USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows do not recognize it.” This is the most common error any Windows User can face while plugging USB Devices.

There are various reasons besides this error. The odd thing about this error is that the ports are working just fine, as I was able to still charge my cell phone without a problem, but couldn’t get my camera recognized using the same port. In this article, we are going to explore the most common cause and solution for this problem.


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


To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the methods below in the order listed. If the first method does not fix the problem, proceed to the next.

Uninstall and then reconnect the external hard drive

This method resolves issues where the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupt.

  1. Select Start, type Device Manager in the Search box
  2. Select Device Manager from the returned list.
  3. Select Disk Drives from the list of hardware
  4. Press and hold (or right-click) the USB external hard drive with the issue, and select Uninstall.
  5. After the hard drive is uninstalled, unplug the USB cable.
  6. Wait for 1 minute and then reconnect the USB cable. The driver should automatically load
  7. Check for the USB drive in Windows Explorer
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Note Connecting your USB external hard drive into a non-powered USB hub can cause a lack of enough power to operate the external drive. Instead, plug it directly into your computer.

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Install the latest Windows Updates

This method will install the latest device drivers for your USB external hard drive.

  1. Select the Start button, type Windows Update in the Search box, and then select Windows Update in the results pane.
  2. Select Check for Updates. After the scan is complete, select Review optional updates.
  3. Select the check box next to the updates, then select Install updates.
  4. If prompted, review the license agreement, then select I Accept.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the updates.
  6. If prompted, reboot your computer.

Reinstall USB controllers.

This method resolves steps where the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupted.

  1. Select Start, then type device manager in the Search box, and then select Device Manager.
  2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Press and hold (or right-click) a device and select Uninstall. Repeat for each device.
  3. Once complete, restart your computer. Your USB controllers will automatically install.

Disable USB selective suspend setting

This method prevents your USB external drive from powering down.

  1. Select the Start button, type power plan in the Search box, and then select Choose a power plan.
  2. Next to your currently selected plan, select Change Plan Settings.
  3. Select Change advanced power settings.
  4. Select the box to expand USB Settings > USB selective suspend settings.
  5. Select Plugged in, select the drop down menu, and then select disabled.
  6. If you’re using a laptop, select Battery, select the drop down menu, and then select disabled.
  7. Select Apply > OK.

References : Microsoft

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