• Linkedin
  • Reddit

Summary :

Cannot open hard drive? Cannot access drive because of the “The Device Is Not Ready” error message? You can use the best file recovery software - MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover lost data from inaccessible hard drive without damaging the original data. And, this post lists 5 solutions for this error as well as 7 solutions to "This device cannot start (Code 10)" issue.

Quick Navigation :

Error Message - The Device Is Not Ready

Have you ever encountered the "The device is not ready" error message?

the device is not ready

Let's have a look at a real case of the issue from Microsoft Community.

Windows 10 "the device is not ready"
I have connected numerous 2.5" and 3" external drives to my PC via USB, and for every drive I receive the "the device is not ready" error message.
I have looked at every post I can find relating to this problem and have tried all the recommended tips/answers - all to no avail.
Has anyone found a definitive answer for this problem?Microsoft Community

Now, I guess you might be wondering:

"What could be the cause of this error? Is it possible to recover data from inaccessible drive? How to fix the device is not ready in Windows 10?"

Top recommendation: You can read our previous post 7 Situations Where There Is the "Location Is Not Available" Error to know more information about inaccessible hard drive.

Why Do You Get The Device Is Not Ready Error Message on USB/HHD?

  • This error message often pops out due to many reasons, including:
  • The storage device is not well connected.
  • The storage device is damaged.
  • The storage device is incompatible with your computer.
  • ...

After knowing the reasons, I am going to show you how to recover data from inaccessible hard drive as well as how to fix the device is not ready internal HDD/external HDD.

CHAPTER 1. Recover Data from Drive with "The Device Is Not Ready" Error

Note: If you don't care about data, you can directly move on to the chapter 2.

If you cannot access your hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, and other drives because of the device is not ready error, you are recommended to restore lost data from this drive before dealing with this error because any mistake during the repair could lead to data loss permanently.

However, how to recover lost data? Is it possible to effectively recover lost data without affecting the original data? MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a piece of professional, read-only and easy-to-use file recovery software developed by MiniTool Solution Ltd., is recommended here.

This professional data recovery software can help you effectively recover lost data without bringing any damage to the original data. Besides, this professional data recovery software is compatible with different operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and more.

Now, let's see the detailed steps to recover lost data from drive which prompts the device is not ready.

Tip: Before recovering lost data from inaccessible hard drive, you had better download this professional and read-only data recovery software by clicking the following button, and then install it on computer according to prompts. Do not install it on the drive containing lost data.

Free Download

Step 1. Select the target volume.

Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery to enter its main interface as follows, and then select a suitable data recovery module to recover lost data.

the main interface of MiniTool Power Data Recovery

In the main interface of this professional data recovery software, you can see 4 different data recovery modules, and each of them focuses on different data loss scenarios.

  • This PC recovers data from formatted, damaged and RAW partition without damaging the original data. Generally speaking, as long as the partition exists, you can recover lost data by using this data recovery module. And, this recovery module is selected by default.
  • Hard Disk Drive can recover data after partition loss or deletion with ease.
  • Removable Disk Drive is designed to recover lost photos, mp3/mp4 files, and videos from flash drives and memory sticks in the event of any problems occurring.
  • CD/DVD Drive recovers data from CD & DVD discs.

Here, you can keep This PC, and then select the target volume you want to recover its data.

Step 2. Scan the target volume.

Press Scan button at the lower right corner to begin full scanning on the device. Note: While scanning, you can preview and save needed files. However, it is recommended to wait until the full scan finishes to get the best recovery result.

scan the hard drive

Note: In this window, if you only want to recover some needed files, you can make use of the Settings feature. For example, if you only want to recover precious photos as well as videos, you only need to select Graphics & Picture, and Audio & Video, and then click OK button before scanning.

specify needed file types

Step 3. Select all needed files, and save them on a safe place.

After full scan, all found files would be displayed in a neat tree view as shown below. Now, select all needed files, and click Save button to store them on another drive.

save all needed fiels

To save all found files, you had better choose its advanced edition. Personal Deluxe, for example, is a good choice. It not only can recover unlimited data but also can help to recover data when PC won't boot because of its Snap-in WinPE Bootable Builder feature. More importantly, it offers free lifetime upgrade service.

See! Within only 3 steps, you can easily and quickly recover lost data from inaccessible drive. Now, let’s see how to fix the device is not ready external hard drive.

By using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, I effectively and quickly recovered data from inaccessible hard drive without bringing any damage to the original data.Click to tweet

CHAPTER 2. 5 Solutions - The Device Is Not Ready in Windows 7/8/10

Solution 1. Check the drive connection

In order to verify whether the error is caused by loose connections or damaged computer USB ports, you can do the following steps.

Step 1. Disconnect the storage device and insert it into your PC through the same USB ports to check if the device was loosely connected. If the error disappears, you can make sure that neither of your inserted device and the related USB port is damaged. But, if the error still exists, you can go on trying next step.

Step 2: Disconnect the device and plug it into your PC by using a different USB port. If this device can be accessed well, it is absolutely the damaged USB port that causes the problem. If this method doesn't work, you'd better go to next step.

Step 3: Connect your hard drive to another computer that reads USB drives properly to check whether the problem is caused by the computer or operating system.

If this solution cannot solve the device is not ready external hard drive issue, try solution 2.

Solution 2. Uninstall and reinstall the USB controller driver

Some users reported that they successfully solved the device is not ready in Windows 10 issue by following the below steps.

Step 1. Right-click This PC, click on Manage, and then choose Device Manager.

Step 2. Expand and navigate devices on the right pane to find out the device that is not ready.

Step 3. Right-click on the name of your device, and choose Uninstall. Or, double-click the target device and then choose Uninstall.


Step 4. Unplug the drive.

Step 5. Restart PC, and then reconnect your drive to check whether the device is not ready external hard drive error has been solved.

If you still receive the error after trying the above 2 solutions, you can open Disk Management interface and see how it is displayed there.

Solution 3. Check how this device shows in Disk Management

Case 1. Drive shows not initialized

If your drive has not been initialized, the drive is not recognized and you will receive the following error message:

Virtual Disk Manager "The Device is not ready".

Virtual Disk Manager

Now, you can try the following steps to solve this issue.

a) Press Win+R (Windows logo key and R key) at the same time.

b) Type diskmgmt.msc in the run box and then press Enter key.


c) Right-click on the name portion of the disk entry, where it says Disk [#].
d) Select Initialise Disk from the right-click context menu.

initialise disk

e) After that, you will be given detailed operating prompts. Just do as told.

Case 2. Drive shows unallocated

Sometimes, users who encounter the device is not ready in Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7 will find their drive shows unallocated space in Disk Management. Now, they can try the following 2 simple ways to solve this issue.

① Create new partition on the unallocated space

Right-click the unallocated space, choose New Simple Volume, and then follow the wizards to complete this task.

new simple volume

Warning: If the unallocated space contains some important data, you should try the following solution.

② Recover lost partitions as well as data from the unallocated space

If your drive contains massive important data and becomes unallocated space, you can try using a partition recovery tool to deal with the device is not ready error message on internal HDD/external hard drive/USB.


I effectively recovered unallocated space with data on it.

Case 3. Drive shows RAW

Sometimes, users who encounter the “the drive is not ready” error message will find their drive shows as RAW file system. Now, to successfully solve the device is not ready internal HDD issue, you can format your RAW drive to NTFS/FAT32.

Useful Article: How to Convert RAW to NTFS in Windows 7/8/10 on External Hard Drive is recommended here.

Warning: Formatting will delete all original data on your hard drive. Therefore, it is recommended to recover all data from the RAW drive before formatting. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a good solution for you to effectively recover lost data from RAW hard drive without damaging the original data.

Solution 4. Check your disk for errors

As we know, the "The device is not ready" error is very likely resulted from file system errors or bad sectors on the drive. Therefore, you can run CHKDSK utility to check your disk for errors.

The steps are:

1) Go to the start menu, type in "cmd" in a search bar and press OK button to continue.
2) Right-click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator, and click Yes button in the pop-up window.
3) Type this command "chkdsk X: /f" and press Enter button. Replace X with the letter of your hard drive partition.


4) Type exit and press Enter.

Solution 5. Replace your drive

If none of the solutions above works on your device, your drive is probably damaged seriously. Now, you had better replace the old drive with a new one and try your best to recover lost data from the old drive.

Click to tweet

CHAPTER 3. Bonus Tip – This Device Cannot Start. (Code 10)

Last but not least, we will show another issue - This device cannot start. (Code 10)

What Does This Device Cannot Start Code 10 Mean?

As one of several Device Manager error codes, the Code 10 error is generated when Device Manager can't start the hardware device, a situation usually caused by outdated or corrupted drivers. Besides, if the driver generates an error that Device Manager doesn't understand, this device may also receive a Code 10 error.

This device cannot start. Try upgrading the device drivers for this device. (Code 10)

How to Fix Error: This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)

There are several methods to help you fix a code 10 error.

Fix 1. Restart computer.

Oftentimes, a temporary problem in Device Manager or with the hardware may cause the error Code 10. Therefore, try restarting your PC to fix the device Cannot start code 10.

Fix 2. Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values.

Both UpperFilters and LowerFilters values in the Windows Registry could be corrupted, causing the Code 10 error. Delete them in the registry.

Fix 3. Update the drivers.

An outdated driver may cause device Cannot start code 10. Try updating drivers to correct the Code 10 error.

Fix 4. Uninstall the driver.

If the updating driver cannot solve the Code 10 error, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling it.

  • Go to Device Manager.
  • Right-click the device that is causing the code 10 error, and select Uninstall on the context menu.
  • Select Delete the driver software for this device and click the OK button.
  • Restart computer and reinstall the device to see if the device Cannot start code 10 is solved.

Fix 5. Install the latest Windows service pack.

Microsoft often releases service packs and other patches for Windows, and one of which might contain a fix for the Code 10 error. It is recommended to install the latest Windows service pack.

Fix 6. Replace the hardware.

Sometimes, a Code 10 error may be caused by a problem with the hardware device. And, if the device is not compatible with your version of Windows, you also encounter the code. It is recommended to replace the hardware to fix this issue.

Fix 7. Reinstall Windows.

If the problem still persists, you can try reinstalling Windows.

Related article: Detailed Steps and Instructions to Reinstall Windows 10.

Bottom Line

Are you still worrying about the device is not ready error? Now, you can try the above solutions to deal with the device is not ready in Windows 10/8/7 issue.

If you have any other good solutions about this error, please share them with us by writing them on the following comment zone.

If you have any questions about recovering lost data from inaccessible hard drive by using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can directly send us emails via [email protected]. We will solve it as soon as possible.

  • Linkedin
  • Reddit