How To Fix Major USB Problems

USB is one of the most useful accessories for a computer (Desktop or Laptop). If you use it frequently, you should face various type of problems with your USB stick. The most common problems are “USB Device Not Recognized”, “Windows was unable to complete the format”, “The device cannot start. [code 10]”, “Problem ejecting the USB mass storage device” etc.
However, the problems with your USB drive can arise in various forms. Here we have tried to solve the common problems with USB drives which people generally face.

How to Fix USB Problems in Windows Operating System

How to Fix “USB Device Not Recognized” in Windows

One of the common and annoying problem with USB drive in Windows is the “USB Device Not Recognized” popup message when you plug in the device into your USB port. Here are several methods to fix this problem so that you can try another one if any fix does not work for you.
Fix "USB Device Not Recognized" in Windows

Method 1: Turn Off Your Computer

The first and simple fix of the problem “USB Device Not Recognized” is shutting down your desktop or laptop for about fifteen minutes and then turn you computer on and insert the USB device. This some time fix the problem automatically. But it is not always possible to turn off your computer whenever you get the error with your device. Therefore, continue to the next methods and fix the problem permanently.

Method 2: Scan for Hardware Changes

If you still face the same problem after restarting computer, you can try this method by performing a quick scan for hardware changes. This sometime automatically fix the issues with the USB drives if they are not recognized by your system. You can do it from the device manages section of your Windows system.
Go to Control Panel > System > Device Manager. In the device manager window, right-click on “Computer” and select “Scan for hardware changes”.
This action will try to automatically fix the issue when your USB device gets flagged as an unknown device.
However, if still this method does not work for you, you can try the next method.

Method 3: Update USB Device Drive

One of the common way by which the problem “USB Device Not Recognized” gets fixed is updating device driver. Open the device manager and expand “Other devices”. The unknown devices are listed there. Find out the “Universal Serial Bus Controller” entry, right-click on it and select “Properties” – the “Properties” window opens up.
Now head to the “Driver” tab and click the “Update Driver” button.
This will update the device driver automatically. Check that whether your USB drive is recognized by your system or not. If not, follow the registry tweak below.

Method 4: Registry Tweak to Fix “USB Device Not Recognized” Issue

If none of the above methods works for you, try the last and most reliable way to fix the issue – the registry tweak method.
Open Windows registry editor (Press Windows Key + R and type “regedit” without the quotes into the Run command box and hit the Enter) and navigate to the following path.
HKEY_LOCAL_Machine > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > USB
If the USB key does not exist into the list then create a new key USB under “Services”. Now create a new DWORD value under the key that you’ve just created.
Keep the “USB” key selected and right-click on the blank space at the right pane, choose “New > DWORD value from the context menu.
Rename this newly created DWORD value as “DisableSelectiveSuspend”. Now, right-click on “DisableSelectiveSuspend” and select “Modify”. Put 1 in “Value data” field and click OK.
Registry Tweak to Fix "USB Device Not Recognized"
Reboot your computer and re-insert your USB device into the port. This should fix the issue.

Method 5: Fix Damaged Hardware

If none of the above works then it is issue with your hardware. Check your USB device to another computer and another USB stick to your current computer and decide which one is damaged. Repair or replace that one and continue the using of USB devices at your desktop or laptop.

How to Fix “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” Problem

Generally we format USB drive by right-clicking on the removable disk drive from the Windows Explorer. All we need to format the disk is to select the “Format” option from the context menu. But in many cases Windows can’t format the USB disk and returns a message like “Windows was unable to complete the format”. This error happens when your computer is infected by virus generally. It is embarrassing when you really need to format your USB stick.
Fix "Windows was Unable to Complete the Format" problem
However, there is way to format USB drive in command prompt and hence you can fix the issue. Here is how to format USB device from command prompt in Windows operating systems.
Open command prompt and type the following command.
Format <USB drive letter> /FS:<File System>
Replace <USB drive letter> with your USB drive letter and <File System> with your desired file system e.g FAT32 or NTFS
The above command will format the USB stick thoroughly. If you want to perform a quick format then run the following command.
Format <USB drive letter> /FS:<File System> /q
Now, insert the USB stick to your computer and hit Enter. The status will be shown in the command prompt screen.

How to Fix “The device Cannot Start. [code 10]” Error

Another issue with USB devices is often faced in Windows system is error code 10. When you plug in the USB device in Windows XP computer it shows an error message like “This device cannot start. [Code 10]. To fix this problem follow the steps which are listed below.
Fix "The device Cannot Start. [code 10]" Error

  1. Go to Start > Run and typeDevmgmt.msc” without the quotes into the Run command box and click OK.
  2. The “Device Manager” dialog box will appear. Expand the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” from the left side.
  3. Right-click on “USB Mass Storage Device” and select “Properties”.
  4. Under the “General” tab, you will see the “Device status” (make sure that your USB device is connected).
  5. If the device status says that there is “This device cannot start. [Code 10]” error or something like that then you have to uninstall all of your USB Controller.
  6. To uninstall the USB controller, right-click on each of the USB controller under “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” and click on “Uninstall”.
  7. Restart your computer. The USB controllers will be automatically re-installed.

The above method should fix the Code 10 error issue.

How to Safely Remove USB Device Without Any Error

Generally, it happens with you so often that you want to remove your USB by clicking on “”afely Remove Hardware” option from the system tray and it gives an error message like “The Device Generic volume cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device later”. If you ignore this error message and remove USB drive, your USB drive may get damaged. To fix this problem you can use a free application Unlocker which helps you remove the USB drive safely.
The Device Generic volume cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device later
Download Unlocker 1.8.7 and install it on your system. Now, right-click on the USB drive from the Windows Explorer and select “Unlocker”. An “Unlocker” window will appear. Click on “Unlock All” to stop all running programs which are related to the USB device.
 Safely Remove USB Device Without Any Error
Now safely remove USB device by click on “Safely Remove Hardware” option from the system tray.
Have anything to add to this tutorial? – Let us know.


  1. Hey man I use your solution in 2. Format USB Drive In Command Prompt. When my USB comes on 49 percent it stuck and says the media formatted has been removed or has become invalid. Format aborted. What to do?

  2. When finishing downloading from library to Nook I neglected to “safety remove hardware” before unplugging the USB for nook. Now I can’t get the computer to recognize my nook and can’t download to it. What can I do? Thanks for help.

  3. please give me the idea on how to set HCL me ICON 1015 LAPTOP
    cmos settings and set USB pendrive as first boot priority

  4. Hi
    Dear i interupted my usb formate, now it is not working , when i connect it with pc , it says you should Format disk in drive H to use it and when i format it, it says windows is unable to format.. plz tel what should i do to fix it??

  5. Hi, My CPU got restarted every time I inserted one of my USB Token Certificate , How Can I solve this problem? Please HELP!!

  6. i dont know whats wrong with my usb bt it supports all other flash drives except pendrive.. and its a working pendrive plzz suggest me .. and all the usb drivers are installed.. its a serious problem

  7. hy i am hussnain ahmad and i have a 2gb kingston usb and when i format my he says usb is write protected plz tell me that what i do

  8. Hi,
    I tried all the steps mentioned for “Fix the problem “USB Device Not Recognize”.
    But Still I am facing the same issue of USB device not recognized.
    Can someone help me out.
    Much appreciated.

  9. i can’t copy files from my says that the usb remve but no itx not…..and autoplay always appear..wat should i do….plzzzzzzzzzzzz..

  10. hey, i followed the instructions on #2 but it says “Verifying 0M” then “Cannot determine the number of sectors in this volume.” 🙁 maybe i broke it because of using cmd to set it as an win7 installer but i kinda got lost on the select partition part and just pulled it out of the usb port..can you help me, please?


  12. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Hi,
    I’ve got issues with my 16gb microSD card. I can’t access it.It’s been in my samsung S4 and it became corrupted for some reason.
    Everytime I connect it asks me to Format it. After trying to complete the format process It ends up displaying
    “Windows was unable to complete the format”.
    Also if it’s worth mentioning that The Capacity is displayed as “Unknown Capacity”
    Next I’ve tried going into Disk Management and seen that the Disk 1 is Online but Unallocated. Then tried creating a simple volume but with no success.
    I’ve tried method #5 but it comes up with this
    C:>format g: /FS:FAT32
    Insert new disk for drive G:
    and press ENTER when ready…
    The type of the file system is RAW.
    The new file system is FAT32.
    Verifying 0M
    Cannot determine the number of sectors on this volume.
    I’ve also tried using Active Killdisk but even that program shows “Cyclic redundancy check”
    Any other suggestions?

  14. My memory card is write-protected and it can’t be formatted now. Can I remove write-protect and format it using your solution? anyway I’ll have a try first and tell you the result then.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. None of these (or any other fixes I’ve found so far) have worked.
    Running XP on my Compaq 6510b laptop
    New USB drives (flash/phones/external hard drives)ARE recognized but drivers wont load for any of them (they all work on other machines). They do NOT show up in “My Computer” or “Disk Management”. They DO show up in “Device Manager” with a yellow question mark. All previously installed external USB drives still work and show up.
    When uninstalling all the USB ports, windows would NOT reinstall the drivers on startup. I had to do a restore in order to get back to a point in time where the USB ports worked again.
    Any ideas?

  16. well hello tanmay…
    i got a problem with my usbb flash drive that .. it show “insert disk into removable disk f ”
    help me as their is a lot of important data i my usb flash drive….

  17. my usb flash drive is not acessible as it show “plesae insert disk to removable disk F”
    help me…their is a lot of important data….

  18. Pen drive is detected in My Computer. It shows the drive also but unrecognized icon is displayed. It shows the content of the pen drive but I am unable to copy files to the pen drive. Windows is also unable to format this pen drive. What is the solution?


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