Windows 11

Fix “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” error in Windows

Did you see an error”This device cannot be started. (Code 10)In Windows? This error can appear in all versions of Windows and is quite vague, so it is understandably frustrating to many users.

Let’s take a look at what code 10 in Windows is, common reasons why it occurs, and how to fix it.

fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

What is Error Code 10?

Code 10 “This device cannot start” error is most commonly associated with removable devices. Appears when Windows cannot start a component of hardware, such as a printer or USB drive, properly.

For this reason, you may see it appear after Windows tries to install the driver for a new device. Sometimes, it may prevent CD drives or other storage devices from appearing in this computer.

You’ll also see this status of affected devices on the General tab in Device Manager, which we’ll discuss later. Code 10 is often caused by problems with audio or USB devices specifically. Let’s look at the fixes for this issue.

1. Restart your computer

Like most computer problems, you can sometimes fix this one with a simple restart. You should always take this basic troubleshooting step first, so as not to waste time on more advanced methods unnecessarily.

Restart your computer, then try to access the device again. If the error message still appears, continue to our more advanced troubleshooting.

2. Run the hardware troubleshooter

Windows includes many automatic troubleshooting tools that help you solve many problems. One of them is the Hardware and Configuration tool, which fixes problems in this area. Although it’s not guaranteed to find anything, it’s worth a run for when you’re having this problem.

For some reason, Microsoft removed this tool from the troubleshooting list in Windows 10, but you can still access it through Command Prompt or PowerShell. Click on Win + X Choose Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell from the list, then enter the following command:

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

This will open the troubleshooter in a new window. Click Next to browse the options; Once the wizard is complete, it will notify you of any issues found and the results of fixing them.

fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

3. Check Device Manager for more information

Device Manager collects information about all the devices connected to your computer, so it’s an important place to check when you see a Code 10 error. To open it, tap Win + X Or right-click on the Start menu, then choose Device Manager from the list.

You can expand each section to see the individual devices within it. If the device has a problem, you will see a small yellow warning sign next to it; This should indicate which device is causing the error. Double-click on the device and check its status field; If it says “This device cannot be started (Code 10)”, then it is not working properly.

fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

You should check all the categories, especially the audio inputs and outputs as well as the Universal Serial Bus Controller. If you don’t see the problem here, look for other USB devices such as printers, mice, and other pointing devices. If you have recently added any device to your computer, check it out as well.

When you find the device showing the error, try unplugging it for a few minutes, then plug it back in. If this has no effect then you should go ahead and update or remove the driver software for that device.

4. Update device drivers

Oftentimes, a hardware component behaves poorly because you have an outdated or incorrect driver installed for it. Go to الإعدادات -> التحديث والأمان -> Windows Update To check for new updates, which will also find driver updates.

If you want to update a specific driver, right-click on it in Device Manager and choose تحديث برنامج التشغيل -> البحث تلقائيًا عن برامج التشغيل. This will check your computer for a newer driver. If that doesn’t do anything, search for your device’s name online to see if a newer driver is available from the manufacturer. Learn how to find and replace outdated Windows drivers.

fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

5. Uninstall non-functional drivers

If updating the device driver is not successful, then you should try replacing or removing the driver. Right-click on the problematic device and select Properties , followed by the tab Operating system , for some options.

fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

will select Roll Back Driver To undo any recent updates and go back to the previous version. This option is only accessible if there is an older version to go back to.

If you are unable to do so, you will need to select Uninstall device to completely remove it from your system. After doing that, restart your computer. Windows should install generic drivers for some devices (such as mice and keyboards) when you do this, but you may have to reinstall any manufacturer drivers yourself.

Hopefully, the updated driver will stop the Code 10 error.

6. Try another USB port or hub

If you identify the device that is causing the Code 10 error, try connecting it to another USB port on your computer. There is a possibility that your USB port is defective, causing your computer to incorrectly connect to the device.

Additionally, if you are using any basic USB hubs with your computer, consider replacing them with powered models. A powered USB hub, like the Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 hub, is more reliable than a hub that relies on your computer for power.

7. Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters entries in the registry

As an advanced step, you can delete a pair of registry values ​​related to driver filters, which work between Windows and devices. Something wrong with these entries can cause the Code 10 error to appear.

Making incorrect changes in the registry can lead to more problems, so be sure to be careful during this process:

  1. Click on Win + R To open the Run dialog and enter regedit To launch the registry editor.
  2. Use the navigation tree on the left side to navigate to the next destination:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass
  1. With the Class key expanded, you’ll see several keys below it that are long strings of characters. These GUIDs (globally unique identifiers) correspond to different types of devices in Device Manager.
fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

Now, you’ll need to find the correct GUID for the type of device you’re looking at.

To do this, go back to Device Manager and double-click on the device that has the problem. Switch to the Details tab in the resulting window and change the property dropdown box to Class Guid. A value will appear in the box below, which matches one of the keys in the registry.

fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

Click on the corresponding character string in the left panel in the history to open its contents in the right panel. From there:

  • Search for items UpperFilters And LowerFilters. You might only see one of them, and that’s okay. If you don’t see either, double-check that you have the correct GUID. If you’re sure you’re right and you still don’t see it, it won’t work for you.
  • Right-click on UpperFilters and/or LowerFilters and choose Delete. Confirm the deletion in the warning and the file will be removed.
  • Restart your computer, then check the device again to see if it works.
fix a bug "This device cannot be started.  (Code 10)" In Windows - Windows

Note that depending on the unique identifier (GUID) you removed, some apps that use these devices may not work properly until you reinstall them.

8. Test your devices elsewhere

At this point, it is possible that you have a defective device. If possible, try connecting it to another computer and see if it works fine. If it does not work on another system, then you should contact the manufacturer or have the device replaced.

9. Perform a System Restore or Reset

If your device works on another computer, you can try a system restore to see if there are some Windows issues that are preventing the device from working. This returns your system to an earlier point in time, which is useful if the problem started recently.

Failing that, you can perform a full reset of Windows, but that’s probably overkill for this issue. Hardware issues, especially at this point, are usually an issue with the hardware itself. But if your device is working elsewhere and you don’t mind trying, performing a Windows 10 reset might fix the problem.

Windows 10 Code Error Fix: Done Successfully

Now you know what to do when you see “This device (Code 10) cannot start” in Windows. Hopefully, you won’t have to do a lot of troubleshooting to get your devices working again. Fixing driver errors is never fun, but it does help to know where to look.

This isn’t the only external device issue you’ll encounter. You may also find that Windows does not display your external storage device correctly, even if it detects it.

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