How to fix “USB Device not recognized” error on Windows?

by Jake Doe - -

Question

Issue: How to fix “USB Device not recognized” error on Windows?

I need your help!!! I’ve been using an external drive (ADATA Nobility NH92) for about a half of the year, and everything worked fine. However, since yesterday, when I plug the device into my Dell laptop running Windows 10 OS, I receive an error “USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and windows does not recognize it.” I tried to reconnect the device and rebooted my PC, but that did not help. Is it possible to fix that? Would highly appreciate your help. Otherwise, I will lose all backups…

Solved Answer

“USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it.” is a error message which may appear on any Windows OS version. Receiving this message is a big problem for people who store backups or essential data on USB or experience an urgent case to transfer large-size files quickly. However, unreadable USB Flash drive[1] is not the only issue that the “USB Device not recognized” error may cause. 

The message implies the fact that “one of the plugged devices” is malfunctioning. In other words, there may be more than one USB port in use. Keyboard, mouse, camera, printer, and other USB devices may also malfunction and trigger Windows “USB Device not recognized” error. Fixing this error may require a wired mouse or keyboard if an error causes one of the devices unresponsive. In any case, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to fix “USB Device not recognized” error. 

“USB Device not recognized" illustration

According to Microsoft, the problem with the USB device not recognized on Windows might appear due to the following reasons:

  • The USB is not working properly;
  • Windows OS lacks updates, which is why OS collides with the USB external hard drive;
  • Unstable USB controllers;
  • USB is entering selective suspend;
  • Outdated drivers[2].

The most primitive way to find out if the problem is related to the USB drive itself is to plug the USB Flash or another USB device into another PC. If the USB works, then the problem is obviously related to the settings of your PC. If the problem concerns USB Flash only, the problem may stem from an improper USB Flach drive ejection. Experts warn that direct disconnection of the device from the USB port[3] without ejecting it first poses a risk of damaging the USB, as well as causing the system's disruptions. Thus, ensure that you take appropriate care of your device and OS. 

If the USB is not recognized by multiple devices, the culprit is the USB Flash drive itself. Therefore, you may need the help of a professional IT who would know how to reset the external drive to the factory settings. Unfortunately, the latter solution will cause data loss.

Another presumption is related to the OS updates. If the “USB Device not recognized” error pop-up occurs when the mouse, keyboard or similar device is connected, outdated drivers or incorrect USB settings may be the reason. Since there is more than one reason, which has caused the system to go out of order, we will provide several methods on how to fix the “USB Device not recognized” error. None of them are too complicated, so try each fix one by one and we are sure that one of them will work. 

Fixing “USB Device not recognized” error on Windows OS

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

As it is mentioned above, “USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it.” error might be caused by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or malware on your system. Thus, use Reimage to help you eliminate cyber threats and fix virus damage. 

Here is video for your convenience:

Technique 1. Unplug PC

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  1. Turn off your PC. 
  2. Unplug all USB devices. 
  3. Unplug the power cable and replug it. 
  4. Restart the computer and allow it to fully boot. 
  5. Plug-in USB Flash drive or another device that was prompting an error to show up. 

Technique 2. Use Device Manager to uninstall USB drive

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  1. Right-click on Windows key and select Device Manager.
    How to fix “USB Device not recognized" on Windows
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers category and find the USB device, which is not recognized by Windows.
    “USB Device not recognized" fix
  3. Right-click it and select Uninstall.
  4. Reboot your PC and try to reconnect your USB drive.

Technique 3. Modify USB settings

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  1. Right-click on Windows key and select Control Panel.
  2. Select Power Plan and open Power Options.
    Fix “USB Device not recognized" error
  3. Click Show additional plan and select Change settings.
  4. Select High performance and click on Change plan settings.
  5. Click Change advanced power settings and select Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  6. Expand USB settings category and click on USB selective suspend setting.
    “USB Device not recognized" error image
  7. Disable On battery and Plugged in settings.
  8. Click Apply to save the changes and reboot the system.

Technique 4. Update device drivers

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  1. Open Windows search, type Device Manager into the search box and press Enter
  2. When the device driver opens, find the Universal Serial Bus Controllers or Generic USB hub entry. 
  3. Right-click on the very first Generic USB Hub and select Properties. 
  4. Then open the Driver tab and select Update Driver Software. 
    "USB Device not recognized" error fix printscreen
  5. A pop-up window asking if the system should look for available drivers automatically or you will search for them online. 
  6. We recommend selecting an option Search automatically for updated driver software.
  7. Wait while Windows is search for the latest update. Approve the update and unplug the USB device. 
  8. After that, restart your PC. 
  9. As soon as it boots, plug in the USB device and check if the error has been fixed. 

Technique 5. Customize USB Selective Suspend Settings

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Power Options. 
  2. Find Choose or Customize a power plan and click Change plan settings. 
  3. When the Edit Plan Settings window is displayed, locate Change advanced power and click on it. 
    Method to resolve "USB Device not recognized"
  4. Find USB settings and expand it by double-clicking. 
  5. Look for USB settings and expand the USB selective suspend settings. 
  6. Disable On Battery and Plugged in settings
  7. Finally, click Apply and OK to approve the changes. 

 

Hopefully, these methods helped you to resolve “USB Device not recognized” error when plugging in the USB drive. If the process failed, then the only solution is to ask a professional IT specialist for help.

TIP: Don’t forget to keep your PC optimized. Since its difficult to maintain all system files, programs, and settings, our recommendation would be to rely on a professional tool that would do that for you. Our recommendation would be Reimage.

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About the author

Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is a News Editor at Ugetfix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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