Yesterday when I connected my SanDisk USB Flash disk to my Windows 10 PC, it showed an error that the USB device has malfunctioned and Windows could not recognize it. This alarmed me a little bit as I had so many important files on this USB disk. At first I thought the disk had gone bad, but I was proven wrong when I connected it to another PC running Ubuntu Linux. Clearly the USB disk was functioning alright, but there was some problem in the Windows configuration. So after fifteen minutes of trying out various things I figured out that the problem was with the USB drivers and fixed it.
Here is how you can fix the problems related to Windows not recognizing mass storage devices (or perhaps even other types of USB devices):
- Since we are going to uninstall the USB drivers for USB serial bus controllers, all the USB devices will stop working including your mouse and keyboard. So we have to setup a timer to restart Windows before mouse or keyboard stops working. You can use a software like Daxtar Shutdown Timer for this and make it reboot your PC in 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can open an elevated command prompt (press Win+X hotkey, select Command prompt (Admin) from the menu) and give this command: shutdown /r /f /t 300 in the command prompt window. This will restart your PC in 300 seconds (5 minutes) which is enough time for finishing our job.
- Press Win+R hotkey to open the Run dialog, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. This will open the Device Manager.
- In the Device Manager, expand the USB Serial Bus Controllers node, right-click on all the device one-by-one starting from the top and select Uninstall from the right-click menu.
- After you have uninstalled all the USB controllers devices, you will find that your mouse and keyboard has stopped working. Wait for the timer set in the first step to trigger the restart of the PC. When Windows reboots, it will automatically re-install the USB controllers in your computer, without you having to do anything further. Now the USB devices should work without any problems.