the search bar.
  • Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
  • Type the following command:

chkdsk [<volume>[[<path>]<filename>]] [/f] [/v] [/r] [/x] [/i] [/c] [/l[:<size>]] [/b] (You can go through this Windows page to read more).

  • Hit Enter.
  • Once the process is completed, check whether the fatal error has been resolved.
  1. Run System File Checker (SFC) Scan

SFC or System File Checker is the built-in Windows utility to check for corrupt files, repair them, and resolve errors.

Below are the steps to run the SFC scan:

  • Type “cmd” in the search bar.
  • Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
  • Type “sfc /scannow” in the Command Prompt window and hit Enter.
  • Once the process is completed, check whether the error has been fixed.
  1. Initialize Disk

Initializing the WD external HDD will erase the data and make it ready to use by Windows. If you want to use this utility, you can follow the steps from the Windows page. But, do it at your own risk and only if you can afford to lose your data stored on it.

  1. Third-Party Data Recovery Services

You can try the above-discussed DIY workarounds to resolve this fatal hardware device error. However, if the hard drive is physically damaged, you need to approach a third-party data recovery services provider, such as Stellar Data Recovery.

Stellar has vast experience in salvaging data successfully from internal and external HDDs, SSDs, RAID, tape media, etc. The data recovery experts can handle any data loss scenario, such as storage media failure, storage media corruption, etc. The company has a state-of-the-art Class 100 Clean Room lab with a contamination-free controlled environment to treat the hard drives. The data care experts follow a focused approach to examine the hard drives and figure out the root cause of the issue. Then, they perform the following steps.

  • The hard drive goes into the lab for deep examination.
  • The team finds out the affected component of the hard drive and treats the failure/error carefully.
  • Then, the hard drive goes for the cloning process.
  • After the cloning has been completed, the data recovery experts recover data from the cloned drive.

The team understands the criticality of your data and makes sure that all the steps are carefully undertaken in adherence to stringent data privacy and security standards.

Final Note

If you have encountered the error 0x800701E3, you can choose any of the workarounds mentioned above to resolve this error. But, make sure that won’t incur data loss. Therefore, it is safe and best to select third-party data recovery services, like Stellar Data Recovery Services, to retrieve your data back. The services are 100% safe and offer up to 80% data recovery outcomes. They can recover your data and help you troubleshoot the error 0x800701E3.

Related Blog Post: How to Recover Data from Western Digital My Book Live NAS Drive?

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