USB Device Not Recognized By Your PC or Apple?

All USB devices eventually begin cause detection errors, or not recognized by computer errors. A USB device not recognized by computer is similar to an internal hard disk drive not found error, but can happen with any type of device. Bad drivers, or the actual USB port itself can be the cause.

The USB device not recognized errors

Errors occur with all types of USB devices, usually when plugged in, or have been plugged in for a long time. Also bad hubs, adapter cables, USB phone cables, and other USB external electronics can cause detection errors.

Here are some reasons why connecting USB portable external hard drives regularly fail, after the USB driver installing message pops up.

drivers loading for an external drive that fails loading

Notifications occur when a computer recognizes a device has been attached to it through a USB port, and reports as failed, or “malfunctioned”.

usb device malfunctioned error message in windows

It happens when USB hubs, USB graphic adapters, external hard drives, SSD’s are plugged into external USB cradles. Camera cards in card reader adapters, and so on, even brand new ones, for no real reason become unrecognized by any computer.

Steps to take to diagnose USB devices not detected:

  1. Check another USB port on the computer with a “different USB device
  2. Check another computer with the USB device
  3. Are there any unusual noises (if yes then stop testing the device itself)
  4. Are there any unusual noises (if yes then stop testing the device itself)
  5. Keep minimal power to the USB device that’s not detected

TIP: In some cases, it’s BETTER to try the hub/cables with a different known good working drive first to preserve the integrity of the device not showing up.

In the case dealing with an external hard drive,
this is the preferred method before testing it with other cables. 


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