After spending a lot of time trying many different ways to fix the problem, only one solution ended. I will cover that solution first and cover other possible solutions, as the first solution may not fix the problem for everyone.
Method 1 – Unplug the computer
So how did I finally fix the problem? Well, if you’re lucky, it’s a straightforward solution! Try this method first, and if it works, you will save a lot of time.
Unplug your computer from the power source. That’s right, that’s it! Note that this doesn’t mean just shutting down your computer using the power button because most modern computers don’t turn off completely, and the motherboard will still get power. This is sometimes useful if you want to wake up the computer, etc., remotely.
The motherboard is where all of the computer’s hardware connects to, including the USB ports. Sometimes the motherboard needs to be “restarted” because things can go wrong, i.e., all or some of the USB ports suddenly stop working. The small microprocessor on the motherboard will reload your drivers and USB ports, hoping to recognize the devices again.
So, first, turn off your computer using the Shut Down option in Windows or press the power button and then unplug the computer from the wall outlet. Leave it on for a few minutes and then plug it back in.
Method 2 – Update USB driver
Step 1: Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and then clicking Device Manager.
Step 2: Expand the Universal Serial Bus and check if there are any unknown USB devices (unknown). If you see an unknown USB device, right-click it and then click Update Driver Software, then click Search automatically for updated driver software to let Windows 10 automatically download and install the latest driver version.
Method 3 – Reboot and disconnect USB device
The next thing you can try is to disconnect all USB devices and then reboot the machine. Once you’ve rebooted, try connecting the USB device that’s causing the problem.
If that particular USB port doesn’t recognize, try a different port. If another USB port recognizes the device, there might be a hardware problem with one of the USB ports. If no USB port recognizes the device, then continue reading as it could be something else.
Method 4 – USB Root Hub
One thing you can try is to open Device Manager, expand USB Serial Bus Controllers, right-click USB Root Hub, and then click Properties.
Click the Power Management tab and uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. If you have more than one USB Root Hub listed, you will need to repeat these steps for each one.
Click OK and then restart your computer. Try connecting the USB device again and see if it is recognized. If not, go back to the power management tab for each tab and recheck the box. If it recognizes the device, then uncheck them.
Method 5 – connect directly to a PC
A friend of mine has encountered this problem. He only has 3 USB ports on his computer, so he bought a hub to connect eight additional USB device ports.
I guess this proved too much for his computer, and it just started recognizing infrequently different devices. After removing the hub and connecting the device directly to the computer, it worked fine.
We weren’t able to find any other solution to this problem other than reducing the number of items connected to the hub. Another solution works, but that means buying a new USB hub with more ports.
If you have this problem with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you are probably out of luck. Microsoft has let Windows 8 fail to detect the USB device correctly. Make sure to install this hotfix if running Windows 8.
Method 6 – Troubleshooter
If nothing has worked so far, you can download the tool. It’s a free tool that works with Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
You can ask the Troubleshooter to fix the problem for you or choose the fixes yourself. I’ll just let it fix them for you as the options can sometimes be confusing and technical for novice users.
Method 7 – updating Generic USB Hub
If you get the Unknown Device error in Device Manager, you can also try something else. Open Device Manager and then expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
You should see at least one item called Generic USB Hub. You may see two, three, or more of these on some computers—Right-click on the first one and select Update Driver Software.
When the update dialog box pops up, select Browse my computer for driver software.
Then click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer at the bottom.
From the list, select Generic USB Hub. Usually, there won’t be anything else listed except for that one option. Click Next and then click Close when it is finished installing it.
At this point, the Device Manager screen will refresh, and the unknown device will remain there, or it can now be recognized. If it still shows up as not recognized, then you repeat the process for each Generic USB Hub listed.
Method 8 – Uninstall USB device and reinstall
Before proceeding to reinstall USB drivers, you should create a system restore point or backup image in case of errors during driver installation on your Windows 10 computer.
Open Device Manager. To do this, you follow the steps below:
Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run command prompt.
On the Run command prompt, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
Next, on the Device Manager window, expand Disk Drives.
Right-click External USB 3.0 Disk, then choose Uninstall.
Next, expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section.
Right-click USB Mass Storage Device and choose Uninstall. Also, you can uninstall any unnamed USB device (Unknown USB Device) from this list.
From the Action Menu, select Scan for hardware changes.
– After the scan finishes, open Windows Explorer and find your USB drive is connected.
If the Not Recognized error still occurs, open the Device manager again and update the USB driver. To do this thing:
– Expand Disk Driver.
Right-click on your USB 3.0 drive, then select Update Driver Software.
Wait for Windows to find the latest driver version for your USB 3.0 automatically.
Do the same thing to update the driver for USB Mass Storage Device.
Once done, your USB 3.0 test has been received.
Method 9 – Uninstall hidden devices
By default, Device Manager does not show all the devices that are installed on the system. It only shows the ones that are currently connected. However, if you have installed a USB printer before and now no longer use it, it will still be installed but will not show up in Device Manager.
Certain hidden or ghost USB devices may conflict with existing USB devices and thus lead to this error. You can view the hidden devices in Device Manager by opening a command prompt and then typing the following two commands:
set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS = 1
set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES = 1
Once Device Manager loads, you need to click on View and then click on Show Hidden Devices.
Now you want to expand Imaging Devices, Universal Serial Bus Controllers, and Unknown Devices. If you see anything listed there greyed out or says the device is unknown, go ahead and right-click on them and choose Uninstall. Hopefully, deleting older devices will allow the new ones to work correctly.
The solutions may differ
If nothing has worked up to this point, it is relatively safe to say that there could be an issue with the actual hardware. The best thing to do is to connect the device to another computer and see if it works. If not, then it’s an issue with your device.
Possible Solution 1 – Another possible solution is to try another USB cable because the cable in use is damaged
Possible solution 2 – Another possible solution is to take the device, connect the device to another machine, and if the device recognizes the device correctly, then push it out of that computer before reconnecting with the original computer. I have seen this issue occur with some flash drives that were unplugged without being ejected properly. After connecting them to another computer and pushing them out from there, they suddenly started appearing on the original computer that didn’t recognize them.
Possible solution 3 – Some people have been lucky enough to get rid of this problem by updating BIOS. You can also enter the BIOS and turn off the USB, reboot the computer, and turn the USB back on. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you have a PS2 port on your computer. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do anything when you disable USB in the BIOS if your keyboard and mouse are connected via USB.
Hopefully, one of the many solutions above will solve your USB problem. If not, write a review, and I will try to help.