How to Deal With the “USB device not recognized” Error Message

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What is a USB?

USB or Universal Serial Bus is a technology that is used for communication between Input/output devices and personal computers. It is a standard that was designed and popularized by personal computers but is now used by a variety of electronic devices like PDA, Smartphone’s and LCD’s.

What is the “USB device not recognized” error?

The “USB device not recognized” error pops up on the screen when a device is connected to the USB port of a Windows computer. This device can be a keyboard, mouse, printer, digital camera, external hardware etc. The error which usually appears on the right hand side of the taskbar is –

USB Device not recognized
one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.
For assistance in solving the problem, click the message.

Operating systems that show this pop-up are:

    • Windows XP – all versions
    • Windows Vista – all versions

How to fix the “USB device not recognized” error?

There can be various reasons for a USB device not getting recognized, they are –

  • Faulty USB port – If a USB port on the system is faulty then any device connected to it will not be recognized and will give the above error. It is always better tocheck by connecting your device to other USB ports present on your system. If it gets recognized by any other port then there is a problem with the port connected initially.
    In some old systems the USB port is disabled in the BIOS, by default. So, you will have to go into the BIOS and enable the ports from there.
  • The USB cable or device might be faulty – If a device that uses the USB cable (like the scanner or printer) is giving the error, then try to change the USB cable andsee if the error goes. If it does, then change the USB cable, otherwise the problem is more likely with the device or the USB port on the computer.
  • Problem with Legacy or high-end device– Very old or obsolete devices connected to the system may not be recognized. Also, if you connect a high-end device toan old system running Windows ME /98/XP with SP1, the system may not have the drivers and will be unable to recognize the device.
    Installing the driver provided with the device or downloading the latest drivers from the website for your Windows version will help in solving this problem.
  • Device Conflicts and registry Errors – First disconnect all other USB devices connected to the system and restart. Now connect just the one device you want touse and if this doesn’t solve the problem then follow the steps listed below.
    1. Right-click My Computer and then select Properties.

    2. On the Hardware tab in the System Properties dialog box that opens, click Device manager.

    3. Look for USB root Hub and click on the + sign next to it.

    4. If you see any unknown device there right-click on the USB root Hub and then select “Scan for hardware changes”.

    If your hardware is still not recognized then –

    5. Right- click USB root hub again and select Properties.

    6. Open the Power Management tab.

    7. Clear the box that says “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”

    8. Do this for all the USB root hubs present in the list.

    9. Close all open windows and restart the system.

By performing all these steps the USB device will now be recognized.

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