“Please insert the external storage media and press OK”

By ivan.diskin | February 5, 2020 |

greater than 6 minutes

Are you looking for information on how to remove the ‘Please insert the external storage’ notification? You’re not alone. Many Windows users have encountered the “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” error message when trying to update, upgrade or reinstall the Windows operating system. Users reported that even after inserting the external media storage, the notification did not disappear. So, what could be causing the error?

The “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” error notification usually appears when trying to reinstall your copy of Windows OS using an external storage medium like a USB flash drive, hard disk drive or SD card. You might also encounter the problem if you run out of space when trying to update or reinstall Windows. In addition, the error message could imply the absence of important drivers necessary for the Windows setup process to be completed successfully.

This post shows you how to fix a PC stuck on ‘Please insert external storage media and press OK’ so that you can get back to using your Windows machine.

How to Fix Error “Please insert the external storage media and press OK”

Solution 1: Reconfigure Your BIOS

The wrong BIOS configuration can cause the “Please insert the external storage media and press Ok” error message to appear when trying to update or reinstall Windows 10. To fix this, you’ll need to make changes to your BIOS.

To do this, you must access the BIOS setup utility. The process may vary depending on the computer brand that you’re using. Refer to the user manual that was provided or download the manual online. On most PCs, all you have to do is restart your machine and press one of the common keyboard commands, such as the Del, F2, F6, F8, or F10 keys.

Once you get to BIOS, find the boot settings and change the boot order to read the installation media first and then the primary disk that you’ll be installing Windows on. Save the changes and restart Windows. Upon restart, BIOS will attempt to boot from the first media storage that you selected.

Note that all BIOS setup utilities are different. On some computers, the menu option may be called ‘Boot Order’, ‘Boot Options’, or simply ‘Boot’. The option to change the boot order may also be found in general menu options like Advanced BIOS Features or Advanced Options. That said, identifying the settings should be pretty straightforward.

If this option doesn’t work, move ahead to the second solution below.

Solution 2: Disable or Uninstall Your Antivirus Program and Disconnect All Storage Devices

Your antivirus program could be preventing the Windows setup from running successfully. To rule out this possibility, you need to disable (preferably uninstall) your security tool and check if you can now run the update without issues. If you can access your desktop, open your antivirus software and disable it using the provided instructions.

For Windows Defender, follow the guide below:

  1. Go to your taskbar and click on the “Windows Security” (the shield) icon. You can find the icon in the “Show hidden icons” option.
  2. Select “Virus & threat protection”, and open the “Manage settings” link under “Virus & threat protection settings”.
  3. Turn off “Real-time protection” and “Cloud-delivered protection”.
  4. Go back to the “Windows Security” window and open the “Apps & browser control” link.
  5. Click the “Off” radio button under “Check apps and files”.

Next, you’ll need to turn off Windows Firewall, which could also be blocking some connections related to the Windows setup. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch “Windows Security”, and select “Firewall & network protection”.
  2. You’ll see three options here, namely “Domain network”, “Private network”, and “Public network”. Open each option and click the toggle button to turn it off.

If you’re using a third-party security tool, it’s best to completely uninstall it first before proceeding with the Windows setup. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Win + X keyboard shortcut and select “Apps and Features”.
  2. Wait for the list of apps and features to populate and click on your antivirus program.
  3. Click “Uninstall” and select the “Uninstall” button. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.

Important note: Using your Windows PC without an antivirus program is risky. Therefore, be sure to reinstall or re-enable your security tool as soon as the Windows setup is complete.

Now, once you’re done disabling or uninstalling your security tool, you need to disconnect all the peripheral devices, including printers, gaming controllers, USB flash drives, SSDs, HDDs, and SD cards, that are plugged into your computer. These external media drives could be causing incompatibility issues with your Windows system, thereby preventing your computer from installing the updates or upgrading to the new Windows version. Remember to reconnect the storage media that contains the Windows installation files.

If you suspect that the USB drive required for the installation process has been corrupted, the best approach is to format it and then copy the installation files afresh.

According to several users, the “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” error occurred when trying to install Windows 10 on a Solid State Drive (SSD). If that’s the case, try disconnecting all the other drives except for the SSD on which you intend to install Windows. You could also try disabling the other hard drives from BIOS and only leave the SSD active.

Solution 3: Perform a System Restore

If the Windows updates somehow got corrupted, you could try using System Restore to revert your system back to a state before the “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” notification error occurred. To do this, you’ll have to enter the recovery environment first. Here’s the step-by-step guide:

  1. If you can log into your desktop, press the “Power” button, hold down the “Shift” key and click “Restart”. If you can’t access your desktop, hold down the “Power” button to turn off your PC. Press the “Power” button again to switch on the computer. When the manufacturer logo appears, hold down the “Power” button to switch off the PC. Repeat the process two more times and allow the computer to fully restart the third time.
  2. On the “Choose an Option” screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings, and click “Restart”.
  3. At the next screen, press the number 6 key on your keyboard to choose “Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt”.
  4. Windows 10 will boot, and you’ll be prompted for the login details. Once you enter your password, you’ll be taken to the Windows Command Prompt window instead of the normal Windows desktop.
  5. In the “Command Prompt” window, type cd restore and press “Enter”.
  6. Execute the command rstrui.exe and click “Next”.
  7. At the next screen, select your restore point. Be sure to pick a restore point before the first occurrence of the “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” error.
  8. Click “Yes” for the “System Restore” process to commence.

Solution 4: Connect the SD Card via a USB Adapter

If the “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” error appears when trying to install the new Windows version on your computer using an SD card, the problem could be linked to a faulty SD card port. If that’s the case, you could try connecting the SD card to your PC using a USB adapter to check if it works.

Be sure to verify if the USB port is functioning correctly before plugging in the USB adapter with the SD card. Many users reported that using this method worked and the Windows setup completed successfully.

Solution 5: Update BIOS

Several users reported that updating BIOS removed the ‘Please insert the external storage’ notification and enabled the installation or upgrading process to complete without any problem. If you’ve tried everything but you’re still running into the “Please insert the external storage media and press OK” error message, you could try updating your BIOS and see if it works.

The process of updating BIOS requires advanced computer skills, and if you’re not comfortable carrying out the steps by yourself, then you should seek the help of a technician. Each computer brand has different sets of instructions to accomplish this task, and you can verify the details by checking the user manual. Just be sure to get the correct details about your BIOS and system before updating it to avoid overwriting your BIOS with the wrong version as this could lead to serious system errors.

Protect Your Data

With the Internet becoming central to almost everything we do, you need to ensure that your data is protected around the clock against attackers. You can find numerous antivirus applications on the market that claim to safeguard your privacy from unauthorized access. However, not all of them can deliver on their promises.

For complete peace of mind, we recommend using Auslogics Anti-Malware, a reliable and trustworthy security tool that offers top-notch protection against malware and data leakage. The software is designed to work alongside your main antivirus program, including Windows Defender, without conflict.

Auslogics Anti-Malware is easy to set up and run, thanks to its user-friendly interface. Furthermore, this is an advanced security tool that detects items your ordinary antivirus may miss. It checks the entire system for malicious entities that you didn’t suspect existed, giving you more protection. If you want, you can set automatic scans that will keep your data safe and protect your system even when you’re not using your PC.

Did you manage to remove the ‘Please insert the external storage’ notification on your Windows 10 PC using the solutions above? Please let us know by commenting below.

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