So I attached my good old wired USB mouse into one USB port of my laptop and it worked as expected. But as soon as I connected my portable hard drive, both the mouse and the portable hard drive stopped working. When I checked the device manager, I noticed a yellow alert mark against one of the USB host controllers with the message – Unknown USB Device (Set Address Failed). This is a problem that could be with the USB controller on the PC motherboard or it could be the the USB device itself.
One way to eliminate the faulty device is by using the same device on other known good working computers. If they also end up having the same problem, then we know that the fault is with the connected USB device. If the USB device is working fine on all the computers then it could indicate a problem with the USB port wiring or the PC motherboard itself.
There are a few steps that you can take to resolve this problem:
- Because the following steps could make mouse or keyboard unavailable, we should first set a timer to shutdown/reboot Windows. For this we can use a shutdown timer like Sleeper. We can also use a command to reboot the PC after 10 minutes – shutdown /r /t 600 but using a GUI application like Sleeper is much easier.
- Press Win+R to open the Run dialog. Type devmgmt.msc in the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Device Manager.
- In the Device Manager, expand the Universal Serial Bus controller category, right-click on the USB host controller that is displaying error and choose Uninstall Device. When asked, choose Yes.
- If your mouse/keyboard is still working, reboot PC manually else wait for the command in step 1 to reboot the PC for you.
After your Windows PC has restarted, it will automatically install drivers for the detected USB hubs and they will become functional again. Instead of using the Device Manager, you can also use a third-party application called DevManView for uninstalling the USB host controller.
There could be two main issues if this does not work and you keep running into the same problem again and again – either the connected USB device itself s fault or the computer motherboard has developed some problems. In the first case, you should avoid using that device anymore on any PC. But if your computer’s motherboard has developed some problem then the best solution is to replace it as soon as possible.