You know that moment when you plug in a USB into your PC, and this pops up:

USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it.

Yeah. That sucks.

Here are a few reasons why that could happen:

  • The currently plugged in USB driver has become unstable or corrupt
  • Your PC requires an update for issues that may conflict with a USB external hard drive and Windows
  • Windows may be missing other important updates hardware or software issues
  • Your USB controllers may have become unstable or corrupt
  • Your external drive may be entering selective suspend
  • Your PC motherboard may need updated drivers (okay, this one can be a major issue)

With the help of Microsoft Support, we’ve compiled a list of some quick fixes that you could try out.

The hotfixes can resolve a known conflict with a USB external hard drive and Windows.

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

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

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.

This prevents your USB external drive from powering down.

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

If after trying these, there is still no improvement, then you should probably see a professional, do leave a comment below.

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