How to Fix “A device attached to the system is not functioning” on Windows 10

How to Fix “A device attached to the system is not functioning” on Windows

Windows users may occasionally encounter the error message “A device attached to the system is not functioning”. This can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re not sure what’s causing the issue or how to resolve it. This error typically indicates a problem with how Windows is communicating with a connected peripheral or hardware device. In this article, we’ll guide you through several methods to troubleshoot and fix this error, helping you get your system back to optimal performance.

Restart Your Computer:

Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the most effective. Restarting your computer can resolve a range of issues, including hardware and software glitches. This should be your first step in troubleshooting the error.

Check the Hardware Connections:

Ensure that the device causing the error is properly connected to your computer.

Check for any loose cables or damaged ports.

If you’re using a USB device, try plugging it into a different USB port.

Update Device Drivers:

Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause devices to malfunction.

Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Device Manager.

Locate the problematic device, right-click it, and select Update Driver.

Choose ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ and follow the prompts.

Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter:

Windows includes built-in troubleshooters that can automatically fix some common problems.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.

Select ‘Hardware and Devices’ and run the troubleshooter.

Check for Windows Updates:

Sometimes, Microsoft releases updates that can fix known issues.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

Click ‘Check for updates’ and install any available updates.

Try a Different Computer:

If possible, connect the device to a different computer. This can help you determine if the issue is with the device itself or your computer.

Reinstall Device Drivers:

If updating the drivers doesn’t work, try reinstalling them.

In Device Manager, right-click the problematic device and select Uninstall device.

Restart your computer. Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver upon reboot.

Perform a System Restore:

If the error started appearing recently, a system restore might help.

Type ‘System Restore’ in the Windows search bar and follow the prompts to choose a restore point before the error began.

Check Disk for Errors:

File system errors can cause issues with connected devices.

Open Command Prompt as an administrator.

Type chkdsk /f and press Enter. Restart your computer if prompted.

Consult Manufacturer Support:

If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, contact the manufacturer of the device for further assistance.

The “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error can have various causes, but with patience and a methodical approach, most can be resolved. Start with the simplest solutions and work your way through the more complex ones until the issue is fixed. Remember, regular maintenance and updates can prevent many such problems from occurring in the first place.

Disable USB Selective Suspend:

The USB Selective Suspend feature can sometimes cause issues with USB devices.

Go to Control Panel > Power Options.

Click on ‘Change plan settings’ next to your active power plan.

Click on ‘Change advanced power settings’.

Expand the ‘USB settings’ and then expand ‘USB selective suspend setting’.

Set it to ‘Disabled’ and click OK.

Check for Hardware Compatibility:

Ensure that the device you are using is compatible with your version of Windows.

Some devices may not be supported in newer or older versions of Windows.

Consult the device’s documentation or the manufacturer’s website for compatibility information.

Try Using a Powered USB Hub:

If you are using a USB device that draws significant power, it may not function correctly if directly connected to your computer.

Connecting the device through a powered USB hub can resolve this issue.

Reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on Laptops:

If you’re using a laptop, resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) can resolve issues related to power and hardware.

The method to reset the SMC varies depending on the make and model of your laptop, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Check File System Integrity:

Issues with the file system can also cause hardware errors.

Run System File Checker by opening Command Prompt as an administrator and typing sfc /scannow.

Inspect Event Viewer Logs:

Event Viewer can provide more information about the error.

Type ‘Event Viewer’ in the Windows search bar and open it.

Navigate to Windows Logs > System to check for any related error messages.
Factory Reset:

If all else fails and the issue is severely affecting your work, consider doing a factory reset of your Windows.

Remember to back up all important data before proceeding with a factory reset.

Troubleshooting the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error in Windows requires patience and a bit of technical know-how. By following these steps, you can identify and resolve most issues related to this error. Always ensure your device drivers and Windows are up to date to minimize the likelihood of such issues. If the problem persists despite all your efforts, it might be a sign of a more serious hardware problem, in which case professional help is recommended. Remember, keeping your system well-maintained and updated is key to preventing many common computer issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About “A Device Attached to the System is Not Functioning” Error

Can this error be caused by a virus or malware?

While it’s not common, malware or viruses can sometimes interfere with your system’s functionality, including connected devices. Running a full system scan with a reliable antivirus program can help rule out this possibility.

Does this error mean my hardware is permanently damaged?

Not necessarily. In many cases, this error is due to communication issues, driver problems, or software conflicts, which are often fixable without any permanent damage to the hardware.

How can I prevent this error from happening in the future?

Regularly update your Windows OS and device drivers, maintain good computer hygiene, use a reliable power source, and ensure proper connection of devices. Avoid overloading USB ports and use powered hubs for high-powered devices.

Is it safe to uninstall and reinstall device drivers?

Yes, it is generally safe. Windows will typically reinstall the necessary drivers automatically upon restart. However, it’s always good to have a backup of your important data before making system changes.

You can download the latest drivers from another computer, transfer them to your computer using a USB drive, and install them manually.

Could this error be related to a recent Windows update?

Occasionally, certain Windows updates can lead to compatibility issues with existing hardware or drivers. If the problem started after an update, consider rolling back the update or checking for new patches that address the issue.

Will performing a system restore delete my personal files?

System Restore affects system files, settings, and installed programs, but it does not typically affect your personal files like documents, emails, or photos. However, it’s always recommended to back up important files regularly.

How can I reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on my laptop?

The process varies depending on your laptop’s make and model. Generally, it involves shutting down your laptop and performing a specific key combination during startup. Refer to your laptop’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website for exact instructions.

Is using a powered USB hub always necessary for devices?

Not always. It’s typically necessary for devices that require more power than a standard USB port can provide, such as some external hard drives or devices that don’t have their own power source.

What should I do if none of the troubleshooting steps work?

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps and the issue persists, it may be time to consult with a professional technician or reach out to the manufacturer’s support for further assistance. It could be a sign of deeper hardware issues that require professional diagnosis and repair.