How to Fix Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device)

How to Fix Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device)

/ Shayne Sherman

Windows 10 is arguably the best operating system released by Microsoft to date. However, while this OS is mostly stable, there will be times when you might experience errors.

For example, the Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device) or Generic USB Hub error can happen to anyone. These errors can easily cause delay especially if you need important data that can only be accessed through USB ports.

What Is Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device) All About?

The USB device descriptor is a utility that helps identify the connected device each time you try plugging in a USB device to your PC. In doing so, your PC will be able to determine which device driver to load.

Unfortunately, if the USB Device Descriptor Request Failed or Generic USB Hub error message occurs, your computer will not be able to recognize your USB device. You will likely see an error message like:

            “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)”

Since most computer users utilize all sorts of USB devices all the time, this error can be frustrating. When you need to access important data inside your USB devices, getting a device descriptor failure or a Generic USB Hub error message can easily cause delays.

Top Reasons for the Device Descriptor Request Failed Error

The Device Descriptor Request failure error is typically due to hardware or system-specific problems. Furthermore, some of the reasons why you could be having this error are:

  • An issue when replacing some computer parts (hardware).
  • Broken USB Ports.
  • Issues with the latest software update
  • Corrupted USB drivers, infected, or damaged USB drivers
  • Outdated USB drivers currently available in the computer
  • BIOS system needs an update

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5 Quick Fixes to Try Out

Before you try doing the advanced changes, have a go at these quick and easy solutions.

  1. Try removing your power supply. Be sure to power off your PC first before removing and returning the power supply. Sometimes an issue with the power source can cause problems with how your computer operates.
  2. Reboot your computer. Sometimes, your PC will repair any issues simply by rebooting it. Unplug any USB devices and restart your PC. This may also fix unknown USB device errors.
  3. Try plugging in your USB device into a different Universal Serial Bus port. This may resolve your issue especially if one of the ports is simply broken.
  4. Plug your USB device into an alternative computer. This action will help determine if your USB device is damaged or your PC’s system drivers are problematic.
  5. Disable fast startup setting. There will be times when your PC utilizes the fast startup option causing several issues to your computer’s performance.

Disable/Enable it following these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button located at the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Next, type Control Panel and press Enter.
  4. Then, click Power Options.
  5. Click Choose what the power buttons do.
  6. Next, click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  7. After clicking on the Change settings that are currently unavailable option, toggle the Turn on fast startup (recommended) so that the checkmark disappears.
  8. Once you were able to disable the fast startup, click Save changes then close the window and plug your USB device. Hopefully this fixes any errors pertaining to the USB Device Descriptor.

If you need to re-enable fast startup repeat the steps and click to see if the checkmark appears next to Turn on fast startup.

Best Advance Fixes To Try

Unfortunately, some issues may be more than quick solutions can handle. You can these advanced fixes to solve your problem.

Method 1 – Use Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

One of the beauties of Windows 10 is that it comes with several troubleshooting applications that can help you fix any type of issue including issues with USB drivers. You can easily change it in the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter options.

  1. Click the “Start” menu and choose the Settings icon.
click start and settings
  1. You will see a popup-up window click Update & Security option.
click start and settings 1
  1. Click “Troubleshoot” on the left pane and click on “Additional Troubleshooters.
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  1. Here, you can select the Hardware and Devices that needs troubleshooting. The options are specific, so you will have to select the corresponding option.
click start and settings 3

Method 2 – Uninstall and Reinstall the USB Driver in Device Manager

Sometimes your USB Driver could be causing the issue. This can be fixed by simply uninstalling and reinstalling it through the device manager.

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon located at the lower-left corner of your display.
  2. Choose Device Manager.
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  1. In Device Manager expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
  2. Locate the USB device which is not recognized by Windows.
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  1. Right-clicking on the device will bring up a list of options, select Uninstall from the context menu.
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  1. Once you complete uninstalling close out the device manager, restart your computer then Windows will automatically reinstall the device.
  2. After getting your computer back on, open Device Manager once again, plug your USB Device and look for any errors such as the Unknown USB Device error. If there’s none, then it means the the issue has been fixed.

Method 3 – Turn on Windows Services Plug and Play

Plug and Play (PnP) is a Windows 10 feature that allows your computer to adapt to hardware changes without the need for technical and difficult manual configuration. Sometimes when Plug and Play are not on your computer may not automatically read the USB device.

  1. On your keyboard press Windows key and R keys on your keyboard.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter.
Services msc 1
  1. In Windows Services, find the name Plug and Play.
  2. Double-click on it to open the Properties window.
  3. Toggle on the Startup type. Try to turn it to Disabled and Stopped, save the changes. Next, change the Disabled and Stopped to Manual and Running.
click start and settings 7
  1. Click OK and Apply.
  2. Reboot your PC

Method 4 – Update Your USB Device’s Drivers

In this method, try to fix the issue by updating the drivers. Sometimes using outdated or corrupted drivers can cause numerous problems to your PC. This can be fixed by simply downloading and applying new drivers.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu button and choose Device Manager.
click start and settings 4
  1. Once in Device Manager expand Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Failed) from the list. This is typically located under Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
click start and settings 9
  1. Once you find the Unknown USB Device under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers, expand it and right-click on it. Click on Update Driver.
update USB
  1. Next, click on Search automatically for updated driver software.
search driver automatically

Your Windows 10 will automatically download and install the latest drivers. Once the process is completed, reboot your computer and check if the Unknown USB Device is still present under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers in Device Manager.

Method 5 – Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting

Sometimes Windows 10 will place the USB ports in low-power mode. This can happen if the USB selective suspend setting is enabled. As a result, the USB drive connecting to the USB port smay not work and cause errors. To solve the issue this issue with the USB Ports, try disabling this feature in the USB Selective Suspend Setting with the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon located at the lower-left corner of your display.
  2. Choose Search.
windows search 1
  1. Type Control Panel and hit enter.
windows search 2
  1. Click System Security, and locate and click Power Options. Alternatively, if you are using a laptop, you can right-click on the battery icon and select Power Options.
windows search 3
windows search 4
  1. Expand “Show additional plans” and click the “Change plan settings” link which belongs to the High performance option.
change power plan 1
  1. Click “Change advanced power settings” from the lower part.
change power plan 2
  1. After clicking on the Change advanced power settings, on the Advanced settings tab locate and expand “USB settings”.
  2. Then expand the sub-category “USB selective suspend setting”.
  3. Next, choose Disabled for both “On battery” and “Plugged in” settings.
change power plan 3
  1. Click the “OK” and “Apply” buttons and restart the computer. Once your computer comes back on, plug your connect USB device to one of the USB ports and check if you still see the error that says Unknown USB Device.

Method 6 – Scan Your Computer for Hardware Changes

In this method, you can try to scan your PC for any hardware changes. Once the scan is complete, your PC could recognize the connected USB device.

  1. Plug the USB device into your computer.
  2. Press Windows Key + X and open the Device Manager.
change power plan 4
  1. In the Device Manager’s header, click the Action tab and select Scan for hardware changes from the list.
change power plan 5
  1. Wait for the scan to complete and check to see if there are any hardware changes that need to be fixed.
  2. Close out the window with the scan for hardware changes option and restart the computer.

Method 6 – Uninstall USB Root Hub Drivers

In this method, we will try to fix the issue by uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers for USB Root Hub devices under Universal Bus Controllers. The Windows will automatically reinstall the drivers once you reboot the computer. Follow these steps to perform to complete method.

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon and choose Device Manager to find the Universal Bus Controllers.
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  1. Expand Universal Bus Controllers. Right-click on the first USB Root Hub select Uninstall device.
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  1. Next, repeat the above step for the remaining USB Root Hub devices.
  2. Reboot your computer to confirm if the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Failed) has been fixed.

Method 7 – Restore Your Computer To Previous Recovery Points

When all else fails you can restore your computer’s previous settings. This will help fix any issues such as when your PC is not performing correctly due to an update. Note, before doing a system restore, be sure to download all your important files and save them separate on an external drive or a USB. This process will wipe off any recent changes added to your computer.  

  1. On your keyboard, simultaneously press Windows key and the R keys.
  2. Next, type Control in the command line and hit enter.
image 277
  1. Click on System and Security.
change power plan 7
  1. Click Security and Maintenance and click Recovery, follow the on-screen guide and wait until all the recovery points are shown.
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  1. Restore your PC from the right recovery point.

Final Thought

Windows 10 is a reliable and easy to use operating system preferred by millions of Microsoft users around the world. Unfortunately, while it is usually useful it can become problematic when you see unique errors such as Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device). The methods detailed above are sure solutions to this issue.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.