What is the solution to the error 0x800703EE with external memory?

Many computer users report that they encounter error 0x800703ee when trying to copy files from PC to external storage device or from an external storage device to PC, when writing disk or when trying to update Windows 10.

They may get an error as shown in the following figure.

0x800703EE Error with External Storages

Many Windows users report problems copying files to or from an external storage device. The error code that appears is 0x800703EE. Bad people are becoming increasingly sophisticated in infiltrating devices with malware. Therefore, users should always save their files to an external hard drive for security reasons.

However, nowadays, many users are complaining about receiving an error message 0x800703EE when trying to copy files to an external storage device. Usually, the message reads as follows: “The file drive has been externally modified so that the opened file is no longer valid.”

The error message associated with this error code is “The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid“. The problem is not specific to a particular version of Windows, as it is confirmed to occur in Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.


What is error 0x800703EE?

What is error 0x800703EE

If you are trying to copy or move files to an external storage device but suddenly get error 0x800703EE, then you have come to the right place, as this post will show you how to fix this error on your Windows 10 computer.

This type of file copy error can be accompanied by an error message that reads, “The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid.” This error prevents files from being copied or moved to and from an external storage device.

This type of problem can be caused by a service in your backup program that may be blocking the operation, or by a conflict with your third-party antivirus program. In addition, the error may be caused by corrupt or outdated USB drivers or by a disabled Windows volume shadow backup service.

It is also possible that some system files are corrupt or external device drivers are damaged. Regardless of the cause, here are a few options you should check to fix the error.

Before you fix the error, try moving the files to another location on your local drive and removing and reinstalling the USB drive. Then try moving or copying the file to the USB drive and see if the error still occurs. If it does, you will need to solve the problem by following each of the suggestions below.

If you have the same problem, don’t panic because you can always fix the error 0x800703EE on your external drive. Keep reading this article to find out how.


What is the cause of error 0x800703EE with external storage devices?

We have analyzed this problem by reviewing several user reports and the most common repair strategies commonly used to solve this problem. It turns out that several different potential culprits can cause this problem on Windows PCs :

Conflict with third-party antivirus

  • It turns out that this problem may well be caused by an over-protected third-party package that blocks a file when Windows attempts to move or copy it. If this scenario applies, you may be able to solve the problem by disabling real-time protection or uninstalling the entire security solution.


The backup program is blocking the file

  • If you are using a backup program such as Easy US, FBackup, Acronis True Image, or a similar solution, an associated service may be causing the error. Windows is known to misbehave when it has to run an operation while another third-party application is also using the file.


Other third-party conflicts

  • It is also possible that you have another third-party program calling a program that other users have not reported in a similar scenario. In this case, the best solution is to use the System Restore Wizard to return your computer to a state where the error did not occur.


Damaged or failed USB controllers

  • Incorrectly installed serial USB controllers or failed USB controllers may also be responsible for this problem. In this case, the only way to solve the problem is to remove all USB controllers and rely on Windows to reinstall them or install them manually using the motherboard drivers.


The Windows Backup and Volume Shadow Copy are disabled

  • these two services will undoubtedly cause 0x800703EE in situations where one or both of these services are disabled. Windows relies on these services to perform file copy and move operations, so make sure they are enabled if they are not.


A conflict between the writer and the iTunes filter driver

  • If the problem occurs when copying pen drives, SD cards, or other devices, you are most likely experiencing a conflict caused by the writer’s software or iTunes. If this scenario applies, you should be able to resolve the problem by removing the filter drivers using the registry editor.


Basic corruption of system files

  • It is also possible that the error code is the result of the basic corruption of system files that prevent Windows from performing basic tasks such as copying and moving files. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by repairing the corrupted system files using built-in utilities such as SFC and DISM.

If you are having trouble resolving the same error message, this article contains some troubleshooting guides to help you find and resolve the problem causing error 0x800703EE. Below is a list of methods whose effectiveness has been confirmed by at least one interested user.

If you want to be as efficient as possible, we recommend that you follow the methods listed below in the order listed. In the end, you should find a solution that solves the problem, no matter who did it.


How to Fix 0x800703EE Error with External Storages

Fix 1: Reinstall the USB controller drivers

Reinstall the USB controller drivers

The problem may be caused by outdated or damaged USB controller drivers. In this case, you can update them as follows:

  1. Press Win+R to open the Run window and type devmgmt.msc
  2. Press Enter to open the Device Manager.
  3. Scroll down to Universal Serial Bus Controllers and expand the list.
  4. Right-click and select Uninstall Device for each driver individually.
  5. Then reboot the system, connect to the Internet, and the drivers will be reinstalled.
  6. You can also download and install drivers for the external device from the manufacturer’s website.

Fix 2: Check the Volume Shadow Copy and Windows Backup services.

Check the Volume Shadow Copy and Windows Backup services

One reason for the problem is that the Volume Shadow Copy and Windows Backup services may be disabled or not running.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run window and type services.msc.
  2. Press Enter to open the Service Manager.
  3. Find the Volume Shadow Copy service and right-click it.
  4. Select Properties. Make sure that the startup type is set to manual and that the service is running. If not, change this and click Start. Click Apply, and then click OK to save the settings.
  5. Repeat the same process for the Window Backup service and see if you can copy it now.


Fix 3: Disabling the real-time protection for third-party antivirus products

Many third-party antivirus products are known to cause conflicts with real files. They can overprotect the system. The solution in this case would be to temporarily disable real-time protection with these third-party antivirus products and see if that can help.


Fix 4: Execute an SFC scan

If the system is missing system files, it may cause an external memory error 0x800703EE. To solve the problem, perform an SFC analysis. Looks for missing or damaged system files and replaces them.


Fix 5: Delete filter drivers

This suggestion applies only if you receive an error message “The volume of a file has been changed externally so that the open file is no longer valid”. with error code 0x800703EE.

First, create a system restore point or save the registry and then remove the filter drivers. To do this, run regedit and navigate to the following key :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Class {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

Select this key {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}, and then check the right pane to see if the values for the upper and lower filters are present. If so, right-click on the values and select Clear to delete them and restart your computer. Otherwise, exit the registry editor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter. Then wait for the process to complete.

The SFC command will replace corrupted, lost, or modified system files to fix error 0x800703ee. However, if SFC cannot restore system files or if error code 0x800703ee persists after SFC, users can run the DISM command to restore system files.

  1. Click on the "Start" button.
  2. Enter "command" in the search field... ...
  3. Hold down the CTRL-Shift key on your keyboard and press Enter.
  4. Press Yes.
  5. Type "regedit" and then press ENTER.
  6. On the File menu, select Export.

  1. Press Windows+X on your keyboard.
  2. Select Device Manager.
  3. Expand the contents of the Drivers section.
  4. Right-click the appropriate drive and choose Uninstall.
  5. When prompted to agree, click OK.
  6. Unplug the device from the computer.
  7. Restart your computer.