Fixing the “This Device Cannot Start (code 10)” in Windows

Fixing the “This Device Cannot Start (code 10)” in Windows

/ Sed Galope

When using your operating system, it’s always at its best when simultaneously running multiple software on your device. Although it seems seamless, an error code is bound to happen whenever there’s high performance involved.

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The device cannot start (code 10) indicates a problem with the hardware or software associated with the device. The code may be caused by an incompatible device driver, a faulty connection, or other hardware-related issues. To resolve this issue, you will need to identify and address the source of the code 10 error to get your device working again.

Update Windows if you receive the “Device Cannot Start” code 10 error

“This device cannot start” is two types of issues, i.e., an error linked to the device manager and an error related to any software (a system-specific mistake). In case of an error linked to the device manager, it impedes the hardware device from performing accurately.

It could occur due to outdated windows or drivers. In this context, updating windows and driver software to the latest updated version is the quick fix to resolve ‘this device cannot start.’ Here are the steps to update windows.

Step 1: Launch settings via the main menu and select the update and security option from the settings window. You can also access the ‘settings’ menu from the keyboard, i.e., simultaneously press the Windows key + I. 

windows i keyboard shortcut

Step 2: In the update and security window, select the option of windows update. And check for updates—select update to resolve errors. Your device will install the update automatically. 

windows update and security
check updates

Rollback the System

Rolling back your device confirms the compatibility between the operating system (windows) and drivers installed for specific functions. It facilitates the hardware drivers to check the compatibility status with windows.

Rolling back or returning to an earlier build version on your device can resolve the error. Here are the steps to fix the error. 

Step 1: Launch ‘settings’ from the main menu or access it via windows key + I. 

windows i keyboard shortcut

Step 2: In the settings menu, select the option of ‘update and security.’ 

windows update and security

Step 3: In the left pane of ‘update and security,’ click on ‘recovery’ and under recovery, locate the option of ‘go back to an earlier build.’ 

go back to previous version

Step 4: Click on ‘get started’ to complete the action.

get started option

Perform System Restore Earlier Device Drivers and Windows Version

Sometimes, ‘go back to an earlier build’ cannot work as the ‘get started’ option is not accessible or says the operation failed. In this regard, restoring your device to an earlier version can fix the code 10 error. The error may also result from any recent update on your device blocking the normal functioning of the hardware device. Here are the steps to restore to an earlier version. 

Step 1: Launch ‘run utility’ by clicking the windows key + R on the keyboard. 

Step 2: In the run command box, type ‘rstrui‘ and click ‘enter’ to continue. 

rstrui command

Step 3: Click ‘ok’ to proceed in the following pop-up window. 

Step 4: Select the recommended restore point for your device and click ‘next’ to continue.

select restoration option

Step 5: Complete the wizard and restart your device to check if the error still exists. 

Run the Troubleshooter if You Receive the Device Cannot Start code

Using a hardware and devices troubleshooter to fix the error is always beneficial, as it helps to detect the error and makes appropriate fixes to resolve the problem. In the case of ‘this device cannot start (code 10)’, if the error occurs due to the attached hardware device, it will facilitate diagnosing and repairing the faulty hardware driver. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step 1: Right-click the windows icon in the main menu of your device. Select the option of ‘Powershell’ or ‘command prompt’ from the list. 

right click windows button
select prowershell option

Step 2: As the command prompt launches, type ‘msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic‘ in the box. 

device diagnostic

Step 3: The troubleshooter utility will appear in the next window; click ‘enter’ to continue.

hardware device troubleshooter

Step 4: As the troubleshooter completes the scan, it will display the appropriate repair options. 

Reinstall the Touchpad Driver 

One possible solution to the “device cannot start (code 10) error” is manually reinstalling the driver for the affected device. This can be done by accessing the Device Manager in Windows and locating the device in question. From there, you may need to uninstall or update driver settings, depending on whether or not a newer version is available.

This can help quickly resolve issues with your device and ensure that your system is running at peak performance and stability. Reinstalling the driver manually can help address potential problems with your device and get it working again without requiring complex troubleshooting steps or technical expertise.

Reinstalling the device driver can be done via the device manager. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch the ‘device manager’ by clicking the windows key + X simultaneously or type ‘device manager‘ in the taskbar’s search box and double-click the option to launch. 

windows search device manager

Step 2: In the ‘device manager’ window, select the ‘human interface devices’ option to expand.

human interface device

Step 3: In the next window, locate the ‘HID-compliant’ touchpad and right-click to select ‘uninstall’ from the drop-down.

hid compliant
unnstall hid compliant

Step 4: As the process completes, the driver will be uninstalled. Reboot your device and allow it to reinstall compatible drivers automatically.

uninstall hid compliant controller
restart computer

Reinstall the Driver Manually

Sometimes, drivers’ automatic installation on the device must be fixed. So installing drivers manually can resolve the issue. Here are the steps. 

Step 1: Launch’ device manager’ via Run utility. Launch the ‘run’ utility via windows key + R, and in the command box, type ‘devmgmt. msc‘ and click ‘enter’ to continue. It will launch the device manager. 

device manager

Step 2: In the device manager window, select the hardware device causing the error and right-click to select ‘uninstall the device.’ 

uninstall graphics driver

Step 3: In the following options list, select ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ and click ‘uninstall’ to confirm. Restart your device. 

restart computer

Step 4: Download the updated drivers from the manufacturer’s website and unzip the zip file to initiate installation. Complete the wizard to install drivers manually on your device. 

Repair Corrupted Files

Code 10 errors may also occur due to corrupted or faulty files embedded in the problematic device driver, restricting the device from registering the files. The mistake from defective files could be resolved by fixing the corrupted file. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step 1: In the taskbar’s search box, type ‘cmd‘ to launch the ‘command prompt.’ 

Step 2: Right-click the prompt option to ‘run as administrator.’ 

run as admin cmd

Step 3: In the command prompt, type ‘regsvr32 /u btmshellex.dll‘ and click ‘enter.’ It will unregister the device’s dll files. 


Step 4: In the following line, type ‘regsvr32 btmshellex.dll’ and click ‘enter.’ It will register the dll files. Restart the device and check if the error exists. 

reinstall regsvr32

Delete Upper Filters and Lower Filters in the Registry

There are specific values for filter drivers in the registry, and deleting those values could resolve the error, and both the windows and hardware would work accurately. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch the ‘Run’ utility by windows key + R. In the command box, type ‘regedit‘ to launch ‘registry editor.’ 


Step 2: In the navigation pane on the left, locate the following key: ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class’

Step 3: In the option of ‘class,’ select the option of ‘GUIDs’ corresponding to different hardware in the device manager. 

regedit class folder

Step 4: Select the appropriate ‘GUID’ by entering an accurate registry value, and search for ‘upper filter’ and ‘lower filters’ (the faulty one). 

regedit change filter settings

Step 5: Right-click the filter to select the option of ‘delete’ from the drop-down. Restart your device to check if the error persists. 

delete upperfilters

Frequently Asked Questions About the Device Cannot Start Code

What are Universal Serial Bus Controllers?

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controllers are hardware components that transfer data between a computer and connected devices, such as keyboards, mice, printers, and external storage drives.

These controllers provide an easy-to-use interface for connecting peripherals to a computer, allowing users to quickly transfer information between devices without needing complex or proprietary protocols. A USB controller is compatible with many computer systems and operating systems, making it a convenient choice for many users.

What are Device Manager Error Codes?

Device manager error codes (like cannot start code 10) are a set of error codes generated by the device manager when there is an issue with a hardware device connected to the system from the device manufacturer. These codes can be generated for a variety of different types of hardware issues when it fails a requested operation, including;

– driver compatibility issues
– hardware incompatibility
– issues related to the physical device itself.

Standard Windows errors like “Code 10: The driver for this device might be corrupted or missing” and “Code 19: The device cannot start” happen frequently. To resolve these errors, it may be necessary to update or reinstall the relevant drivers, perform troubleshooting steps to determine the cause of the issue, or replace the faulty hardware component.

Why does a Currently Installed Driver Require Updates?

The current driver for your device may require updates to ensure that it is operating optimally in the driver tab. This could be due to several factors, including changes in system requirements or incompatibility with other drivers or software on your system.

Updating your device’s driver regularly is essential to ensure performance and stability. This can be done either manually through your device’s settings or automatically using a tool such as a driver updater. By updating your driver regularly, you can help avoid errors and conflicts that can cause problems with your device or lead to data loss.

Is a USB Controller a USB Device?

A USB controller is a USB device that provides the hardware interface for communicating with other devices over the Universal Serial Bus (USB). This can include controllers for keyboards, mice, printers, and other input or output peripherals.

Unlike other types of USB devices, which are typically more minor and operate independently from a host computer system, USB controllers generally are more significant and rely on the host computer’s hardware to manage. Because of this, a USB controller is usually considered a peripheral rather than a device in its own right.

However, some newer models of USB controllers can function as standalone devices without additional hardware support from a host computer system.

What is a Powered USB Hub?

A power USB hub is a device that allows multiple USB ports and audio devices to be connected and powered from a single port on a computer or other device. These hubs typically provide additional ports so that more devices can be connected without requiring a different connection to the computer.

They are also typically equipped with additional ports for power supply, allowing the hub to act as a charging station for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, or digital cameras. Some models of power USB hubs even feature other connectivity options like Ethernet or Firewire, allowing all the USB controllers to serve as a central hub for multiple types of peripherals.

Can External Devices Cause the “Device Cannot Start” Error?

External devices such as hard drives, USB flash drives, or wireless adapters are often prone to error messages such as the “device cannot start (code 10)” error.

This can be due to a variety of factors, including;
– corrupted or damaged drivers
– faulty hardware connections
– incompatible software.

To resolve this issue, it is essential to troubleshoot the root cause of the problem and take appropriate measures to address it. This may involve reinstalling drivers or updating software, repairing hardware connections, or removing third-party plugins and extensions from your system. The best way to resolve a code 10 error is to identify and fix the underlying cause of the problem.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.