Device Cannot Start (Code 10) – Fixed

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Device Cannot Start (Code 10) - Fixed
Device Cannot Start (Code 10) - Fixed

Encountering the “Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” error in Windows can be frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of an important task. This error typically indicates a problem with the device driver, but it can also be caused by hardware issues, system conflicts, or other software problems. In this article, we’ll explore the various causes of this error and provide detailed steps on how to fix it.

Understanding the “Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Error

The “Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” error is a generic message that appears in the Device Manager when Windows cannot start the hardware device. This error can affect a wide range of devices, including USB drives, sound cards, network adapters, and other peripherals.

Common Causes

  1. Driver Issues:
  • Outdated, corrupt, or incompatible drivers are the most common cause of this error.

2. Hardware Problems:

  • Faulty hardware components or loose connections can trigger the Code 10 error.

3. System Conflicts:

  • Conflicts between different hardware devices or software applications can lead to this issue.

4. Windows Registry Problems:

  • Incorrect or corrupt registry entries can cause device errors.

5. Power Management Settings:

  • Improper power management settings can affect the operation of certain devices.

6. Operating System Issues:

  • Problems with the Windows operating system itself can sometimes cause this error.

Steps to Fix the “Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Error

1. Restart Your Computer

Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve the issue. Restart your computer to see if the device starts correctly.

2. Check Device Connections

For external devices, ensure that all cables are securely connected. Try unplugging and replugging the device to see if it resolves the issue. If you’re using a USB device, try connecting it to a different USB port.

3. Update Device Drivers

Outdated or corrupt drivers are a common cause of the Code 10 error. Updating the drivers can often resolve the issue.

Using Device Manager

  1. Open Device Manager:
  • Press Win + X and select “Device Manager” from the menu.

2. Locate the Device:

  • Find the device with the error (it will usually have a yellow exclamation mark next to it).

3. Update Driver:

  • Right-click on the device and select “Update driver.”
  • Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software.”

Using Manufacturer’s Website

  1. Identify the Device:
  • Note the make and model of the device.

2. Visit Manufacturer’s Website:

  • Go to the device manufacturer’s website and navigate to the support or downloads section.

3. Download and Install the Latest Driver:

  • Find the latest driver for your device, download it, and follow the installation instructions.

4. Roll Back Driver

If the issue started after a recent driver update, rolling back to the previous driver version might resolve the problem.

  1. Open Device Manager:
  • Press Win + X and select “Device Manager.”

2. Locate the Device:

  • Find the device with the error.

3. Roll Back Driver:

  • Right-click on the device and select “Properties.”
  • Go to the “Driver” tab and click “Roll Back Driver.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

5. Uninstall and Reinstall the Device

Uninstalling and then reinstalling the device can sometimes fix the Code 10 error.

  1. Open Device Manager:
  • Press Win + X and select “Device Manager.”

2. Locate the Device:

  • Find the device with the error.

3. Uninstall Device:

  • Right-click on the device and select “Uninstall device.”
  • Confirm the uninstallation.

4. Restart Your Computer:

  • Restart your computer, and Windows should automatically reinstall the device.

6. Check for Windows Updates

Updating Windows can resolve compatibility issues and provide fixes for known bugs.

  1. Open Settings:
  • Press Win + I to open the Settings app.

2. Go to Update & Security:

  • Click on “Update & Security.”

3. Check for Updates:

  • Click “Check for updates” and install any available updates.

7. Disable Power Management Settings

Power management settings can sometimes interfere with device operation, particularly for USB devices.

  1. Open Device Manager:
  • Press Win + X and select “Device Manager.”

2. Locate the Device:

  • Find the device with the error.

3. Disable Power Management:

  • Right-click on the device and select “Properties.”
  • Go to the “Power Management” tab.
  • Uncheck “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”
  • Click “OK” to apply the changes.

8. Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Windows includes a built-in troubleshooter that can help identify and fix hardware issues.

  1. Open Settings:
  • Press Win + I to open the Settings app.

2. Go to Update & Security:

  • Click on “Update & Security.”

3. Run Troubleshooter:

  • Click on “Troubleshoot” in the left pane.
  • Click on “Hardware and Devices” and then “Run the troubleshooter.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

9. Check the Windows Registry

Incorrect or corrupt registry entries can cause device errors. Editing the registry can be risky, so it’s recommended to back up the registry before making any changes.

  1. Open Registry Editor:
  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type regedit and press Enter.

2. Navigate to Device Parameters:

  • Go to the following registry path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\<Device_ID>\Device Parameters
  • Note: Replace <Device_ID> with the appropriate device identifier.

3. Delete Corrupt Entries:

  • If you find entries named “UpperFilters” or “LowerFilters,” right-click on them and select “Delete.”

4. Restart Your Computer:

  • Restart your computer to apply the changes.

10. Check for Hardware Issues

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, the problem might be with the hardware itself.

  1. Test the Device on Another Computer:
  • Connect the device to another computer to see if it works properly. If it does, the problem might be with your computer’s hardware.

2. Replace Faulty Components:

  • If the device does not work on another computer, it might be faulty and need replacement.

11. Perform a System Restore

If the Code 10 error started recently, performing a system restore can revert your system to a previous state before the problem occurred.

  1. Open System Restore:
  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type rstrui and press Enter.

2. Choose Restore Point:

  • Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a restore point before the error started.

3. Restore System:

  • Complete the restoration process and restart your computer.

12. Perform a Clean Boot

A clean boot can help identify if background applications or services are causing the Code 10 error.

  1. Open System Configuration:
  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type msconfig and press Enter.

2. Configure Clean Boot:

  • In the System Configuration window, go to the “Services” tab.
  • Check “Hide all Microsoft services” and then click “Disable all.”
  • Go to the “Startup” tab and click “Open Task Manager.”
  • Disable all startup items in Task Manager.
  • Close Task Manager and click “OK” in the System Configuration window.

3. Restart Your Computer:

  • Restart your computer to perform a clean boot.

4. Check for the Error:

  • See if the Code 10 error persists. If not, re-enable services and startup items one by one to identify the cause.

13. Reinstall Windows

As a last resort, reinstalling Windows can resolve persistent issues, including the Code 10 error.

  1. Backup Data:
  • Ensure you backup all important data before proceeding.

2. Create Installation Media:

  • Use the Windows Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB drive.

3. Install Windows:

  • Boot from the installation media and follow the prompts to perform a clean installation of Windows.

Conclusion

The “Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” error can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from driver issues to hardware problems. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can systematically diagnose and fix the issue. Whether it’s updating drivers, checking connections, or performing a system restore, these solutions cover the most common causes of the Code 10 error. If all else fails, reinstalling Windows can provide a fresh start and eliminate persistent problems.

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