How to Fix USB Device Descriptor Failure in Windows 11/10

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jul 17, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

The USB descriptor has an identification function when connecting the device so that Windows can install the driver without the need for a previous installation. This mechanism is so advantageous since you will not need an installation program to use your device, in addition to saving you time because it is not necessary to search for a specific driver or activate it from a CD. If your USB device descriptor has failures, here you will be able to find solutions to fix them.

Part 1: Overview of USB Device Descriptor Failure

All USB devices have a device descriptor that the host reads, and that gives it information about what it is, who made it, the version of USB it supports, the configuration methods, as well as the number of endpoints and their types.

If in the Device Manager, -while you have your USB device connected– the following appears in the list of drivers: Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed), it means that Windows cannot read your device and, therefore, you will not be able to use it in the right way.

But why does this problem occur? It could be due to hardware errors and software failures. Regardless of the origin of the error, there are several alternatives to solve it, which you will see in the next part of this post.

Part 2: How to Fix USB Device Descriptor Failure in Windows 11/10?

Q: Windows does not recognize my USB flash drive. I checked in the device settings that my USB device is marked as unknown along with Device Descriptor Request Failed. What should I do to fix this problem?

USB device descriptor failures are relatively common, and this can be due to various reasons; regardless of the source of the problem, different solutions can help you get rid of this problem. Also, you should not forget that if the issue happens to a flash drive, there is the possibility that you lose your information, so it is convenient to have software to be able to recover your files in case the failure is severe.

Before reviewing the methods to solve it, it is prudent to check if your device is in good condition and nothing is obstructing it, since a hardware error may be enough to stop it working. Also, it is difficult for it to be recognized by the operating system again.

Here are three simple troubleshooting methods you can try to fix the USB device descriptor failure issue. If they work, you won't need to attempt the more complicated solutions.

Method 1: Use the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

Windows has a built-in tool that can help solve all kinds of hardware and USB device problems. To use it correctly, all you have to do is the following:

  1. Click on the Windows icon and then type cmd, right-click on Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator from the drop-down list.

run command prompt as administrator

  1. Once you open Command Prompt, type the next command and finally press Enter:
    You will see the Hardware and Devices troubleshoot tool. Just click Next, and if there is any inconvenience, Windows will let you know about it.

open command prompt

Method 2: Scan for Hardware Changes

An alternative approach to resolving this problem involves utilizing the Scan for Hardware Changes feature. Upon completion of the scan, your computer should be able to detect the connected USB device.

Please adhere to the following steps:

  1. Connect the USB device to your PC.
  2. Press Win+X, then select Device Manager.
  3. Click on Action in the Device Manager menu, and then choose Scan for hardware changes.
  4. Allow the system some time to recognize all hardware changes. Monitor the situation to see if it resolves the issue.

scan for hardware changes

Method 3: Turn off the quick start

Windows quick start (also called fast startup) is a mechanism that makes your PC start Windows in a short time. However, this can lead to compatibility issues that can affect the recognition of your USB device. To turn off the quick start, you must do the following:

  1. Click on the Windows icon and then on the gear icon to open Windows settings.

go to windows settings

  1. From the Windows Settings window, click on System.

click system from windows settings

  1. From the left list, click on Power & sleep.

select power and sleep

  1. From the left list, click on Additional power settings.

click additional power settings

  1. From the left list, click Choose what the power buttons do.

click choose what the power buttons do

  1. Click on the option Change settings that are currently unavailable.

click change settings

  1. Click on the ticked square next to Turn on fast startup (recommended), and you should have disabled Windows quick start.

click turn on fast startup

Method 4: Update your BIOS

If your BIOS is out of date, it can lead to compatibility and device recognition issues. To do this, I suggest you contact your supplier to help you carry out this process, as it is a delicate task that can be counterproductive if not done correctly.

Method 5: Update USB Hub conductors

You must keep the USB Hub conductors updated so that there are no compatibility problems with your devices that require such a connection. To check for updates, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon, and from the drop-down list, click on Device Manager.

click device manager

  1. Once you opened Device Manager¸ scroll down until you find Universal Serial Bus controllers.

find universal serial bus controllers

  1. Right-click on Generic USB Hub and click on Update Driver Software… If there is any available update, Windows will install it automatically.

update driver software

Method 6: Disable USB selective suspend settings

USB selective suspend settings allow you to save energy and battery by keeping the USB connectors in a low consumption state. However, this can lead to some power issues when connecting a device, so disabling it may be the solution. I will show you how to do it through the following steps:

  1. Click on the Windows icon and write power options to open the Windows Power Options window.

open windows power options

  1. Click on Change plan settings next to Balanced (recommended).

change plan settings

  1. Click on Change advanced power settings.

change advanced power settings

  1. From the Advanced settings list, scroll down and click on USB settings. Then click on USB selective suspend setting and change Enabled for Disabled both in On battery and in Plugged in options and finally click on Apply. This will be enough to disable USB selective suspend settings.

disable usb selective suspend settings

Method 7: Use the troubleshooter

Through Troubleshoot, you can fix Windows startup problems, where some incompatibilities with USB devices may be generated. This procedure can correct them, and you can do it with these steps:

  1. Click on the Windows icon and then on the gear icon to open Windows settings.

open windows settings

  1. From the Windows settings list, click on Update & Security.

click update and security

  1. From the left list, click on Troubleshoot and choose the best option according to your problem and requirements. Windows will try to fix the issues immediately.

click troubleshoot

Method 8: Reinstall USB Hub

Reinstalling the USB Hub driver can be another useful option; in this way, you can solve problems related to the recognition of your USB devices due to an error related to the USB Hub driver.

To start with this process, copy steps 1 and 2 from method 4. Now you should only do the following:

Step 3: Uninstall your Generic USB Hub

uninstall the generic usb hub driver

Right-click on Generic USB Hub and click on Uninstall. After this, reset your PC, and Windows will automatically download and install the Generic USB Hub driver.

Method 9: Check and Repair Bad Sectors

If your USB device has bad sectors, it may lead to a USB device descriptor failure issue. To resolve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Search for cmd in the search box next to the start menu, right-click on it, and select "Run as administrator."
  2. Type the command chkdsk /X/f G: and press Enter (Replace G with the drive letter of your USB device).
  3. Wait for the process to complete. Once Windows indicates that corrections have been made to the file system, it signifies that the bad sectors have been repaired.

Read More: How to Fix/Repair Corrupted USB Drive

Part 3. Recover the Data Lost by USB Device Descriptor Failure

If you have a USB storage device that was affected by device descriptor failure, your data may be at risk. However, you should not worry as there is Recoverit, a professional application that will help you to retrieve your files quickly through a few simple steps.

You can download it directly from the official website. Below, you can see how easy it is to use this program:

Free Download | Win Windows Version Free Download | Mac Mac Version
article-safe-itemSecurity Verified. 3,591,664 people have downloaded it.

Step 1: Select the drive

select the drive

Remember to connect the external USB device to your computer before running Recoverit. Make sure Windows recognizes it.

To begin the process, select your external USB device as the target location and then click on Start. Even though the partition on the device has got lost, you can still use Recoverit to bring the lost data back.

Step 2: Scan the external device or hard drive

scan the drive

Wait for some minutes while Recoverit scans your USB storage device. If you want, you can pause the process and check the files that the application will retrieve.

Step 3: Preview and recover files

preview the file

After Recoverit finishes the task, you can preview each file. Then click Recover and save the data into a new and safe location.

Video Tutorial on How to Recover Files on Windows 10/8/7

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The USB connection is undoubtedly the most popular in PCs and laptops, being used by millions of devices of all kinds. However, it is not perfect and may have some flaws like the one related to Device Descriptor. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to solve this problem, and, if it affected a storage device, you should rest easy, since your information will be safe thanks to the sophisticated technology that Recoverit has.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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