Issue: How to fix “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error on Windows 10?
So I eventually decided to upgrade my PC to Windows 10. Just like most of its users, I started encountering problems right after the upgrade. Each time I try to open .exe file I get a pop-up message saying “A device attached to the system is not functioning.” I did not get this message under other circumstances yet, but I’m not going to wait until it reoccurs. I have no external hardware attacked. I’m stuck. Please, help!
“A device attached to the system is not functioning” is Windows 10 specific error, which shows up in a form of pop-up window. It can be closed quite simply – just by clicking on the X button at the top-right corner of the pop-up.
Usually, it shows up when the PC is connected with an external hard drive, USB or another device. In this case, the error is merely an attempt to inform the PC’s user that the external device is malfunctioning and needs proper maintenance.
However, “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error often shows up in Windows 10 PCs and laptops without an external device connected. It may spring up when trying to open an .exe, .doc, .png or other file types. Sometimes, it prevents files from being copied from desktop to another folder or vice versa.
Although it’s not a fatal error, it is rather annoying, especially if it affects files like .png or .exe. While sometimes the culprit of the problem may be a corrupted software, usually it stems from corrupted system files, virus infection, damaged Windows update files (if the problem started right after the update), and similar.
More often than not, the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error occurs with the external device attached, so it’s advisable to address the external device in the first place. If that did not help, we’ll try to explain you how to perform Windows diagnostics and how to fix “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error in a comprehensive manner.
If your PC is connected with the external device
In case “A device attached to the system is not functioning” pop-up shows up with the external device connected, first of all disconnect the external device, reboot your PC and then try to reconnect it. If the problem reoccurs, try using another USB data cable to check if it’s not the culprit.
If that did not help, we would strongly recommend formatting the USB storage device. Before doing that, backup all important data that is stored on it. You can do that on another PC. Once done, you should:
- Open This PC and right-click on your USB device drive.
- Select Format.
- Configure the format settings and click Start.
If formatting did not fix “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error, try updating Universal Serial Bus Controllers:
- Right-click on Windows key and select Device Manager.
- Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers tab and update all USB-related drivers.
- For this purpose, right-click on the device and select Update driver.
- Finally, reboot your PC.
If your PC is NOT connected with the external device
In case you get an error “A device attached to the system is not functioning,” we would recommend you to boot your PC into Safe Mode to check if the problem persists. This will help to identify whether the issue is due to some third party programs conflict.
- Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
- Open Update and Security section and click on Recovery.
- Under Advanced startup, click Restart now button.
- When the PC restarts, you’ll see a Choose an option screen. Select Troubleshoot.
- If you can’t see Startup Settings, click Advanced options and then select Startup Settings.
- Select Restart and select Safe Mode on the Startup Settings screen.
- Now sign in as administrator and check if “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error occurs anyway.
In case the error is gone, you should perform a Clean boot. This way, you’ll be able to isolate the problematic software and, furthermore, fix it.
- Click Windows key + R and type msconfig.
- On the System Configuration windows open the Services tab.
- Mark Hide all Microsoft services box and select Disable all.
- Open Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
- Click on each startup item and select Disable.
- Close Task Manager and click OK on the System Configuration window.
- Reboot the system.
If that did not help either, you should check the system with Reimage. Why Reimage? Actually, you can scan the system with any professional anti-virus tool, but we recommend using this one due to the fact that it can optimize your PC and fix various system-related problems at the same time. This program is dubbed as an optimization tool as it contains a huge database of Windows system files and components, so it’s capable of fixing or replacing the damaged ones. At the same time, it scans the system for virus and malware. Thus, it’s worth trying.
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