The system cannot write to the specified device [FIX]
If you’re getting the ‘ERROR_WRITE_FAULT’ error code with ‘The system cannot write to the specified device‘ description, follow the troubleshooting steps listed in this article to fix it.
ERROR_WRITE_FAULT: What you need to know about it
ERROR_WRITE_FAULT, also known as error 29, occurs when users try to install the latest updates on their computers. Reportedly, this error is prevalent for driver updates. Error 29 may also occur when users try to create and save backup files and folders.
There are various elements triggering this issue:
- Damaged or corrupted files and folders.
- Missing EXE, DLL or SYS files and incorrect registry changes.
- Malware infections.
- Permission issues, etc.
How to fix ‘The system cannot write to the specified device’ error
Solution 1 — Run a full system scan
Malware may cause various issues on your computer, including errors. Perform a full system scan in order to detect any malware running on your computer. You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.
Here’s how to run a full system scan on Windows 10 Creators Update:
- Go to Start > type ‘defender’ > double click Windows Defender to launch the tool
- In the left hand pane, select the shield icon
- In the new window, click the Advanced scan option
- Check the full scan option to launch a full system malware scan.
Solution 2 — Repair your registry
The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool, such as CCleaner. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.
You can also use Microsoft’s System File Checker to check for system file corruption. The utility is available only on Windows 10. It verifies the integrity of all protected system files and repairs files with problems when possible. Here’s how to run an SFC scan:
1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administrator
2. Now type the sfc /scannow command
3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot.
Solution 3 — Update your OS
Make sure that you’re running the latest Windows OS updates on your machine. As a quick reminder, Microsoft constantly rolls out Windows updates in order to improve the system’s stability and fix various issues.
To access the Windows Update section, you can simply type “update” in the search box. This method works on all Windows versions. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.
Solution 4 — Run the Windows Troubleshooter
Windows 10 Creators Update features a dedicated built-in Troubleshooter that can fix general PC issues. Use can also use this tool to fix the write_fault error.
1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > select Troubleshoot in the left hand pane
2. In the new window, go to the section ‘Find and fix other problems’ > select the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter > Run the troubleshooter
If you run an older Windows version, you can download the Microsoft Easy Fix tool to troubleshoot various software and hardware issues. The tool is compatible with Windows 10 Version 1607, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
Go to the official Microsoft Easy Fix tool webpage, and scroll down to select the Devices and Hardware troubleshooter. When you select the respective tool, your PC will start downloading the troubleshooting software.
Once the tool has been downloaded it, double-click it to launch it. Then follow the on-screen instructions to fix your problem.
Solution 5 — Check your disk for errors
On Windows 10, you can run a disk check using Command Prompt.
Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command followed by Enter. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.
As a quick reminder, if you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors. The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.
On Windows 7, go to hard drives > right-click the drive that you want to check > select Properties > Tool. Under the ‘Error checking’ section, click Check.
Solution 6 — Clean your temporary files and folders
The simplest and quickest manner to delete your temporary files and folders is to use Disk Cleanup. As you use your computer or browse the Internet, your PC accumulates various unnecessary files.
These so called junk files may affect your computer’s processing speed, causing apps to respond slowly and may also trigger various error codes, including the ‘ERROR_WRITE_FAULT’ error code. Clean your temporary files and then try to write data on the problematic storage device again.
Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup on Windows 10:
1. Go to Start > type Disk Cleanup > launch the tool
2. Select the disk that you want to clean > the tool will them tell you how much space you can free up
3. Select “Clean up system files”.
Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup on Windows 7:
- Go to Start > type Disk Cleanup > open Disk Cleanup.
- In Disk Cleanup’s description section, select Clean up system files and select the drive that you want to clean up > click OK.
- On the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete > click OK > select Delete files.
Solution 7 — Free up memory
Many users confirmed that they managed to fix this error code by freeing up memory on their drive. Apart from cleaning up temporary files and folders, there are other solutions that you can use to free up disk space on your computer: you can remove unnecessary apps, defragment your disk, delete duplicate files, and more. For more information on how to gain a few extra megabytes of storage space, check out our dedicated article on the best ways to free up disk space.
Solution 8 — Check the permissions on the drive
‘The system cannot write to the specified device’ error code may also occur of you don’t have the necessary permissions to access the drive or parts of the problematic drive. In this case, verify the permissions on the respective drive and change them to full control.
1. Log in as Admin > select the problematic drive > right-click it > go to Properties > select the Security tab >click on the Advanced button
2. In the new window, click on Users > click on the Change permissions button
4. Under basic permissions, check Full control > OK.
In this manner, you’ve changed the permissions to allow full control for all users. This should solve the problem. However, keep in mind that if you restart your computer or switch users, these settings will revert to default.
Solution 9 — Format your drive
If none of the solutions listed above worked, try formatting the problematic drive. Formatting and restoring the default drive settings should fix this problem. Keep in mind that formatting your drive means deleting all the files and folders stored on the respective drive.
1. Go to Start > type ‘disk management‘ > select the Disk Management utility
2. Right-click the drive that you want to format > select the Format option
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to further customize the format process > click OK on the warning window.
4. Once the format process finishes, access your drive to see if this action fixed the problem.
We hope that the solutions listed above helped you fix ‘ERROR_WRITE_FAULT’ error. If you’ve come across other workarounds to fix this problem, you can help the Windows community by listing the troubleshooting steps in the comments below.
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