Have you ever received a “USB device not recognized” error while connecting any storage drive to your PC? This problem mainly occurs in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems and there are a number of troubleshooting options for this. While you try to connect your USB device/external drive or mouse to your computer, a pop-up box appears with this notice which says that “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.” Meanwhile, everything is running perfectly on your computer, then why does the message says this? So we are bringing you a few troubleshooting options to fix the trouble which will definitely resolve this problem.
Why does the “USB not detected” message pop-ups?
When your computer is not reading the USB drive (flash drive), then this message might appear due to a certain number of causes:
- After you remove the USB safely from the port, it disables that particular port and hence, you need to face this trouble.
- The currently loaded device driver has become corrupt or unstable.
- Your system hardware requires an update for software related issues.
- Your USB controllers have become corrupt or unstable.
- Your external drive is entering selective suspend.
- Your system requires updated drivers.
So whatever might be the cause, the resolution will remain the same.
How to fix a “USB device not recognized” issue?
(1) Reboot your PC
The first step is to perform a simple restart of your PC. Rebooting a computer often resolves the smallest issues and for that, you don’t require attempting the bigger steps. So remove your USB cord from the PC and restart it. After the reboot, your issue will probably resolve. This solution works in all computer OS’, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, and Fedora.
(2) Reinstall your external hard drive
In case this happens due to the corruption or unstable nature of the USB drive, then you’ll need to uninstall it and reconnect it again. To perform this action, follow these steps:
- Open Control Panel > Device Manager.
- Click on Disk Drives to expand the menu.
- Right-click on the external device which is causing the problem.
- Click Uninstall.
- After the drive is uninstalled, remove the drive from the USB port.
- After 2 minutes, plug it again and the driver will automatically load.
(3) Update your PC drivers
The USB device not recognized trouble is also likely to occur if you are using outdated drivers on your PC. In that case, you’ll need to update your system drivers by going to Control Panel > Devices and Printers. If you find any entry specified as ‘Unknown device’ or ‘Unidentified USB device’ then right-click on it and go to Properties to update the driver.
(4) Disconnect any other removable device to avoid conflict
If you are using multiple USB connections on a single laptop/PC, then it’s safer to remove all to avoid conflict. Sometimes multiple USB devices clash with each other due to their non-supportive nature and hence, you get similar error messages from either of them. So use one thumb drive at a time to avoid such errors.
(5) Scan for hardware changes
If the above methods fail to resolve the issue and you are still worried about how to fix USB device not recognized trouble, then try for hardware changes in your system. To scan for hardware changes, follow these steps:
- Open Run and type msc > click Ok.
- The Device Manager window will appear. Select the drive that is causing the trouble.
- Now click on the Action menu > Scan for hardware changes.
- If any update is available for the hardware, then perform it.
Hope it works.
(6) Run the Hardware and Device trouble-shooter
Luckily, Windows 7/8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 comes with an inbuilt hardware and device troubleshooter. This lets you fix any hardware related issue with the troubleshooting wizard and this will probably resolve the “USB not recognized” issue. To run this troubleshooter,
- Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound (under category view)
- Click on Add a device.
- The window will scan for devices and add to it.
- You can set the option to fix the detected issues automatically.
- Click on Next to scan the issue.
Hopefully, this will work out.
(7) Repair the “USB not recognized” issue with Hotfix
If you are having trouble repairing this USB recognition, then try using Hotfix. The hotfix is the official repairing program by Microsoft for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2 that fixes several scenarios like troubleshooting the ‘device not recognized’ issue and fixes all related troubles to USB not working. To use Hotfix, you need to follow this method:
For Windows 8
- Visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2830154 to get Hotfix.
- Under Update information, click on ‘Download the package now’ that matches your version of Windows.
- Click on Continue > click Yes if a user account control permission appears.
- Accept the license agreement.
- On the next page, check the box beside Windows 8 RTM.
- Enter your email address > Request Hotfix.
You will soon receive an email from Microsoft with a download link for Hotfix.
For Windows 7
You’ll need to request a Hotfix from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974476 and follow the same process for an unrecognized USB device.
(9) Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting
If the above methods failed to resolve the scenario, then try disabling the USB selective suspend settings with the following procedure:
- Open Control Panel > Power Options.
- Besides your current plan, click on ‘Change plan settings’.
- Click on ‘Change advanced power settings’.
- Scroll down to USB settings and expand the option.
- Again expand the USB selective suspend setting.
- Click on Plugged in and Disable the option.
- If you are using a laptop/notebook, then disable the option under Battery too.
- Click Apply > Ok.
(10) Install your motherboard chipset drivers
This is the last method you can try to solve the “one of the USB devices has malfunctioned” problem. You need to install your motherboard’s latest chipset drivers which will help your computer recognize your USB hard drive. For applying this process,
- Go through your computer manual or documents to find the name of the motherboard manufacturer.
- Visit your computer motherboard manufacturer website to find the appropriate drivers for your motherboard.
- You can also contact your computer manufacturer for assistance.
Let us know in the comment section about which trick worked for you to solve “USB device not recognized”problem.