This article will guide you through the process of troubleshooting the error "USB Device Not Recognized". The guide will walk you through basic troubleshooting steps and assist in the finding, downloading and installing of the most current device driver for your hardware device if necessary. If you exhaust all of the troubleshooting steps in this guide, updating the device driver will correct the problem. Due to the number of hardware devices that comprise a computer, updating the device driver for each hardware device will improve the all-round speed and performance of your computer. However, updating all the devices in a computer can take hours and is a tedious process. Download DriverUpdate to automatically find, download and install the most current drivers.

To begin troubleshooting...

  1. Click Start

    (Windows XP)

  • Click Control Panel

  • Click System

  • Click the tab titled Hardware

  • Click the Device Manager button

(Windows Vista/7)

  • Type into the search field: device manager

  • Hit ENTER

The device manager is a Windows tool for viewing information about your hardware devices as well as managing and updating them. Click the Action menu and click Scan for hardware changes. Windows will scan for any new hardware and attempt to connect with any devices that it finds. If the USB device you connected is still not recognized, proceed with troubleshooting.

The next step is to disable "Power Management" for all USB controllers. Expand the "Universal Serial Bus controllers" category in the device manager. Right-click the first device in the list and select Properties from the menu. A new window will open. Click the "Power Management" tab in the new window and clear the check box next to "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power". Click OK to save changes and exit. Finally, click the Action menu and select Scan for hardware changes. Windows will scan for hardware changes and connect to any devices that it finds. If you are still experiencing the error at this point, proceed to the next step where you will attempt to manually update your device drivers.

To begin manually updating your device drivers...

Identify the Device Make and Model

  1. Click Start

    (Windows XP)

  • Click Control Panel

  • Click System

  • Click the tab titled Hardware

  • Click the Device Manager button

(Windows Vista/7)

  • Type into the search field: device manager

  • Hit ENTER

You should now be in the device manager.



Browse the list of categories and expand those that you are interested in. You can expand a category by clicking the + or > symbol next to the category. If you find a hardware device you wish to attempt to update, take the following steps...

  1. Right-click the device

  2. Select Properties from the options

  3. Looking in the General tab you should be able to see the manufacturer's name and the model of the device. Make a note of this information.

  4. Clicking on the Driver tab will display additional information about the device driver.

After identifying the device that you wish to update and collecting the necessary information about it, you should next identify the exact version of Windows you are running. Drivers are often written specifically for certain versions of Windows to ensure the best operation. If you already know your operating system version, proceed to past the next section to the following one. If you do not know what version of Windows you are running, proceed with the steps below...

Identify the Operating System

  1. Click Start

(Windows XP)

  • Click Run. The Run dialog will open in a new window. Type into the Run dialog: dxdiag

  • Press Enter

(Windows Vista/7)

  • Type into the search field: dxdiag

  • Press Enter



Taking the above steps will open the DirectX Diagnostic Utility. This window displays information about your computer, including the operating system and it's version. Check next to Operating System to see the version of Windows you are running. Make a note of this information. After identifying the operating system, we are prepared to download the new driver.

Find, Download and Install the Most Current Driver

  1. Open your web browser.

  2. Refer to the information collected from the device manager. Use a search engine to search the device manufacturer's name. The first results should link to the manufacturer's official website. Click on the link for the device manufacturer's official website.

  3. After the web site loads, look around the page for a link that refers to Drivers, Support, Downloads or something of this nature. Due to the number of device manufacturer's and the differences amongst their individual web sites, it is beyond the scope of this article to detail instructions for each and every manufacturer's website. If you are having difficulties finding the page that hosts the drivers, try using the Search bar on the manufacturer's website. Search for drivers.

  4. Once you've found the link that takes you to the drivers page, the web page may request information concerning the device driver you are searching for. Information requested by the page may include:

  • The product line of the device.

  • The series or family the device belongs to.

  • The device model.

  • The operating system you are running.

After specifying the requested information, you should be taken to the actual page where the drivers can be downloaded from. The driver can be downloaded by clicking on a link that contains the driver name and model or by clicking on a download link. Accept the download if prompted and click Run once the download is complete. The driver installer will initialize and guide you through the process of installing the new driver. It will notify you once it is finished. Click Close or Finish to exit the installer.

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