When you try to use data on an external USB hard drive, you may receive the following error: USB device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows do not recognize it.” Fixing this issue is not as tough as you think.
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Cause for the error USB device not recognized
This issue can be caused if any of the following situations exist:
- The currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupt
- Your PC requires an update for issues that may conflict with a USB external hard drive and Windows
- Windows may be missing other important updates hardware or software issues
- Your USB controllers may have become unstable or corrupt
- Your external drive may be entering selective suspend
- Your PC motherboard may need updated drivers
Easy Fix for Error: USB device not recognized
To resolve this issue, follow the steps listed in the methods below in the order listed. If the first method does not fix the problem.
Method 1: Uninstall and then reconnect the external hard drive
This method resolves issues where the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupt.
- Click Start, type Device Manager in the Search box
- Click Device Manager from the returned list.
- Click Disk Drives from the list of hardware
- Right-click the USB external hard drive with the issue, and click Uninstall.
- After the hard-drive is uninstalled, unplug the USB cable.
- Wait for 1 minute and then reconnect the USB cable. The driver should automatically load.
- Check for the USB drive in Windows Explorer
Note: Connecting your USB external hard drive into a non-powered USB hub can cause a lack of enough power to run the external drive. Instead, plug it directly into your computer.
If this method does not resolve your issue, try Method 2.
Method 2: Install the latest Windows Updates
This method will install the latest device drivers for your USB external hard drive.
- Click the Start button, type Windows Update in the Search box, then click Windows Update in the results panel.
- Click Check for Updates. After the scan is complete, click Review optional updates.
- Click the checkbox next to the updates, then click Install updates.
- If prompted, review the license agreement, then click I Accept.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the updates.
- If prompted, reboot your computer.
If your problem still exits, proceed to Method 3.
Method 3: Reinstall USB controllers
This method resolves steps where the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupted.
- Click Start, then type device manager in the Search box, then click Device Manager.
- Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right-click a device and click Uninstall. Repeat for each device.
- Once complete, restart your computer. Your USB controllers will automatically install.
If your problem still exists, proceed to Method 4.
Method 4: Disable USB selective suspend setting.
This method prevents your USB external drive from powering down.
- Click the Start button, type power plan in the Search box, then click Choose a power plan.
- Next to your currently selected plan, click Change Plan Settings.
- Click Change advanced power settings.
- Click the box to expand USB Settings, then expand USB selective suspend settings.
- Click Plugged in, then click the drop-down menu and select disabled.
- If you’re using a laptop, click Battery, then click the drop-down menu and select disabled.
- Click Apply, then click OK.
If you still see any problem you can read this Microsoft article about fixing USB device.
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