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Problems with USB Devices

Problems Installing USB Devices

When installing a USB device you may receive the following error:

    The installation failed because the function driver was not specified.

Several possible causes of this error is that the USB ports are disabled on the motherboard, or the USB port cables are not attached firmly, not attached correctly, or a pin is broken or bent. In this situation the operating system can see that a USB device is attached, but cannot communicate with it well enough to determine what the device is or what drivers to load.

Also see USB 2.0 issues with Windows 2000.

USB Drive Not Visible

Windows may assign a drive letter to a removable USB drive which conflicts with an existing network drive or substituted drive. See Changing Drive Letters to assign the device a new drive letter.

USB Devices Not Detected

If USB devices are not be detected, this may be because:

  • The permissions on the registry key HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum are too restrictive. Ensure Administrators and any other necessary users have Full Control. (This may also cause the Device Manager to appear empty.)

  • There are invalid settings in the registry. Delete the values UpperFilters and LowerFilters from the following keys:


    Then restart Windows.

USB Drives Difficult to Install in Windows Vista

Windows Vista may prompt for drivers to be installed for a USB drive, whereas Windows 2000/XP installed the device automatically. The procedure is:

  1. Choose Locate and Install Software Driver when prompted.

  2. When prompted by the User Account Control dialog, choose Continue.

  3. Choose I don't have a disc, show me other options.

  4. Choose Browse my computer for driver software.

  5. Enter C:\Windows and select Include Subfolders, and click Next.

    The driver installation should progress. You may need to go through this process three times for each USB drive, to install devices Disk Drive, Generic Volume, and Microsoft WPD Filesystem Volume Driver.

If you insert the USB drive into a different USB port, you may need to go through this process again. To avoid this, insert the device into the same USB port each time.

Cannot Stop USB Drive

See Ejecting/Stopping a Removable Device.

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