Windows operating systems have a device manager that provides a quick overview of all the hardware devices connected to a computer. It also allows you to check their status and manage these devices. If Device Manager cannot detect a hardware device, it will not appear in this window.
Sometimes Device Manager detects the hardware, but displays a vague but problematic status:
This device cannot start. (code 10)
Dealing with this error can be frustrating because Device Manager doesn't actually tell you what's wrong with an input device. And many times the problem does not have to do with the device itself, but with its drivers.
In this article, we take a detailed look at the Code 10 device cannot start error and what you can do to fix it quickly and easily.
What does "This device cannot start. (Code 10)" mean?
First things first: what does "device cannot start code 10" mean?
It tells us that the computer tried to connect to a device but encountered an error. Usually, the message "The requested operation was unsuccessful" follows. Fortunately, the hardware in question always shows up in Device Manager, so that's the starting point for troubleshooting.
Most of the time, "This device cannot boot code 10" has something to do with your computer's USB or audio devices. This means that Device Manager failed to start the USB when you plugged it in or turned on the speakers while trying to play a media file. Here are some other common reasons for this error message:
- The devices are damaged.
- The devices are not properly connected to your computer.
- You recently upgraded your computer and it no longer works with outdated USB or speaker drivers.
- Your Windows operating system needs an update.
With these possibilities in mind, please guide our next steps to fix this error.
But can you fix code 10 this device cannot start problem by yourself? You certainly can. Involving an IT specialist is usually not necessary unless he or she needs to manually locate and fix driver registry entries. But it may not have to come to that.
8 Easy Ways To Fix Code 10 This Device Cannot Start
Before you call your company's IT staff or pay for professional troubleshooting, try one of these simple solutions first:
1. Make sure your device is properly connected to your computer.
A USB flash drive, speaker, printer, or other external hardware may not work properly just because the connector is loose. Check the connections and make sure they are securely attached to the ports on your computer.
2. Restart your computer.
An old troubleshooting technique, restarting your computer is one of the simplest solutions for a device that cannot start error code 10. After turning the computer back on, check to see if Device Manager can finally see the connection . You're done if nothing happens or Device Manager stops popping up with the same error message.
3. Run the hardware and devices troubleshooter.
Windows has a built-in program that is very helpful in identifying and then fixing problems that arise when installing new hardware or drivers. Once the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter detects a problem, a message appears asking for your permission to fix the problem.
This built-in troubleshooter is available through Control Panel or easily searchable in earlier versions of the Windows operating system.
Windows 7 – 8:Control Panel > System and security > Fix common computer problems/Find and fix problems > Hardware and sound > Configure device > Hardware and devices
windows 10:Windows icon > Settings > Update & security > Troubleshoot > Hardware and devices
However, since the update to Windows 10 v1809, it has become more difficult to access the hardware and devices troubleshooter. Windows reportedly removed the troubleshooter shortcut from Control Panel because it saw little daily use and often ran alongside other troubleshooting tools.
Hardware and Devices was a tool that provided troubleshooting solutions for all computer hardware, making it complicated and incomplete. This is probably another reason why Windows decided to split up the troubleshooting tool and provide options for each hardware component that normally requires troubleshooting:
- video playback
- Internet connection
So, if you're getting a Code 10 The device can't start error on a Windows 10 or 11 computer, here's how to identify and fix the problem:
Windows 10 (v1809) – 11:Launch Command Prompt (Windows Key + X > Windows Terminal (Admin)) > type this command:msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic> Hardware and devices
4. Roll back a device driver.
Rolling back a device driver means rolling back the latest changes or updates to the device driver. This is a possible solution if you haven't updated your Windows operating system yet, but the device in question updated its drivers automatically.
Open Device Manager and click on the device whose driver you want to roll back and follow these steps:
Expand Hardware Components > select the driver you want to roll back > right-click, select Properties > Driver tab > Roll Back Driver
5. Update device drivers.
On the other hand, a possible cause of a Code 10 error is that your device drivers are out of date. It's even more likely if you've recently downloaded and installed a Windows system update.
To do this, follow the same steps as above, but click Update Driver instead of the Roll Back Driver button.
You can also run a scan of the entire computer for drivers that need to be updated.
Windows + X > Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus Controller > right click, Scan for hardware changes
Using automatic updating software is an even better and more convenient way to update your drivers.
Controller support | ONEis an excellent example. The software keeps track of all hardware connected to your computer and all updates from verified sources (ie manufacturers and official app stores). Controller support | ONE determines if a new update is required for your device to work; In this case, the software will automatically update the driver without asking you manually.
6. Update your Windows operating system.
If your hardware drivers are up to date, another option besides resetting is to simply update your operating system.
Windows Update is easier as it helps ensure that all your hardware is working properly and stays up to date with much-needed security patches. Windows continually distributes these updates to help users get the most out of their Windows PCs. Since technology is constantly evolving, upgrading your Windows operating system can save you another headache in the future.
To update your Windows:
windows 10-11: Go to Settings or enterWindows update settingsin the search bar > open app > check for updates.
7. Uninstall the USB driver (for Code 10 errors with USB drivers)
If you get "This device cannot start code 10" after Windows update and you don't want to roll back the drivers, disabling and re-enabling the USB controller is another solution you can try. The best thing about this solution is that it doesn't interfere with your PC or USB devices; it will simply give the latter a basic reset.
windows 8:Open Control Panel > System > Hardware tab > Device Manager > Universal USB Controllers > right-click all USB controllers and click Uninstall.
Windows 10-11:Open Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers > Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus Controllers > right-click all USB drivers and click Uninstall.
Restart the computer. After the reboot, all USB drivers will be reinstalled automatically. Reconnect your USB and it should be recognized without issue.
8. Test your device on other computers.
This isn't technically a fix, but rather to check if a device is faulty and needs to be replaced. If it doesn't work on other computers, the problem could be with the device itself. Maybe you should think about a new purchase.
Hopefully, one of these suggestions will help you resolve the "This device can't start" issue. (Code 10)” as soon as possible.
If you need help with this and other IT issues, consider signing up for Driver Support | Sign up for ONE, a driver update tracking and monitoring service that keeps your computers and devices up to date.
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