USB devices are what are referred to as ‘Plug and Play’. This means that you need to do very little in order to set them up. In most cases all you have to do is plug the device into a spare USB socket. Your operating system will them detect the device and install any necessary drivers. However, you may encounter problems if your operating system is unable to identify the device, or find a suitable driver.
Your PC Cannot Find The Device Driver For Your USB Device
In the majority of cases your operating system will already have a suitable driver installed (it may even be able to download the appropriate driver automatically from the Internet). However, if your computer is unable to find a suitable driver then you will have to manually install the driver provided by the device manufacturer.
If your device came with a setup disc then you can install the drivers from the disc. If your device did not come with a disc then you may need to explore other ways of downloading the usb driver including visiting the device manufacturer’s website. Most have a technical support section where you can download drivers. If you are unable to find a suitable driver, you should contact the manufacturer.
The USB Device Installed On Your PC Is Not Recognized
Sometimes your computer may struggle to correctly identify a specific hardware device. If your USB device is not recognized automatically then you will have to install the necessary drivers manually. Your device may have been supplied with a setup disc containing a driver. If you do not have a disc you should visit the device manufacturer’s website. You should be able to find a suitable driver to download from the support section. If you cannot find a driver you should contact the device manufacturer.
There’s A Problem With The USB Device Installed On Your PC
First of all unplug the device and test it on another computer to see if you still encounter the same problem – this ensures that the problem lies with the device and not with your computer itself. If the device is at fault, contact the manufacturer. You can also test whether a device is functioning properly from within Windows.
Click Start button and choose Control Panel
Click System and Maintenance and then choose Device Manager
(You can also access Device Manager by right clicking on the My Computer icon on your desktop and choose Properties, then Hardware, then Device Manager)
Expand the type of device you are having problems with and double click the device name to open the Properties window. In the General tab there is a Device Status box which will mention any problems with the device or device driver.
Defective USB Device Driver
Sometimes a manufacturer can release a faulty driver without realising. If your device was working perfectly, but has encountered problems after you upgraded your driver then the problem is with the new driver. If you have a faulty driver you can rollback your computer to use a previous version of the driver, or manually install an older version of the driver.
To check if a driver is faulty follow the steps described above in order to check the Device Status box, found within the General tab of the device Properties box within Device Manager.
Defective USB Port
If you plug your device into a defective USB port then it will not work. Try connecting the device to a different USB port (most computers have several USB ports.) If you are using a secondary USB hub you should unplug the device from the hub and connect it directly to the computer.