How to Fix “A device which does not exist was specified” Error?

BY Sourav



Since all of our necessary documents, files and photos are stored on the hard drive, ignoring the issue related to the hard drive might cause great loss for us. So, it’s better to fix the hard drive-related issues as quickly as possible. 

The hard drive can get affected by multiple issues. One of them is a device which does not exist was specified. Many users have reported that the error occurs whenever they’re trying to access a drive in File Explorer or open Disk Management for advanced storage tasks.

But don’t worry. Here we’ll explain the possible reasons behind this error and quick solutions to fix it.

Reasons for A Device Which Does Not Exist Was Specified Error

There can be multiple reasons for the error. Following are some of the possible reasons behind this error. 

Outdated Driver: If you’re using the hard drive for a long time, it might get outdated or corrupted and hence, causing the error. Additionally, an outdated BIOS or chipset driver can also cause this problem.

Wrong Drive Letter: Sometimes, the error message may occur if the drive letter assigned to the drive by Windows doesn’t match with the Disk Management utility.

Insufficient Drive Permission: The error message a device that does not exist was specified can trigger when you don’t have sufficient permissions to access the hard drive. As a result, its location becomes unavailable, and you can’t open the drive.

Faulty Motherboard Header: In case you’re using an internal hard drive, there’s a chance that the motherboard has failed due to design defects, short circuits, or other reasons. It can lead to a hard drive error.

Damaged USB Port: The USB port connected to the drive often gets damaged or faulty and therefore, you receive the error message in question.

How to Fix A Device Which Does Not Exist Was Specified?

In the following section, we’ll discuss a few ways to fix a device which does not exist was specified. Although there are not enough methods to solve the problems, some users have discovered a few workarounds for this issue. So, try out the following fixes.

Fix 1. Restart the System

If you’ve changed the drive size, formatted it or installed a new hard drive on the computer, it’s recommended you restart the system to apply the changes. Otherwise, you’ll keep seeing the error when you try to access the drive.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Restart the system.

2. Then press windows key+X and select Computer Management.

3. Right-click on Disk Management on the left panel and click Rescan Disks.

Fix 2. Reconnect Hard Drive

If you’re still getting the error even after restarting the system, then try disconnecting and reconnecting the hard drive manually. This method works most of the time to solve a device which does not exist was specified error. 

Sometimes, restarting your system can’t apply the changes properly and keep showing the error. That’s why you need to disconnect and reconnect the hard drive. Ensure to clean the hard drive and port after disconnecting it. 

To disconnect, just take out the HDD from the plug and pull out the SATA cable. Then again, reconnect the drive into the plug and check if it solves the issue.

Fix 3. Update Driver

Updating the disk driver is another quick way to fix the issue quickly. So, try to update your driver to eliminate a device which does not exist was specified on Windows.

Follow the steps to update the driver:

1. Press windows+X and then select Device Manager.

2. Double-click a category to see the driver’s name, right-click on it and select Update driver.

3. Select Search automatically for drivers.

4. Once your system finds a new driver, select Update Driver.

5. In case your Windows can’t find a new driver, visit the manufacturer’s website to update it manually.

Fix 4. Change Drive Letter

Try changing the drive letter from the Disk Management tool if the above fixes don’t work. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Right-click on the Start button and select Disk Management.

2. Right-click on your drive’s volume that’s showing the error and select Change Drive Letters and Paths.

3. On the new Windows, click the Change option to change the drive letter.

4. In the next window, select Assign the following letter.

5. Now, select a new drive letter from the right drop-down menu and hit Ok.

6. Click Yes when prompted.

7. Right-click on your driver again and select Mark Partition as Active.

8. Restart your PC after it’s done.

Now try to open the drive in File Explorer and check if the issue still persists.

Fix 5. Change Permission on Hard Drive

To change permissions on the hard drive, follow the process below:

1. Open File Explorer on your Windows 10.

2. Right-click your hard drive and select Properties.

3. Go to the Security tab and click Edit to change permissions.

4. Select the user account under Group or user names and check the box for Full control under Permissions for Users.

5. Click Apply > Ok.

Fix 6. Execute Commands

There have been many scenarios where the graphical UI often fails and the command works properly. So, You can execute commands using the command-line interface and recreate the disk partition in order to troubleshoot a device which does not exist was specified error.

Follow the instructions below:

1. Type Command Prompt in the search box and select Run as administrator before opening it.

2. On the Command Prompt window, type diskpart to launch Diskpart Utility and hit enter.

3. To see the all disks execute list, type list disk and enter.

4. Once you find the disk to partition, type the select disk 0 command and enter.

5. Enter clean to clean all the commands.

6. To confirm the disk is still selected, execute the list disk command again.

7. Next, for primary partition, type create partition primary and enter.

8. Now to select the newly created partition, enter select partition 1.

9. Type activate to activate the partition and enter.

10. To format it with NTFS (New Technology File System)  and assign a particular label to the partition, write format FS=NTFS label=Data quick and press enter.

11. To assign a letter, use assign letter=g.

12. Now exit the diskpart with the exit command.

Check if you can access the drive and the error is fixed.

Fix 7. Repair Motherboard Header

If you have a broken or damaged motherboard header, it can trigger the “a device which does not exist was specified” issue. So, to fix it, open the computer and repair or change the motherboard. You can call a professional to help you with the process.

Fix 8. Update the Motherboard Drivers

Each device plugged into the system via HDMI, USB, etc is internally plugged into the motherboard of your PC. Hence, if you’re using an outdated motherboard, it could cause this error. 

1. Press Ctrl+R to open the Run window.

2. Type msinfo32 and click Ok.

3. Find the BIOS Version/Date and check whether it’s updated or not.

4. In case you find that the motherboard driver is not updated, go to the manufacturer’s website. 

5. Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the update process. 

Fix 9. Install A New Hard Drive

If none of the fixes work for you, then replacing the hard disk drive is the ultimate solution to solve the issue. But before processing, make sure to back up all important data, or else you’ll lose them. Then, uninstall the existing hard drive, disconnect it from the plug, install the new one and turn on your computer.

These are the possible solutions to fix the annoying error on your Windows PC. Try them out and let me know which solution works fastest for you. Also, please share the article if it’s been helpful.

About The Author


Sourav’s been working as a freelance writer and blogger for over five years. She is a firm believer in big dreams and realizing them. Her work has been published in Women On Writing, Be a Freelance Blogger, Make a Living Writing and Brazen Careerist among others