How to Fix “The Device Cannot Start Code 10” Error

Jul 26,2019 • Filed to: Partition Solutions • Proven solutions

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When buying a new gadget for your computer such as an external hard drive or USB flash drive, you may be excited to use it on your PC immediately. You’d think that using it would be as easy as plugging it in to your PC. However, sometimes, you’re unable to run your device in your computer because of an error which is usually in this form: This device cannot start. (code 10). In this article, we list 8 ways how you can fix this issue.

Code 10 error is most often encountered with a newly purchased external drive or other hardware like a set of speakers or microphones. It’s essentially an error involving your PC’s device drivers. When this error occurs, it means that Device Manager failed to run your device due to faulty drivers or corrupt installations.

How to the Code 10 Error

There are plenty of reasons why you will encounter this error. Fortunately, the solutions to this problem, no matter the cause, are relatively easy. We provide 8 easy fixes for the Code 10 Error below.

Fix 1 - Restart your PC.

Usually, Device Manager errors are only temporary. This may be the cause of a Code 10 error appearing. Try rebooting your device multiple times and check if the problem still persists. If the error still occurs, you may proceed to the next solutions below.

Fix 2 - System Restore

System Restore is a built-in Windows feature that allows you to revert your OS back to its settings at a certain point in time. It may provide a fix to the Code 10 error.

1. In the Start menu, select All Programs, then go to Accessories and click on System Tools.

2. Click on the System Restore icon.

3. Restore system files and settings prompt will pop up. Select Next.

4. The list will show you restore points. Select the date closest to when you think the problem occurred. Select Next.

5. A Confirm your restore point prompt will appear, just select Finish.

6. Select Yes when asked if you want to continue.

7. After System Restore finishes the process, your PC will now reboot.

8. Once you start your PC, a prompt will appear saying System Restore completed successfully.

9. You may now check if error code 10 still persists.

Fix 3 - Make Sure External Device Is Inserted Correctly

Using an incompatible USB flash drive may be the cause for the error. If you own a 2.0 flash drive and plug in to a USB 1.1 port or the other way around, you might encounter errors with regards to data transfer rates. It may also lead to a failed install of your device by Device Manager. The obvious solution to this problem is to use a compatible USB cable. However, this fix is only applicable if the error is This device cannot start. (Code 10) USB errors. If this isn’t the prompt you’re getting, it may not work.

Fix 4 - Update Drivers

As previously mentioned, an outdated or faulty device drivers may cause the Code 10 error. Here’s how to fix this:

1. Click on the Start menu on the taskbar or press the Windows key.

2. Choose All Programs and then select Windows Update

3. Update your Windows. Wait for the update to finish then reinstall your device again.

Fix 5 - Reinstall Drivers

1. Run Device Manager.

2. Find the device that causes Code 10 error.

3. Right-click on the device and Uninstall

4. Confirm the uninstallation by selecting OK. Mark the box beside Delete the driver software for this device.

5. Once you reboot your computer, reinstall the device.

Fix 6 - Reregister DLL File

1. Run Command Prompt by typing in cmd in the Search bar.

2. Right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. Doing this with open the Command Prompt window.

3. On the command line, type inregsvr32 /u btmshellex.dll and press Enter. Doing this will delete the btmshellex.dll file.

4. After typing in the command above, now, type in regsvr32 btmshellex.dll and press Enter to register the file again.

5. You may need to reboot your computer to make changes.

Fix 7 - Change Windows Audio Service Settings

1. Go to Run window by pressing on Windows key + R on your keyboard. You can also search for it in the Start menu.

2. Once Run is open, type in services.msc and hit Enter. After doing this, Windows will show you a list of services on your computer.

3. Find Windows Audio service on the right-side menu. Double-click on it to view the menu.

4. Beside the Startup type, you’ll find a menu. Choose Automatic so that once you reboot your PC, Windows Audio service will run automatically.

5. Select Apply then OK.

6. Reboot your computer.

Fix 8 - Reinstall Windows

If after performing all of the steps above, the error still occurs, you may need to perform a new reinstallation of your Windows OS. This requires back up of all your data.

By carefully following these steps, you’ll get your device running on your PC in no time.

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