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Windows 10 error 0x800703EE when copying files to external storage - Steps to fix it

Are you trying to move files to and from your external storage device in Windows and keep getting an error 0x800703EE? 

This guide is for you.

Sometimes, Windows users experience errors such as error 0x800703EE in the process of copying or moving files to and from your external storage device. This prevents you from copying or moving the files to and from the external storage device.

Here at Outsource Path, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to fix Windows related errors.

In this context, we shall look into the steps to fix this Windows error.

Nature and causes of Windows 10 error 0x800703EE when copying files to external storage?

When this error occurs, an error such as show below will be displayed on screen;

An unexpected error is keeping you from moving the file. If you continue to receive this error, you can use the error code to search for help with this problem.
Error 0x800703EE: The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid.

Basically, this error is generally caused by a service that belongs to a backup program that could be blocking the operation or a conflict with your third party antivirus program.

Also, the error could also be due to corrupted or outdated USB drivers or it could be caused be a disabled Windows Backup and Volume Shadow copy service. 

In other cases, it is possible that some system files are corrupted or that the drivers for the external device are also corrupted. 

How to fix Windows 10 error 0x800703EE when copying files to external storage?

Before you troubleshoot the error, you might want to try moving the files to another location on your local drive and remove the USB drive and insert it back again. After that, try to move or copy the file to the USB drive and see if it still throws an error. 

If it does, then you need to troubleshoot the problem further by following each one of the suggestions given below.

1. Update or reinstall the Universal Serial Bus Controller driver

Since it could be a driver issue, you can try to update or reinstall the Universal Serial Bus Controller drivers using the Device Manager. Refer to the following steps:

i. First, click the Start button and type "device manager".

ii. Then click on the "Device Manager" from the search results to open it.

iii. From there, look for the "Universal Serial Bus controllers" option and then right click on each one of the USB drivers and select the Update Driver from the menu.

Note: If it is a regular USB drive, then it will be listed as a USB Mass Storage Device but if you have a USB 3.0 device, then look for USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller.

Restart your PC and then click the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option.

Note: If updating the USB Controller drivers didn’t work, you can try to reinstall them instead.

2. Try checking the Volume Shadow Copy and Windows Backup services

The next thing you can do to fix error 0x800703EE is to check the Volume Shadow Copy and Windows Backup service.

i. First, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “services.msc” in the field and hit Enter to open the Services Manager.

ii. From there, look for the Volume Shadow Copy service and right click on it and then select Properties.

iii. After that, make sure that its Startup type is set to Manual and that its status is “Started” so if it isn’t, you need to click on the Start button and then on the Apply and OK buttons to save the changes made.

iv. Once done, look for the Windows Backup Service and repeat the same process you did with the Volume Shadow Copy service.

v. After you complete the steps, restart your computer and see if the error is now fixed.

3. Restart your computer in a Clean Boot State

If a third party program like antivirus is the one that’s causing the problem, you can try put your computer in a Clean Boot State to isolate the issue by following these steps:

i. Log onto your PC as administrator.

ii. Type in msconfig in the Start Search to open the System Configuration utility.

iii. From there, go to the General tab and click “Selective startup”.

iv. Clear the “Load Startup items” check box and make sure that the “Load System Services” and “Use Original boot configuration” options are checked.

v. Next, click the Services tab and select “Hide All Microsoft Services” check box.

vi. Click Disable all.

vii. Click on Apply/OK and restart your PC. (This will put your PC into a Clean Boot State. And to configure Windows to use the usual startup, just simply undo the changes.)

viii. Now try to copy the files to your external storage device again and check if the error is now gone.

4. Try to run System File Checker or SFC scan

To do this;

i. Tap Win + R to launch Run.

ii. Type in cmd in the field and tap Enter.

iii. After opening Command Prompt, type in sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

iv. Once done, restart your computer.

5. Try to delete the Filter drivers

Note that this option is only application if you see the error 0x800703EE accompanied with the “The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid” error message. Before you start, create a System Restore Point first.

i. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to this registry path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

ii. After that, select the “{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}” key and check if you can find the “Upperfilters” and “Lowerfilters” value in the right pane. If you can find them, right click on them and select Delete.

iii. Once done, exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

[Need urgent support in fixing Windows related errors? We are available to help you.]

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