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Why Won’t My System Recognize My USB Device?


I have a problem with my USB ports. Say I plug in my digital camera to upload some pictures to the tower or plug in my iPod to put music on it, my system won’t recognize that they are plugged into the USB port unless I restart the entire system. This can get very annoying having to restart the computer every time I want to upload pictures, use my webcam, put music on my iPod etc. I have asked many of my friends if they have the same problem with their USB ports, but they don’t. My system won’t recognize anything that is connected into USB unless the system is restarted.

USB is great when it works, but as you’re experiencing, it can still be a pain when it doesn’t.

USB’s really only been around for a few years, and while most of the kinks have been worked out, not all of them have. Especially if you’re on an older machine or operating system version.

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Since I don’t have the specific configuration of your system, I can only make some general suggestions. USB functionality can be affected by many, many things.

USB functionality can be affected by many, many things.
  • Make certain that your version of Windows is up to date by visiting Windows Update. There have been updates to the USB support in almost every version of Windows, especially the 9x and Me versions.
  • Make certain that your system BIOS is up to date. BIOS support is an important part of USB support, and just like the operating system, there have been updates. Exactly where and how to get an updated BIOS will vary depending on the manufacturer of your computer – check with them.
  • Make certain that your USB hardware drivers are up to date. The drivers are the hardware-specific interface between Windows and the USB ports. Getting updates to these drivers will depend on the manufacturer of your computer, or the manufacturer of your USB port add-in if the USB ports are on an expansion card, so you’ll need to check with them.
  • If you’re running Windows XP, run the system file checker to ensure that Windows itself is not damaged: What is the System File Checker, and how do I run it?.
  • An up-to-date spyware and virus scan wouldn’t hurt either. If any software came with the devices you’re having trouble with, make sure that’s up to date, and installed properly.

The problem is that any or all of the above items could possibly impact your USB problems.

131 comments on “Why Won’t My System Recognize My USB Device?”

  1. i have this device that worked for awhile, but then it got corruppted, i didn’t format it, and the next time i pluged it it, it didn’t recognize. I still haven’t gotten it to work. please help.

  2. I recently relocated a hard drive from an old computer (the C: drive, with all Windows files) to a newer tower, with more RAM, etc. I’ve had success, except with 3 things – the video adapter (I dont know what the new one is, and the settings for my current one are incorrect, thereby restricting my computer to 16 color, 640×480 mode) and my USB ports. this new computer has 2 of them, whereas the other computer (the old one) had none. My question to you, sir, if you care to respond, is how might I get my new hard drive’s version of Windows 98 to recognize the USB ports? I ask because it is quite important, for instance, I have a USB mouse that will not work, as the USB ports are not recognized as existing. And I have no serial mouse anymore, so i have to navigate with the keyboard. Can you offer any insight? Thank you very much!! By the way, i dont know any of the manufacturers or models of the motherboard etc, but there must be some way to get it to work, right?

  3. Newbie here. I just got a new digital camera and I have inserted the disc and ran it through but when I try to look at my pics there isn’t a removable disc icon in the my computer area. There was with my other digital camera. I did the whole add hardware and everything. Am I missing something.

  4. Some cameras don’t look like drives. You’ll need to check the documentation for the camera, and perhaps run an application on the PC to access the pictures.

  5. Yeah thanks a lot, Leo. I had to figure my USB problem out on my own. That idiot up there’s question was completely stupid and mine was well-written and polite. Well no more. You’re about as useful as Liza Minelli. Thanks…for nothing.

  6. Dave: the only thing that comes to mind is to fire up the New Hardware wizard. It should scan and hopefully plug & play will discover the ports.

  7. A note to Megallen but again they refuse to give any help. Maybe they don’t have an answer to this request. Anyone else ever had a dealings with this issue. If so please advise.


    This is my fifth request for help on this subject matter and no one has responded with anything that has any sort of fix and I need one ASAP. Like yesterday. As you can see I have a platinum GPS of which you sold me a cable that went from my COM port cable and adapted to a USB port cable. Nothing has to this date allowed my GOS to be recognized by the laptops USB port. I will tell you that if I plug this GPS into my COM port of my laptop it works just fine however no one to my knowledge uses a desktop in his or her car on the road.

    Serial Number = ( CH048466 )

    PS: The answer needs to be in English not TW.


  8. Most USB to serial adapters require additional software drivers to be installed. Did that come with the cable? (It’s what I needed with my previous laptop and GPS unit.)

  9. I had a similar problem with my USB devices not being recognized. the fix was simple:

    Restart the computer and tap delete key as the pc is booting up. This should take you into the Bios screen. Scroll through the options until you reach the USB section and make sure that all options are enabled. Let me know if this worked for you.

  10. It’s not always the delete key to get into BIOS setup, but it’s a good reminder to go check your BIOS settings to make sure that USB is enabled.

  11. I’ve just lost three days of my life trying to figure out why suddenly none of my pnp devices in my usb ports were being recognized by windows. I’d even gone so far as to wipe my hard drive and reinstall.
    After trying every trick I could find online, to no avail, I just decided that maybe it was a hardware, not software problem. So, I opened up the computer, but everything looked OK. It was very dusty, so I blew some of that out.

    Disappointed, I restarted and suddenly windows recognized my mp3 player and my camera!! I’m so damn happy right now. Unfortunately, I don’t know what did it, but I’d guess that it was either unplugging the computer, jiggling wires or getting rid of some of the dust.

    I read somewhere that there is a connection between electricity and usb ports, so I’d suggest to everyone having this problem at least try shutting down, unplugging your computer, plugging back in and restarting.

    The nightmare is over!

  12. To all: One thing that I’ve learned with Windows is that assigning a drive letter is critical and Windows does this automatically. I’m on a server and geeze I have a lot of drives. Some of you might be experiencing this… When you plug in a USB or any external device, Windows assigns it a drive letter. BUT, Windows will only go so far. So the typical set up you’ll normally see would be A (Floppy), C (Hard Drive) D (CD/DVD) E (CD/DVD). Those are the standard. Now, take into consideration of partions or being on a server where you have access to drives on the server. Now you’re looking at more letters. If you plug something in to your machine now, Windows will get confused because it wants to give that new drive a letter but it’s already being used. So needless to say, all the info it there but you just can’t access it. Here is my cure. Right click on “My Computer”… in the pull down go to “Manage”. On the left hand side you’ll see a list of stuff. Go down to “Disk Management”. Now, if your system is working properly, you WILL see a list of ALL active and working device drives. iPod, jump drive, external HD, C drive, partions, etc… You will see whatever it is you’ve got plugged into the USB as long as it’s storage. Right click on that drive and click on “Change Drive Letter”. Now you’ll see a window in which you can pick the drive letter you want Windows to use when plugging your device in next time. Just click on “Change” then you get a scroll down of choices of every letter that hasn’t been used yet. I would say start close to the end like at Z. Let me know if this helps anybody.

  13. Hey, I’ve noticed a curious thing. If you plug in the device twice quickly (plugin half way, pull out and plug in again) most devices are recognized instantly. I’ve tried this on WinXP and win2k. It looks like a short surge of power to the device before plugging in completely works wonders for most USB problems.

    Hope it helps..

  14. Is it simply a question of forcing the iPod to make the USB connection? I use an iRiver H300. When you switch it on and plug it in to the USB port (Win XP on a newish PC), there is no reaction until you double-click the ‘play’ button on the H300, which then signals the port that it wants to connect. This works for me, although I do sometimes, for no obvious reason, have trouble making a USB printer connect, and a reboot with the printer on is the only way to get it recognised.

  15. I had no idea USB devices create such distress! I tried reading all the related comments but my problem seems slightly different. My SanDisk M250 MP3 player works on my business laptop (so I know the unit is operational) but not my home desktop. However, all other USB devices work perfectly on the desktop: keyboard, mouse, webcam, printer, removable drives, etc. When I plug in the MP3 player, a get a dialog bubble that the system has recognized a new device, but it doesn’t show up in My Computer, Device Manager, Disk Manager, and the Remove device safely icon disappears almost immediately. How can so many other USB devices (some quite old) work but not this modern, new device? I contacted SanDisk tech support but they were baffled. They do not make a specific driver for that product.

    Any advice? Thanks!

  16. Follow-up: I plugged a 4-port USB hub into my computer and then attached my MP3 player to it, and now it is recognized by my computer and works. I do get messages that it would work *better* by attaching to a high-speed port but, of course, none of those would work. I have no idea why this has tricked my computer into recognizing the MP3 player, but I’m willing to live with this solution until I learn how to solve the original problem.

  17. > had purchased a Mp3 player from Germany, its
    >called First 1 Mp3 player. I am now in India. I
    >was listening to music in it, and to my
    >stupidity it fell down. Now the mp3 player is
    >not functioning and its not getting switched on.
    >I tried to connect to USB in the computer and
    >its not responding. What can be done to fix this

    the flash memory in it may have been erased due to the impact shock. You should find that device’s manufacturer on the net in case you can download some firmware for it – also see if there’s some “hard reset” process for it

  18. When a usb device is plugged in, and doesn’t come up with a drive letter, you have to go to ctrl panel, system,hardware, device manageruniversal serial bus controllers, and uninstall usb mass storage devices (start at the bottom). The pocket fob will then be recognized again, and come up with a drive letter. If it doesn’t, uninstall the next one.

  19. Part of my USB port has snapped off what should i do. The USB (or memory sticks.) won’t go in.
    What should I do.
    Is there anyway of getting a new USB port
    Do I Have yo buy a new computer now

    Hash: SHA1

    That depends entirely on exactly what computer you have and how things are set
    up. I would take it to a repair shop contact the manufacturer to determine your


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  21. I have read the article on the top of the page.

    Our computer has never given us any problems with our USB Hub but one day it did. It couldn’t recognise any Flashdrives and indentified them as Unknown. I thought it was a virus but I have done a vrus scan throughout the whole computer with Trend Micro. The message from the computer says there has been a Malfunction with the USB. I can’t remember the full message. it was in a yellow balloon. I run Windows XP Home. I used Norton Ghost to upload a previous ghost image and yet the problem is still there. This prooves it isn’t a virus. The computer is about 2 years old and the USB Hubs shouldn’t malfunction or shouldn’t stop working.

    The rest of the information was copied because I was typing this on another site but I had to register to post this.

    Hash: SHA1

    “This prooves it isn’t a virus.” – no it does not. You can’t
    prove a negative. There is no way to PROVE that you have no

    That being said, it sure sounds like the hub has failed.
    Have you tried plugging devices directly into the computer
    instead? Replacing the hub?


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  23. I came to this post trying to fix a problem with USB devices not loading. After loading Windows XP on another hard drive and having the same problem, I tried the BIOS update. Toshiba Laptop! the BIOS update corrected the problem

  24. From another Brian – THIS is the best thing I could’ve been taught. Thank you “Brian with an I” (From “Bryan with a Y”, A.K.A. – Lone Wolf). . .

    To all: One thing that I’ve learned with Windows is that assigning a drive letter is critical and Windows does this automatically. I’m on a server and geeze I have a lot of drives. Some of you might be experiencing this… When you plug in a USB or any external device, Windows assigns it a drive letter. BUT, Windows will only go so far. So the typical set up you’ll normally see would be A (Floppy), C (Hard Drive) D (CD/DVD) E (CD/DVD). Those are the standard. Now, take into consideration of partions or being on a server where you have access to drives on the server. Now you’re looking at more letters. If you plug something in to your machine now, Windows will get confused because it wants to give that new drive a letter but it’s already being used. So needless to say, all the info it there but you just can’t access it. Here is my cure. Right click on “My Computer”… in the pull down go to “Manage”. On the left hand side you’ll see a list of stuff. Go down to “Disk Management”. Now, if your system is working properly, you WILL see a list of ALL active and working device drives. iPod, jump drive, external HD, C drive, partions, etc… You will see whatever it is you’ve got plugged into the USB as long as it’s storage. Right click on that drive and click on “Change Drive Letter”. Now you’ll see a window in which you can pick the drive letter you want Windows to use when plugging your device in next time. Just click on “Change” then you get a scroll down of choices of every letter that hasn’t been used yet. I would say start close to the end like at Z. Let me know if this helps anybody.

    Posted by: Brian at March 27, 2006 11:07 AM

    THIS WORKS BEAUTIFULLY with Vista – 64!

  25. My USB port on my laptop suddenly refuse to recognize any device that I plugged into it. I made of number of calls to tech support people who said, after unistalling the USB Root Hub and several other efforts, that it was a mechanical problem. They sent me a box to place my laptop into, which they would return to me in 10>12 days.
    Before I placed my laptop into the box, I read the comment by “Lowry” who said that he fixed the same problem by turning off his computer, unplugging the power cord, praying then plugging the power cord back in. It worked for him and I am soooo happy. It worked for me!!!! This website saved me so much time, anguish and money.
    Thanks again!!

  26. Hi All,

    I experienced the same problem with my computer not recognising my camera, iPod etc.
    What I found is to make sure that the device ie. Digital Camera is charged at least over 50%, therefore it should help you with your PC recognising it.

    I hope this helps with your problems!


  27. my usb devise was functioning at first but later after i restarted the computer the device is recognised but a message appears to format the device, i tried formatting it but a message then appears and says

  28. I have a problem, too.
    ‘USB is not recognized’ shows when I try to plug in my memory card (from camera), external hard drive, and flash drive. It just happened since yesterday. What should I do? I’m wondering if it’s because of the Window Update or not… I also found ‘Error 8007006E’ when I tried to download 2 files (the system recommended for me) from Window Update.

    I use Window Vista for my laptop. Any suggestions?

  29. hi everyone,
    i have a similar problem, however it is with the usb device itself.
    last year i bought a 2Gb Shintaro usb memory stick, and at first it works fine, i had a large amount of information stored on it (around 1.7gb) and it still worked fine for a few more months… then towards the end of last year my computer stopped recognising it. i have tried connecting to other computers and they all don’t recognise it. now my computer simply wont even agnowledge that it is there, but my usb ports are fine. so it is clearly a problem with the usb device itself. i know that the obvious thing to do is to throw it out and buy a new one, but i have over 1.5gb of important documents and information stored on it and i need to get that information off… is there anything i can do to to retrieve those documents etc??
    please help me

    It sounds like the USB device has failed or worn out. (Flash memory does wear out.) I don’t have any recovery help for you. One lesson is to never keep only one copy of important data. Always have a backup.

    – Leo
  30. When I plug something into the USB ports it does’nt show up in “Computer” I don’t know how else to open the information other than through “computer” and since it doesn’t show that anything is plugged in I don’t know what to do. I have a USB microphone and the recording software still picks it up in at least one port but it’s not recoginized anywhere else. Thanks.

  31. My laptop HP G6000 used to know my sony ericsson and i could upload photo’s fine but i think i did something in my media player on my computer because it dosent know my phone any more and i dont know what to do, please help me leo!!

  32. Most excellent information utilizing Computer Management & assigning drive letters to specific storage devices, in this case Kingston USB jump drives. I had letters up to Z filled having partitions & external drive but was allowed to add A & B. Great work around idea, thanks.

  33. i bought an ext hdd (western digital – scorpio blue 160G) but my pc can’t detect the hdd. i got 2 pc one run P3 & one run P4 , i’ve tried on both pc.on the P3 pc fine but on P4 pc it can’t detect the hdd.i’m confuse. i’ve tried the P4 pc with every usb device(thumb drive,digital camera, card reader etc.) & it runs ok but not the ext hdd i’ve just bought.
    when i plug in the hdd got that normal sound detecting any usb device but in my computer there’s no sign of it. i open device manager there’s a yellow icon stated unknown device.

  34. i installed an oiusbf family kernel on my mac and now my all of my usb ports r locked my keyboard doesnt even respond can anyone help!!!!!!!!!

  35. I’ve had to deal with a lot is the USB storage drives (eg pen drives) that start giving the ‘device not recognized’ error message.

    One trick to try when ALL else has failed, is to
    open up the casing the drive is held in.

    An awful lot I have retrieved data from, the fault has been the solder on connectors worn off, or snapped or the like.

    Manually holding it in the right place, requiring a fair bit of patience to get it just right, will often be recognised as a USB drive, and allow me to rescue the information.

    I’d stress to try it on more than one computer before trying this.

  36. ok so i bought my LG KS3360 7 months ago, it came with a lead to put files onto my computer from my phone but i lost that lead, so i bought a new one and everytime i plug the USB cable in, it says “USB device not recognized” and it keeps making the “connected” noise and then dissconects straight away.. whats up with it?

  37. I’m trying to help my brother fix his Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo laptop running Windows Vista. One day out of the blue, his mouse stopped working, also noticed no access to external drive. On testing NO devices would work on ANY USB connection. (tested them in other computers and they work) In the devices area WVista says all usbs Hubs are working fine and the drivers are up-to-date. However when you plug something in (say a mouse or a drive) it comes up with the message that it is an UNKNOWN device. If you follow through to ‘fix’ the problem it says all the latest drivers are installed. In short, windows wont let you fix it because it says there is no problem.
    On instpection I did find that there were NO USB keys AT ALL (Is this usual?) in the registry under “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServices” whereas on my own laptop there are many entries there. In fact there are NO entries at all USB or otherwise in the services area!

    So to continue in this fix:
    1. are there supposed to be at least ONE or more entries in this reg key?
    2. is there a downloadable fix fot this?
    3. Failing that, how can I edit his registry to enter new keys and give the correct values? I tried importing my exported keys for that services area and Windows wont let me import it into his registry. (well it does but then it says some weren’t entered because they were in use – in fact NONE are entered)

    Working on this for over a week now – all help appreciated.
    Oh by the way I’ve cleanly re-installed windows Vista (using FujSiem recovery installation disks)TWICE which did it’s own online update from windows in the process – still no usb devices recognised (although as I said, the Devices section says the ports are OK)

  38. when i try to hook my phone to the laptop with a usb cable it just makes the sound but doesn’t show up in my computer

  39. I wish re-booting would fix my problem.
    My mouse and GPS connect OK to the USB ports, but my printer, memory stick, 7 port hub and iphone do not.
    All connected ok, but for some reason, only mouse and GPS connect OK now.
    Why has this happened?

  40. i bought a 300N USB Adapter made by sitecom 2 days ago and when i woke up i put my usb adapter into my Compaq Presario CQ60 Laptop with Windows Vista Home Basic and it says the Usb can’t be recognized, i reinstalled the drivers that were given with the USB device, still doesn’t work. I restarted my laptop, still doesn’t work. so what should i do Leo?

  41. Sorry, I can’t offer a solution. But I have a similar problem. I have a paid subscription for Bearshare and iMesh. They were working perfectly for two years but now neither one will recognize my mp3, a Sansa. My computer, however, recognizes it as Removeable Disk, no problem. Any suggestions for a solution would be greatly appreciated.

  42. I wish re-booting would fix my problem.
    My mouse and GPS connect OK to the USB ports, but my printer, memory stick, 7 port hub and iphone do not.
    All connected ok, but for some reason, only mouse and GPS connect OK now.
    Why has this happened?

    Silly person

    usb Have a power Maximum. Your proberly overloading the power available to it.

    7 + 3 usb attatchments is not good and is the likely cause.

    would proberly reduce the performance of camera and also mouse.

    wish people knew physics.

  43. I had the same problem with my dell 1710, would not read any usb unless i restarted the system. I contacted Dell support who advised me i may have a virus or malware. The answer for me was to download PC Doctor and run a scan, The scan showed up 26 types of virus and malware. You can download the software free to do a scan but you have to purchase a licence to make it remove the bugs, but it did identify a virus that no other software had. Upon removal all my usb’s now work perfectly. Try the free scan it may save you a lot of lost time.

  44. I have a USB flash drive which was working fine until yesterday, when I plugged it into my computer, it comes up with this message, “USB device not recognised” I have all my work on it and unfortunately I did not back up my work. Can you help me. It starts to read it with the light going on, but then stops.

  45. i bought my usb cable 2 weeks ago and i have used it three times b4 and its function is okay. but today my PC cant detect my usb cable and i don’t know how to solve this. Do i have to buy a new one?
    Hmm.. that’s sucks..

    PCs don’t detect the cable. They detect the device that’s plugged into the other end of the cable.


  46. I have a new desktop acer, and a new hp deskjet4480. I purchased a usb cable at best buy with the comp, and printer. It says device not connected when i go through the steps on installing the printer from the cd that came with it! i am so frustrated i have a printer i cant use! I am not sure where which port the usb cable should go into, on the back of the comp, or in the front of the hardrive…is it possible that i need to purchase a new usb…or download new software from the hp website..plz help with any ideas!

  47. I hooked my phone into my computer via USB before, and I was able to transfer ringtones and photos. Now when I try, it won’t recognize my phone. it will recognize other items hooked through USB, and I even tried different cables for my phone. What can I check on my PC to see if it can be detected? I tired all of my phone options, and nothing has worked to this point. Thanks!

  48. ive updated my computer and downloaded the correct system for my phone. on “my computer” the usb icon is visable but when i double click it it says “please insert a removable disk (E:) when my usb is connected

  49. Just installed new program for work (home-based transcription services) and it requires a USB foot pedal that is not working. I’ve tried all six USB ports. Checked device manager, uninstalled, reinstalled, checked updates for device drivers. Can you help?

  50. My winXP SP3 doesn’t recognize any webcam via USB. I’ve tried various ones that are confirmed to work on other PCs. I’ve used the included drivers etc. What’s odd is, other USB devices like external hard drives are detected and work properly. Somehow just the webcams aren’t detected. I’m hoping this is something simple i overlooked? thanks

  51. I have a 3-year old PC running Windows XP. My Epson T10 printer connected via USB runs fine. But if I plug in a USB memory stick or an external HD, they cannot be detected. Both work fine when connected to my daughter’s laptop though. Any comments/suggestions.

  52. my pc is 3 yr old and i had to format it and reinstall windows xp. it asked me for the 25 digit key which part of it has come off the top of tower so i cant enter it.i have since updated to vista and now the computer wont rcognise any my drivers. i have put the original drivers disk in but evrytime i click on the Drivers it say ERROR. what do i do?

  53. i m having problem with my USB port and the thing is it doesnt rcognize the flash drive n devive connected to it. but few days back, after restarting ma laptop it would recognise it but now it dont response. moreover the problem is my flash drive and devices shows that it is connected but it is not shown in ma laptop..plz help

  54. I had the same problem with my Acer aspire 5100 series laptop.

    I did EVERYTHING (including taking the power cord and battery out) on this thread and it still didn’t work.

    amazingly, this worked (unintentionally): I ran the battery as flat as I could; pressed the power button (so it would start up for about 2 seconds before dying) many times, and even ‘trick-started’ it by turning it on with the power cord in, then pulling it out as windows tried to load. BIOS won’t start anything if the battery is at a critical level, but it will if there’s power in..

    So windows never got up and running because the battery was flat, but it must have screwed up the system somehow. Anyway, after I left it charging a bit and started windows, up came ‘Installing new hardware: USB Composite device”, and all the ports worked again!

    One note: my battery life went down by about 5% (I monitored it with CPUID HWMonitor)

  55. Windows 7 64bit ultimate
    Processor-3.40 ghz
    RAM -3gig
    last update 2days ago 05/21

    Got the phone htc mytouch with 3.0mm jack
    windows doesn’t reconize the phone when plugged in, but the charges. any help

    tried manual hardware installation but came out an error message saying couldn’t start the device code 10
    (thats not ID10T error though right??)
    desprate to know what can be done, any help will be appricited.

  56. I have an old pc..its about 7 yrs old..i have formated the system recently but my usb isnt working..i have installed all the drivers..still it isnt responding at can i check if it is

  57. in my computer windows xp programme is running.
    before my computer recognize usb device and one day i disabled the auto run usb device after that my computer doesnot recognize the usb device.please solve my problem

  58. My USB ports have stopped working on the rear of my laptop. One stopped about a year ago and the other stopped the other day. “device not detected or has malfunctioned” Am using my modem on the last port on the side and don’t like using the touch pad as it is too slow. Using a Vista system. Am in a remote area and hope the last port doesn’t give up also. Any ideas? I’ve tried all I can. Cheers.

    Sounds like something only a hardware technician, or a new laptop, would solve.


  59. My Activa 8G flash drive does not work in my WIN98SE computer. I get a message that a driver is needed. The flash driver works fine in my XP computer and the info on the package claims it’s OK for WIN98SE as well as XP.

    Not surprising – Windows XP comes with USB drivers, Win98 is old enough that it does not. It’s unlikely that you’ll find drivers for it anymore.


  60. I have a USB 2.0 drive that claims to be backward compatible, but it doesn’t work on my Vista comp. with regular USB drives. Can i fix this?

    There’s no way for me to know without a LOT more specific information – like makes, model numbers and most important of all error messages. I’d simply try it in other machines first.


  61. usb ports are playing up as windows xp tells me my printer cable↲
    is not connected when it is↲Can anyone please help?↲

  62. My windows 7 suddenly cannot detect the usb pendrive that has my Nikon digital card in it. I was able to transfer over 80 JPG files earlier, and suddenly it stopped working. Please advise what to do next.

  63. My problem is that my laptop does not recognize one of my USBs only. It detects all the others fine. There is nothing special about this one except that it has a built-in camera (to help me catch critters eating my plants at night!) The first time I plugged it in, the laptop did recognize it. But after that one time, it never did again.

  64. I tried connecting my laptop to the internet using my nokia c3 and a usb since my windows xp doesn’t have a bluetooth but, all efforts proved futile. What could be wrong? I’ve followed the normal setting procedures on my phone but, still, no good result.

  65. Hi Leo,

    Whilst working for a major IT firm I came across this fix for suspect USB Ports and it works every time.

    The problem with USB Ports is that they are prone to Static Charge and because of this they sometimes refuse to work, the workaround for this is very simple:

    Do a Static Discharge

    Disconnect the computer from the power ( pull out the plug from the rear of the computer supply, then hold the power button on your computer in for a minimum of 30 seconds ( it must be 30 seconds or over) then re-connect your power supply and re-boot.

    Yes its that simple

    Have fun and good computing to you all

  66. May 30, 2012. Problem, XP system will not always display insertion of a thumb drive although I do get audio beep indication of its insertion but when I display files with explorer the drive will not be shown. I have used diskmgnt.msc and found the drive has an assigned letter. I have tried changing the assigned but although change is successful in diskmgnt no drive is displayed by file explorer. I have found if reboot system the drive will appear but if I remove and re-insert it will not reappear in explorer.

  67. Hi, I have a Samsung Galaxy Pro . The first time i plugged in my smartphone, my computer recognized it and installed the software but after that, every time i plug it my phone recognizes my computer when it is booting but as soon as the computer turns on it no longer recognizes i even updated my Windows but to no avail….please help!! 🙁

  68. Alkl week-end I have had problems with my wireless internet adapter not being recognized by my windows oeprating ssyte,

    it is an AT &T wireless adapter. It used to receive a wireless signal and find a network until this past saturday morning.

    the AT & T technician stated to me that my USB ports on the back of my computer were “corrupted” for some reason.

    we put the wireless adapter into the front USB port and it worked late satruday afternoon. when I tried to go online sunday, my wireless showed “connected” but would not pull up yahoo or any website.

    then the network connection went off completely.. AT & T could not solve problem. my Kindle works via my wireless modem so I am getting the wireless signal.

    is it my wireless internet adapter? it seems very odd that all 4 of my USB ports do not recognize the wireless internet adapter any longer.

    any idea’s?

  69. hi. I have a problem with my laptop( lenovo that runs windows 7 profetional) at first it used to read some USB memory sticks but now it doesn’t anymore, the laptop is running fine except that it does not read any usb and recently does not want to update windows. what could be the problem , I tried to change the operating system but its not working. please help masi

  70. My Nokia C3 phone when i plug it to the PC through USB port the PC does not recognise it infact it does not show that it has been plugged, so help me how can i fix this problem?

      • i have a problem with my pc its a acer travelmate 4062WLMi whic is about 9year old. i only use it for my e-mails and to surf the net which is not all the time. Before i could copy my photos onto the removable disk but now its gone, if i put a dvd into the drive that has pictures on them i can copy onto pc but cannot copy from pc to dvd. please advise

  71. i cannot download my photos onto a dvd whereas before i could, but now it does not show me removable disk. but if i put a dvd into the drive with picturers i can copy onto pc . i am using a accer travelmate 4062. my pc is about 9 years old and i only use it for my e-mails and to browze on the net from time to time, please advise can i download some program from the web whereby i can then burn my disk.

    thank you

  72. Hello sir, can u please help me , when I connect my modem in pc it is giving me an error device not recognize, what to do??

    Thanks in advance

  73. i have p4 computers. i have formatted them & re installed the XP OS using dvd drive. now it is working fine with DVD drive attached.

    but whenever i remove the DVD drive it is not booting. & i want to boot the pc without connecting a DVD drive

  74. i have a USB flash disk that doesn’t show up as a disk but rather shows up as a mouse in device manager… I have tried it on 3 computers with the same result. Other flash disks work fine… Any ideas?

  75. Hi. I have USB flash drive kingston DT 101 G2 8GB. It worked fine before. Yesterday when I insert it in my computer & any other computer, it is unrecognized (error code 43), although it has sound of “inserting a device” when inserted & removed. In My Computer, it doesn’t appear. In Device Management, it’s appear as Unknown Device. In Disk Management, it doesn’t appear. How to repair my Kingston? Thanks Leo..

    • Oh, exactly before it’s broken, my friend insert it in a public desktop computer with Windows XP and some virus (maybe). After that I tried to insert it in any Windows 7 computer but it didn’t work anymore 🙁

  76. I have an usb stick but it don’t work properly it seems that all the file’s are in but i can get them. I was using two type of windows. 1 is 7 and the other one is 8. How can i get them. Music files.

  77. i have an External (Toshiba) 500gb. tI works perfectly fine before, but when i changed my usb cord, it doesnt work now . help! 🙁

  78. I have a problem with my laptop(compaq with windows 7)…All pendrives support my laptop except hp pendrive.. i cannot understand why any hp pendrive is not support in my laptop..Any idea?

  79. I’ve got a laptop with Windows Vista h.p. on it I’m locked out of it I don’t have a disk nor a password recovery disk I don’t have access to a computer I’m trying to use my phone as a flash drive or disk to install a recovery or reinstall Windows your help will be highly appreciated

  80. i have two acers 1lap 1 desk i been trying to upgrade my cd/dvd external drive with little to no suscess. the unit (unnameed)china im sure.the little driver sent wants me to start comp., in cmos, findable in control panel .no luck . im runnin 7 pro so is this burnner player just uncompatable all lit seems geared to xp,any advice would be great .keep it up.

  81. Please help how I can get the data in the External hard drive.

    I have a 2TB external hard disk, WD My passport – Ultra. using it for the last 9 months. For the first time the system is asking me to format it when connected to my pc. when tried to connect on my official PC, I was able to browse folders, but pics were not visible, only names were visible. When I tried to access videos in it, windows goes into “Not responding mode”.

    Please help me trouble shoot and regain data in my external hard disk.
    Thank you.

  82. Oh my gosh!!! I have spent the last two days going round and round trying to get my laptop to recognize my USB mouse again. It was working one second and the next it just quit responding. I thought at first that the cable on the mouse had finally given out cause it had begun to fray at the base of where the usb plug and wire came together. So, I thought, “no big deal, I’ll just plug in a new usb mouse”. However, when I did, the laptop kept telling me unknown device. I searched and read every forum I could find on the subject. They pretty much all said the same thing, i.e., reboot, uninstall usb controller in device manager, reinstall device driver, update device driver, along with standard troubleshooting tips. Plug new mouse in another computer, plug other usb devices in port, plug other mice into the usb port, etc., etc. And my problem wasn’t just one of the usb ports, it was all three of them. However, I finally determined that external storage devices such as an external hard drive and flash drives would be recognized so if that was the case, the usb ports weren’t totally fried, right?. So, why wouldn’t my laptop recognize a usb optical mouse? It was driving me CRAZY!!!! Finally, I found an article where someone mentioned to shutdown the computer and UNPLUG it from the power supply, wait a few minutes, then plug it back in and turn it on. Seriously? The solution couldn’t be THAT simple, but I was at my wits end and it wasn’t something I had tried so far. Figured it was worth a shot. HOLY MOTHER OF YOU KNOW WHAT!!! That freaking did it!!! Are you kidding me? AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! I wish I had seen that article first. It would have saved me two days of unbelievable frustration and countless hours reading and trying to figure out how to get it working again. I’m happy it’s working again and just had to share. Unplugging from the power supply is certainly something I’ll remember going forward.

  83. I bought a new laptop (Lenovo G40), barely two months old… and all of a sudden all usb ports stopped working, the memory card port stopped too and I cud not use the bluetooth… pls help. I hv restored it bck to factory setting but still wont work. power still flows in the usb port but it doesnt reccognise a device plugged in.

  84. I have a iPhone 6plus and I’m trying to connect it to my home theater system. It’s a Sony model number BDV-N7100. It keeps telling me the the USB device is unknown. I’m just trying to connect it to the internet so I can watch movies. Is this possible? Thanks

  85. I need help. I’ve read just about everything above as well as the Microsoft support articles, Tom’s Hardware help, etc… and I still can’t get my usb dvd to work. I just built a new computer and the drive worked fine when installing Window 7, but after doing all the updates my drive will no longer work. I can see that it is getting power and can hear it spinning up when I put in a disk but the autorun doesn’t bring up anything on my screen like it did a few hours ago and the drive doesn’t appear in the explorer. I’ve switched USB ports, using both 2.0 and 3.0. I’ve gone through the Microsoft Fix It program. I’ve even tried editing the Registry Editor. Nothing has worked. I’m at a total loss. I’m not a noob but this is driving me crazy! Any help would be appreciated.

  86. I have a USB memory stick. When i plug it in my DVD it plays music amd displays all files on it. But when i plug it on the laptop or pc it does’nt show any file, and when i check on it’s properties it shows a great number of space has been used. Please me fix this problem

  87. need to know where to plug the USB port from kodack camera to tower have the monitors cam hooked up now I need direction from cam to tower need complete and direct drawings from camera to tower and how to operate . THANKS

    • Not all cameras can be used as live cameras when connected via USB. Often it’s simply so you can copy pictures off of the camera’s storage, and nothing more.

  88. The window that automaticly pops up when connecting phone (kyocera life)to device such as t.v. (New Samsung). The one that ask if you want to start USB Mass storage to t.v. shows green Android, then press button and orange Android shows when it’s connected to t.v.. That window nolonger pops up is there other way to enable. ? Or way to fix ? Troubleshooting?

  89. When I connect my wireless USB Internet to my windows 7 it gives an error that No device inserted, reinsert and try again. And that is all, some time ago it was connected easily but now even I have updated each and every driver in the laptop still it pops up the error. What should I do?

  90. I am having series problems in my HP compac the WiFi not working nor showing in the laptop, my USB showing not recognized, please help me

  91. Hi Leo, don’t know if there is any help for me! I have a flash drive my daughter gave me in Feb. I used it just fine and loaded recent photos on to it just before I had to send my laptop off to Dell. They replaced a lot of things and all my other flash drives work fine. I really can’t remember if I’d use this particular drive since I got my lap top back but, when I inserted it last week I got a message it wasn’t recognized. I no longer get any message, it just makes the sound when inserted but will not show anything. Dell just went into my computer and updated drivers and other things, and say everything is good and running right. I’ve tried it on my daughters lap top and that didn’t work either. I’m afraid I’ve lost these photos forever! Looking like the flash drive is the problem. Is there any way to get these photos off the flash drive? Is there anyone I can send it to who can recover them? I do not know anything about the flash drive as I found, she ordered it off ebay, it says it is “generic” and that’s all

  92. my usb sandisk doesn’t work in my dvd player with usb port. It did work after deleting movies from it and add a new ones. It has been working for a while then it stopped.

  93. One of my memories sticks doesn’t show up neither in my computer folder nor in disk management. My other memory sticks do appear and work properly.


  95. i have an accer laptop, when i plug in my smart phone via usb of course my windows media program opens but does not recognize any phone I plug into it and therefore I cant sync anything to my phone. Why wont my laptop play nice and accept my phone? It says I can build a sync list, which Ive done but it will not show that my phone is connected to accept a sync file. I want to down load music to my phones and also want to upload videos directly to windows media so that I know where they are and can call them up on demand to view on my laptop. So far it does upload my videos from my phone but sometimes puts them places I dont know how to find. Please help. I like my laptop and dont wish to buy another one just for this reason, doesnt seem practical, dont you think? {email removed}

  96. How can I down load my entire windows media videos from laptop to my external tera drive? When I open windows media it is a beautiful looking affair but there are no buttons to which I can prompt a down load. Can this be done? Otherwise how can I down load all of my videos from W.M.? I have an enormous collection of Anime and a few full length movies and want verily to back it all up on my external drive. It holds 1,000 gigs and seems as though it would take half a lifetime to fill most of it up. Can you help.?

    • Windows Media is a list of all the various music on your computer. Each one will be a file located somewhere. So what you need to do is find out where the various songs are actually located, and make copies from there. A better idea would be to make a backup of your entire computer. Then if something happens you restore the whole thing and Window Media will work as expected. Certainly you have other valuable data on your computer as well. Here’s an article on that:

    • By default Microsoft saves media files to their respective folders c:\Users\{User}\Music\, c:\Users\{User}\videos\, c:\Users\{User}\pictures\ (or sometime in c:\Users\public\videos\ etc). You should be able to copy the files from those folders to the external drive using Windows File Explorer.

  97. I have reinstalled the OS on my laptop back to it’s original state (Windows 8) was running windows 10. Then I upgraded back to windows 10. Neither of these OS recognize my USB devices plugged into the ports. I have also engaged windows update.

    Several years ago both my wife’s computer and mine apparently suffered a lightning strike. After going to two computer experts it was determined they both suffered damage to the motherboard. However, I wanted a third opinion on my Lenovo P-500 laptop. Best Buy said it was the hard drive that was no longer working and the motherboard was fine. They replaced the hard drive and two 2.0 USB ports on the right side. It appears the 3.0 port on the left side is soldered to the motherboard. Last year the computer kept telling me my USB devices were not recognized on any of the ports however it can charge my cell phone. The 3.0 port (left side) can read a 5TB hard drive when I connect it but the 2 right side ports still say USB device not recognized. Nevertheless it won’t recognize any other devices.

    I’ve tried reloading all the software under downloads from Lenovo and tried from Intel as well.

    Can you recommend anything else to try? Do you believe the USB ports just went bad after one year? Both on right side, at the same time? Do you believe it’s a hardware or software issue? Could it be the motherboard? Everything else is working fine.
    Thank you.

  98. hi
    I am having a problem with a few of my thumb drives. All of them are 2.0, but are different sizes. My wife messed her computer up for the millionth time trying to “enhance” her security.
    {Her computer is a setup cobbled together from some of my old systems.. I was heavy into gaming for a decade or so and enjoyed FPS like call of duty, it started with Quake 2 online, with a clan called “NFA (NO FLAKES ALLOWED)” but with single player it was…the one and only Duke Nukem, and Wolfenstein…lol
    Anyway, I’ve been using and building computers for a few years.}
    Back to my problem. I was going to use a usb drive and try a few password recovering programs. I tried the first drive and it wasn’t recognised, so I tried a second drive and it was also not recognised. When I plugged them back into my main computer, it didn’t see them now either. I don’t understand what happened, but for safety’s sake, I unplugged that particular usb port from the motherboard.
    Any idea’s what caused it to kill two drives?
    The board is an Asus P6t SE

    • Did you try reformatting those drives to see if it was a software or hardware problem? If you can’t reformat them, I’d be inclined to believe that that USB card migh be physically damaged.

  99. The story i havebeen given wasthat nobody touched this particular computer over the weekend, but on monday when the user came back, the usb mouse andkeyboard aren’t recognized in Windows. I have tried using different devices and using all usb ports, they DO work at BIOS, so i am able to get into the BIOS and access safe mode and everything else.but once windows boots up and gets to the logon screen, they freeze up and are useless. I ran recovery console with aninstall disk and ran chkdsk /r. Itsaid it fixed 1 ormore errors. rebooted but still they aren’t working. PC is asmall ACER desktop, no PS2 ports so i can’t try that. i can’t find an adapter either.PC is running Windows XP Pro SP3. oh, and i also tryed running ERD 2005 and use system restore but when i clicksystem restore,it doesn’t respond. if i click it again it tells me too many processes are running, please stop some. Yet nothing is. help?

    • Uninstalling a device forces Windows to reinstall the driver again. Often, this solves that kind of problem. Make sure you have an installation disc or the C:\i386 is on your hard drive. According to Microsoft:
      “To open Device Manager, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.”
      In the Device Manager click on the Mouse driver under Human Interfacen Devices, click on the device you want to remove and click on the red X in the toolbar or press the Del key.

  100. I have this problem with my usb devices. my external hard drive, cell phone and flash drive and camera and printer, so it affects all usb ports. I can still charge my cell phone. but every time I want to print I have to restart, I run windows 10 and ever since I loaded windows 10 I have had this problem. but when I put on another anti virus it went away so I thought it was defender that did this

  101. I also am fighting this problem. I have updated my Bios and have the latest drivers for all the Usb devices. No Joy! What do I do now? Windows 10 insider version.

  102. My previous attempt to leave a message here was drastically cut. Maybe I used a keystroke that affected what I subsequently typed

    I have not read through the hundreds of messages at this thread – I read about twenty-five – so apologies if one addressed my issue.

    I have a Motorola Moto E for which I have never bought a phone contract. (Don’t have a cell phone; don’t want one.)

    I copied music files from CDs to my desktop and then, from there, to a USB flash drive – for the purpose of plugging the flash drive into my Moto E and hearing music on the go.

    In order to effect this, I bought a micro-USB to USB OTG host adapter. I connected it to the flash drive and to the Moto E, but no music was audible.

    I realize that using an android device for this purpose without having Google Play Store and a couple of other of its apps is challenging.

    But I don’t want Google apps; I have done all that I can to avoid acquiring them.

    Is there any way, without them, to listen to my flash-drive-stored music on my Moto E?

    • I would be tempted to connect the Moto E to your computer instead. So the process would be: place all the music files in a folder on your computer, connect the phone to the computer (it should appear as an external drive, or perhaps a media device), then copy the files from the computer to the phone. I’ve done this on several older phones no longer connected to a carrier.

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