"Unknown USB Device" error message - how to identify device?

  1. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 942
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    "Unknown USB Device" error message - how to identify device?


    I just got this error message. I haven't added any new USB devices, and I don't think any have gone bad. So, to do trouble-shooting,Is there any way to enumerate USB logical ports and the devices that are attached? I haven't added any new USB devices, and I don't think any have gone bad. So, to do trouble-shooting,

    Any way to link physical USB ports with logical USB ports, for "extra credit." :)

    x509
      My Computers

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 26,086
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1
       #2

    Hi x509.

    Not answering your questions but last time I had this I simply unplugged and reinserted each one until I found issue. One of my scanners which was powered on was giving the error. Once I determined I powered off and powered on. Worked fine so not sure why it was reporting Unknown.
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  3. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,379
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #3

    Press the Win Key+X choose Device Manager. Here, Right click the USB Device with the Yellow Flag, and Uninstall it. Now right click Any device and choose Scan For Hardware Changes, if the yellow flag still comes back, then Right click it again and choose Properties go to the Details Tab, and this should tell you more. If not, under Property, take the Drop down menu and choose Hardware ID copy the first line then paste it into Google to find out what it is.
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  4. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 942
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    spunk said:
    Press the Win Key+X choose Device Manager. Here, Right click the USB Device with the Yellow Flag, and Uninstall it. Now right click Any device and choose Scan For Hardware Changes, if the yellow flag still comes back, then Right click it again and choose Properties go to the Details Tab, and this should tell you more. If not, under Property, take the Drop down menu and choose Hardware ID copy the first line then paste it into Google to find out what it is.
    Great answer. Thanks. I'll do this tomorrow morning.

    x509
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 253
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #5

    When a device connects to a plug and play bus (like usb) there's a bus h/w handshake between the upstream controller and downstream device. Upon a successful handshake, the device sends Windows its device descriptor. Windows uses the device descriptor to id the device and search for a driver. If the handshake fails or windows can't receive the descriptor for any other reason, windows can't recognize it and it's "Unknown"

    Hi @spunk
    spunk said:
    <snip>take the Drop down menu and choose Hardware ID copy the first line then paste it into Google to find out what it is.
    Googling the h/w id of an unknown device won't help. The vendor id within a h/w id should be a non-zero value. However, by definition, vendor id in an unknown device = 0000. I believe you'll find the h/w will start USB\VEN_0000 So h/w id won't help for an unknown device
    @x509
    To my knowledge, no way to map usb connector on m/b to a physical usb port on computer. However, you can use USB Tree Viewer to see the hierarchical connection of usb devices which might help you determine the device now appearing as Unknown

    Here are some things to try. You can


    If you identify the unknown device, and it continues a problem

    • Try different usb ports
    • Try different usb cable
    • As @Caledon Ken noted, power off device. Connect it then power up
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  6. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,971
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #6

    spunk said:
    Press the Win Key+X choose Device Manager. Here, Right click the USB Device with the Yellow Flag, and Uninstall it. Now right click Any device and choose Scan For Hardware Changes, if the yellow flag still comes back, then Right click it again and choose Properties go to the Details Tab, and this should tell you more. If not, under Property, take the Drop down menu and choose Hardware ID copy the first line then paste it into Google to find out what it is.
    Select the offending device in Device Manager the choose View Devices by Connection. This might give you some clue to which device is causing problems.
      My Computers


  7. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,379
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #7

    Unplug each USB device you have separately, one at a time. Scan For Hardware Changes, if the yellow flag goes away when you unplug that device, then that is the now Known device.
      My Computer


 

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