A hard drive error could easily cause the USB To ATA/ATAPI bridge not to work and to get them working, you will have to run Check Disk. Other recommended solutions include checking the hidden devices, updating drivers, reassigning drive letters, and running DISM and SFC scans. To get a detailed breakdown of how to deal with this situation, you will have to continue reading.

Breakdown Of USB To ATA/ATAPI Bridge

Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI) is a protocol that lets more devices connect to computers than what they allow by themselves. 

ATAPI devices include CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives, tape drives, magneto-optical drives, and large-capacity floppy drives (Zip drive, SuperDisk drive, etc.). ATA/ATAPI devices understand and respond to ATA/ATAPI commands presented to them via their ATA/ATAPI connectors or buses. However, the USB 2.0 bus neither communicates with nor understands ATA/ATAPI commands. A USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge in this case acts as an instruction translator and data manager between the two buses.

USB To ATA/ATAPI Bridge Not Working: Reasons

Whenever you plug in an external drive to your computer, it may recognize it as plugged in but whenever you try to open files you may be unsuccessful. While troubleshooting “USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge not working” error, it’s wise to take into account these possibilities. 

Outdated Drivers

If the device drivers are out of date, the drive may fail to communicate with your system and you will not be able to access the files. The drivers in question in this scenario will be the IDE ATA /ATAPI DRIVER controllers in Device Manager.

Damaged System Files

Your computer is packed with all sorts of files to enable smooth operations. If some of the files are damaged or corrupted it may cause errors here and there. You may be unable to access files in your external drives due to corrupt system files.

Same Drive Letters

External drives are often assigned letters towards the end of the alphabet to help differentiate them from local drives. If the internal and the external drives have been assigned the same letters, your computer may fail to recognize the external drive. 

A List Of Solutions

Check Disk

Check Disk (abbreviated as CHKDSK) is a utility in Windows computers that can be used to analyze hard drive errors and run repairs. 

  • Step 1: Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.
  • Step 2: Select This PC, right-click the drive you plugged in then choose Properties
  • Step 3: Navigate to the Tools tab, hit Check then wait for the utility to run.
  • Step 4: Once the check is successful, click Scan drive.
  • Step 5: You may select Show Details to view any errors that were repaired then select Close to close the window.

Think About Hidden Devices

  • Step 1: Press Windows + X to open Quick link menu then click Device Manager.
  • Step 2: On Device Manager, go to the View tab and click on Show hidden devices from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 3: Search for hidden drivers if any IDE ATA /ATAPI DRIVER controllers are listed.
  • Step 4: On each of the devices, right-click then select Uninstall Device.
  • Step 5: Restart your computer then check if the error has been resolved.

After restarting your computer, Windows will automatically install the necessary devices

Reassign Drive Letter

It’s possible to assign letters to your drives by taking advantage of Disk Management. For good measure, you should consider adding letters in a backward order e.g Z, Y, or X.

  • Step 1: Press Windows + X to open the Quick Link Menu then click Disk Management.
  • Step 2: Right-click the drive you want to reassign and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  • Step 3: Click Change then select Assign the following drive letter.
  • Step 4: Use the drop-down menu to assign a new drive letter then click OK.
  • Step 5: Close the window, restart your computer then www how things turn out

Update Drivers

  • Step 1: Press Windows + X to open Quick Link Menu.
  • Step 2: Click Device Manager.
  • Step 3: Double-click IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers then right-click each of the devices that will appear.
  • Step 4: Select Properties then go to the Driver tab.
  • Step 5: Click on the Update driver, wait for windows to complete the update then restart your computer.

Run DISM And SFC Scans

If there are corrupted files that create conflicts within your system and prevent it from reading drives, you should try out SFC and DSIM. System File Checker (SFC), is a utility in Windows that can scan through all the files and replace corrupted ones with cached copies. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) restores the system image to a healthy state so it is advisable to run DISM before running the SFC scan.

  • Step 1: Press Windows + R to open Run.
  • Step 2: Type cmd then hit Enter to open Command Prompt.
  • Step 3: Type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth then hit Enter.
  • Step 4: Once the DISM scan is done, type sfc /scannow then hit Enter.
  • Step 5: After the SFC scan is complete, close the Command Prompt then restart your computer. 


  • Clean contacts of drives using a pencil eraser.
  • Regularly defragment your disk drive using Defragment and Optimize Drives.
  • Avoid rough handling of external hard drives due to their fragility.
  • Experienced an error after updating a driver? Go to Device Manager and perform a rollback.

How Can I Manage Drives In Windows 10?

In Windows 10, Disk Management will help you perform advanced storage tasks like initializing a new drive and extending or shrinking volumes. With Disk Management, you can initialize a new drive, extend or shrink a basic volume, change a drive letter and troubleshoot Disk Management. To open Disk Management, press the Windows key, type disk management then hit Enter.

Why Are Letters Towards The End Of The Alphabet Used In Assigning Drives?

When assigning letters to drives, letters towards the end of the alphabet are used to reduce the risk of an assignment conflict.

How Can I Make A Flash Drive Work On A Smart TV?

Smart TVs are compatible with flash drives formatted in the NTFS file system or the FAT32 file system. To format, press the Windows key + E then click This PC. Right-click on the flash drive, select Format, and under File system, click the drop-down arrow. Select FAT32 and then click Start.


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