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6 Ways to Fix the “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” Error in Windows 10

When Windows 10 won’t recognize your USB drive, here’s how to fix it.

Fixing an error on a PC

When you connect a USB device to your PC, the USB device descriptor helps identify the connected device, determining which device driver to load.

If the USB device descriptor malfunctions, your PC won’t recognize your connected USB device. You’ll get an error message that reads, “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed).”

If you’re experiencing this error, read on to find out how to fix the unknown USB device error on Windows 10.

What Causes the Unknown USB Device Error?

The “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” error can occur due to hardware or system-specific issues. These are various causes for this error:

  • Your latest software update had issues and ended up corrupting the USB drivers.
  • There was a fault when you were replacing some parts of your PC.
  • You’ve made mistakes when configuring the settings for your PC’s USB drivers.
  • The USB port is broken.
  • The USB device is damaged, corrupted, or infected with malware.
  • The USB drivers are corrupted or outdated.
  • The BIOS system needs updating.

Now that you know what causes this error, here are six ways you can resolve it.

1. Quick Fixes

Before you can apply some of the detailed methods in this article, here are some quick tricks you could try:

  1. Try rebooting your PC and see if this resolves your issue.
  2. Try plugging your USB device into a different USB port. If this resolves your issue, then the initial USB port that you used is most likely broken.
  3. Plug your USB device into a different computer. This will help you determine whether the USB device is damaged or your system drivers have issues.
  4. Disable the Windows fast startup setting. This setting boots up your PC quickly and may cause several issues on your PC’s performance. Disabling it and rebooting your PC could help out.

If these quick fixes don’t resolve your issue, move on to the next method.

2. Scan Your PC for Hardware Changes

The next method you could try is to scan your PC for any hardware changes. When the scan is complete, your PC could recognize the connected USB device.

  1. Plug the USB device into your PC.
  2. Open the Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and selecting Device Manager.
  3. In the header menu of the Device Manager, click the Action tab and select Scan for hardware changes from the list.
Selecting Scan for hardware changes

Wait for the system to recognize all hardware changes and see if this resolves your issue.

3. Reinstall the USB Drivers

Faulty USB drivers could be causing this error. To resolve this issue, you’ll need to uninstall the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Failure) drivers and reinstall them.

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and selecting Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  3. Right-click the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) driver and select Uninstall device.
Uninstalling the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) driver

When you finish uninstalling the drivers, reboot your system. This will automatically reinstall the USB drivers and should help get rid of the error.

4. Update the Generic USB Hub Drivers

If the previous method didn’t work out, you can try updating the Generic USB Hub drivers. There is a chance that this USB driver is outdated and is the reason you’re encountering issues. Here’s how you can update the Generic USB Hub drivers.

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and selecting Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  3. Right-click the Generic USB Hub option and click the Update driver option.
Updating Generic USB Hub drivers

In the new window, select Search automatically for drivers.

Your PC will search for compatible drivers online. When the update is complete, plug in your USB device and check if this has resolved your issue.

You can also resolve the Unknown USB Device error using the Windows Troubleshooter. This is an in-built Windows 10 tool that helps you search for and fix various system issues.

  1. Open the troubleshooter by typing Troubleshoot in the Start menu search bar and selecting the Best Match.
  2. Select Hardware and Devices, then select Run the troubleshooter to start the troubleshooting process.
Running the Windows Troubleshooting tool

When the process is complete, close the troubleshooter and restart your PC to implement the fixes.

6. Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting

Another method that could resolve your issue would be to disable the USB Selective Suspend Setting.

  1. Open the Control Panel by typing Control Panel in the Windows Search Bar and selecting the Best match.
  2. Navigate to System and Security > Power Options > Change plan settings.
  3. In the window that pops up, select the Change advanced power settings option.
  4. In the Power Options screen, locate and expand the USB settings.
  5. Expand the USB selective suspend setting and disable both the On battery and Plugged in options.
  6. Click Apply and then click OK.
Disabling the USB Selective Suspend Option

Restart your PC to apply these changes. Plug your USB devices in and check if this has resolved your issue.

Fixing the Unknown USB Device Error the Easy Way

By now, the “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” Error should be resolved. It is a frustrating error, but most USB issues are resolved after reinstalling the USB drivers.

dead-usb-port

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