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USB Device Not Recognized In Windows 7 or 8

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There are times when some of the windows users face a problem when they insert a USB flash drive or connect some other USB based device like data card etc to the USB ports they see the error in windows saying “USB Device Not Recognized” in the balloon tip which shows up at right bottom of the screen as shown in the image below.


If we look into the error in detail it says, one of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and windows does not recognize it, For assistance in solving this problem, click this message. Fixing this problem is really easy but this error could be due to different reasons on different computers, so to fix this problem you can try out the following methods listed below and some of them will definitely work for you.

Try Plugging To Others USB Port

In this case when you plug a USB device into a USB port on your computer, and you see this error message. You can try plugging the same USB device, flash drive, data card or any other USB device onto some other USB port where it will probably detect properly without any issues.

Unplug Your Laptop or Desktop From Power Supply

This solution may sound strange or basic to some but it really works for most of the time. In this case if you are facing this on a windows laptop, you just need to unplug the laptop from power supply when you connect the USB device and you will see the USB device gets detected properly this way instantly. In case you are using a desktop, you will need to shut it down and remove the power cord from the wall power connector and wait for 1 minute approx. and reconnect and power on your computer and try connecting the USD devices again, they should be detected properly.

You can also try reading out troubleshooting guides mentioned below which should help you.

If the above method does not solve this problem then you can try the following other methods which could help in your case.

Method 1: Uninstall and then reconnect the external hard drive

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

  1. Click Start, type Device Manager in the Search box

  2. Click Device Manager from the returned list.

  3. Click Disk Drives from the list of hardware

  4. Right-click the USB external hard drive with the issue, and click 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

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.

If this method does not resolve your issue, proceed to Method 2.

Method 2: Install Hotfixes that resolve issues that may exist on Windows 7

This Hotfixes in this method can resolve a known conflict with a USB external hard drive and Windows.

  1. Go to KB 976972

  2. Under Update information, click Download the update package now that corresponds with your version of Windows 7.

    1. If you’re unsure of which version of Windows 7 you are running, click the Start button, right click Computer, then click Properties.

      • If “64-bit Operating System” is listed next to System type, you’re running the 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7.

      • If “32-bit Operating System” is listed next to System type, you’re running the 32-bit (x86) version of Windows Vista or Windows 7.

    2. [*]Click Continue. If a User Account Control permission, click Yes.

      [*]Click Download, then click Open.

      [*]The download should start in 30 seconds. If it does not, click Start Download, then click Open.

      [*]Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the download and installation.

      [*]Go to KB 974476

      [*]Click View and request hotfix downloads. Click Select hotfix.

      [*]If prompted, review the license agreement. If you agree to the terms, click I Accept.

      [*]Check the box next to your version of Windows 7, then enter your email in the boxes below.

      [*]Enter the word verification, then click Request hotfix.

      [*]Check your email. You will soon see an email from Microsoft with a download link for the hotfix. Click the link and follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the hotfix.

      [*]Restart your computer.

      If your problem still persists, proceed to Method 3.

      Method 3: Install the latest Windows Updates

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

      1. Click the Start button, type Windows Update in the Search box, then click Windows Update in the results pane.

      2. Click Check for Updates. After the scan is complete, click Review optional updates.

      3. Click the check box next to the updates, then click Install updates.

      4. If prompted, review the license agreement, then click I Accept.

      5. Follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the updates.

      6. If prompted, reboot your computer.

      If your problem still exits, proceed to Method 4.

      Method 4: Reinstall USB controllers.

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

      1. Click Start, then type device manager in the Search box, then click Device Manager.

      2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right click a device and click Uninstall. Repeat for each device.

      3. Once complete, restart your computer. Your USB controllers will automatically install.

      If your problem still exists, proceed to Method 5.

      Method 5: Disable USB selective suspend setting.

      This method prevents your USB external drive from powering down.

      1. Click the Start button, type power plan in the Search box, then click Choose a power plan.

      2. Next to your currently selected plan, click Change Plan Settings.

      3. Click Change advanced power settings.

      4. Click the box to expand USB Settings, then expand USB selective suspend settings.

      5. Click Plugged in, then click the drop down menu and select disabled.

      6. If you’re using a laptop, click Battery, then click the drop down menu and select disabled.

      7. Click Apply, then click OK.

      If this doesn’t resolve your issue, proceed to Method 6.

      Method 6: Install your motherboard’s latest chipset drivers.

      This method updates your motherboard’s chipset drivers, so your computer will recognize your USB external hard drive.

      1. Review your computer’s documentation which should contain the name of the motherboard manufacturer.

      2. Visit your computer manufacturer’s support website.

      3. Navigate their website to find the appropriate drivers for your motherboard. For assistance, contact your computer manufacturer.

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