Fix "A non-existent device was specified" error in Windows 10

Among other things, error 0X800701B1 indicating that a non-existent device is specified is the most common and annoying for Windows 10 users. It usually grows when a user tries to transfer files from a PC to an external hard drive and vice versa. Moreover, error 0x800701b1 windows 10 can also annoy you if the external HDD is defective or the system cannot recognize it. Keep reading this article to find out the 14 most effective ways to resolve this error.

How to fix "The specified device does not exist" error in Windows 10

There is no doubt that hard drive related problems are every user's worst nightmare. These mistakes cannot be saved for later, as the hard drive is made up of all your important files, documents, and other important non-disclosure information relating to the business. Thus, one needs to solve the error by hooks or scammers.

With this in mind, you should also remember that running on high performance operating systems such as Windows 10 does not fix the problem. Instead, some common errors like 0x80070490 will inevitably slow down your performance. This particular code is interfering with your laptop when you are trying to copy and paste files, or said files are left undocumented in the process. Accordingly, a non-existent device will be indicated on your screen. Luckily, in this guide, you will learn what is causing the error and how to deal with it.

Most Common Triggers of Hard Drive Error 0x800701b1

In addition to the above reasons, here are other potential reasons why one can be blamed for a hard drive error in one's laptop:

  • There is not enough space on the laptop to transfer files.
  • The device contains malware that interferes with files.
  • You are trying to migrate with an incompatible driver.
  • Something is wrong with the USB ports.
  • There are too many peripherals connected to the laptop.
  • The specified required files are too large.
  • You may not be able to access the file due to a change in ownership.
  • The file attribute is in read-only mode, which ultimately prevents the move.
  • The file's DRM system restricts printing or copying.
  • The error may also persist if you do not have permission to access the drive.

Ways to Fix Error 0x800701b1 in Windows 10

Do you also think that fixing a non-existent device that was listed in disk management is extremely cryptic and difficult? If yes, you may be wrong. In fact, anyone with basic technical knowledge can weed out an error code using the following effective methods:

Method 1: Remove and reconnect the hard drive

Let's start with something almost instant, but still effective. Here's what you need to do:

  • Manually remove the hard drive from your system.
  • Clean its power port and the other one used for data transfer. Also don't forget to clean your laptop's USB port.
  • Insert the hard drive back into place and make sure it is not loose.

Method 2: Use a different USB port

In many cases, the mistake lies in the smallest details that we often miss. For example, your laptop and hard drive may work fine, but something is wrong with the port. In this case, you can try reconnecting the hard drive to a different port if your laptop supports it. This can help you with the non-existent device that was listed in the disk management error without much effort.

Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

Method 3: Remove Other Peripherals

Sometimes malnutrition also causes this error, which can be resolved in just a few minutes. To do this, you need to manually remove all peripherals from your laptop except for the hard drive. If you are a PC user, try disconnecting all connected devices and see if the problem persists.

Method 4: Replace the hard drive

If all the above methods failed to resolve your laptop error, then you need to purchase a new laptop hard drive. Since the problem may persist if not properly resolved, it is always recommended to either contact a customer service professional or replace your current hard drive with a newer and better one.

Image by Jeremy Heaton from Pixabay

Method 5: Eliminate malware with antivirus software

Given the scams and phishing attempts, protecting your laptop with reliable antivirus software is becoming an hour of necessity. Interestingly, few people know that viruses and malware are the most responsible for hard drive failures. Luckily, you can take the help of well-established and reliable antivirus software on the market.

This will help you prevent infection of your system by conducting regular or periodic security checks. Also, don't forget to keep everything secure in the cloud to deal with unprecedented adversity like the pro you are. Check out our guide to run a virus scan on my computer.

Method 6: File size control

When you're dealing with transferring and sharing files using an external hard drive, it's important to control the file size. Bulk copy and paste can slow down the overall performance of your laptop, cause heat and disrupt or apparently stop the process. Smaller files with less space and memory requirements prevent your hardware from being overwhelmed, especially if it's an older or outdated version.

Method 7: Reboot the system

If things aren't going well with your laptop, you can try restarting Windows 10. This simple step is often overlooked among other complicated and time-consuming technical methods.

1. Press the Windows key.

2. Click the power icon.

3. Here, select the Restart option.

Method 8: Update the disk driver

If the above methods are not enough for your laptop, try ruling out any corrupt, incompatible, or ineffective hard drive driver. Follow our guide to updating device drivers in Windows 10.

If the error code still persists, this time follow our guide to uninstall and reinstall drivers in Windows 10. It will uninstall your current driver in three easy steps.

Method 9: Roll back disk driver updates

This error is also possible due to compatibility issues, especially in the case of USB. Check out our guide to rolling back drivers in Windows 10.

Note. If the rollback driver is not available or is grayed out, it means that the previous version of the disk is not available.

Method 10: Rescan Drives

This is another beginner-friendly method that comes in handy when a non-existent device has been specified. This will detect the latest changes and update everything accordingly to update the disk and fix the error.

1. Press the Windows key, type Disk Management and click Open.

2. Select the hard drive that is giving you headaches and click "Actions".

3. Finally, click "Rescan Drives" and check if the issue is resolved.

Method 11: Give Appropriate Permission

Users often encounter this error 0x800701b1 due to inappropriate permissions that make it difficult to access it.

1. Launch File Explorer and right-click on the problem drive.

2. Click "Properties" in the menu and navigate to the "Security" section available at the top.

3. Then click "Edit" and then "Full Control" located in the "Permission for Authenticated Users" section.

4. Finally, click "Apply" and "OK" to make changes.

Method 12: Change your security settings

There is a high possibility that you are facing the error because you are not allowed to access it due to its security permissions. Well, you can make a difference by simply changing your security settings like this:

1. Open File Explorer on your laptop and click "This PC".

2. Then right-click on the USB drive and select "Properties" from the menu.

3. Now select the "Security" tab and go to the "Advanced" option.

4. Click the "Edit" option and then "Advanced" available in the "Select User or Group" window.

5. Select the Find Now option and double-click the username in the search results section. Don't forget to click "OK" when you return to the "Select User" window to confirm your changes.

6. Return to the Advanced Security Options and check the box next to Replace all child object permission entries with permission entries inherited from this object.

All that's left to do now is to click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Method 13: Disable Read-Only Mode

If you have a read-only file, it's nearly impossible to copy and paste them from their actual location. The only reason for this is that this mode allows you to view text content without making any changes. In other words, you cannot edit, delete or add anything yourself. Instead, you need to disable its read-only mode by doing the following:

1. Press the Windows key, type "Command Prompt" and click "Run as administrator".

2. Confirm User Account Control by clicking Yes.

3. Once the command prompt opens, enter the following commands. Don't forget to press the Enter key after each one:

diskpart - list disk - select disk 1 - attributes disk clear readonly

Note. Remember that 1 on drive1 is the drive letter for which you want to change its read-only mode.

4. Reboot the laptop and wait for the system to apply the necessary changes.

Method 14: Reset Windows 10

Before you figure out how to restart Windows 10, it's important to remember that this should be your last resort. In other words, try and test this only for a non-existent device if nothing else works. The reason for this is that a reset removes all applications and drivers that were installed later. In addition, it will also undo the changes you have made to the settings to add a personal touch. Follow our guide to reset Windows 10 without data loss to fix error 0x800701b1 on Windows 10.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. How to fix a non-existent device?

Answer To resolve this error, you can try any of the above mentioned methods. They are all equally effective and anyone can try them.

Q2. How to fix error 0X800701B1 non-existent device specified?

Answer As mentioned earlier, there are 13 different ways to fix error code 0X800701B1. You can start with the simplest ones, including reconnecting and restarting, and move on to more complex ones if the problem persists.

Q3. What does 0x800701B1 mean?

Answer Windows 10 users often report error 0x800701b1 on their laptops. This happens when the system fails to transfer files between the external hard drive and the laptop. Therefore, the file transfer failed and users are stuck with the error.


Windows 10 users often face non-existent device error. Instead of letting the error stay and interfere with the laptop, you should remove it with one of the above mentioned methods. Also, don't forget to share your comments and suggestions in the comments to let us know what you want to read next.

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