Fixed: Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) in Windows 11/10

Position: How Tos - Fixed: Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) in Windows 11/10

This page provides you with 9 step-by-step solutions to resolve the "Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)" error in Windows 11/10. The error typically appears when you plug a USB device into your computer and Windows is unable to communicate with the device properly. The issue can occur due to various reasons, but you can try fixes here to get rid of it.

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"I have a 64GB USB flash drive that I haven't used for about a year. Now I constantly get a massage saying that the device has malfunctioned. Device Manager shows a similar massage. I formatted the USB drive twice now and still get the error. I tried unplugging and plugging the device, but nothing changes. I cannot find any further information about the USB drive in Device Manager except the hardware ID is USB\DEVICE_DESCRIPTOR_FAILURE. What should I do to be able to access the USB device properly?"

Your USB device cannot be recognized or reports device descriptor request failure error in Windows 11/10/8/7? We use USB devices all the time and it is quite frustrating when it is malfunctioned, not working or not recognized in Windows. The USB device_descriptor_failure is one of the issues we often encounter. In this article, you can find 9 reliable solutions to fix the problem and make your drive work again.


When it comes to transferring data from one device to another, USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices might be the first choice. USB devices come in various types, such as USB flash drives, memory cards, pen drives, etc. They are portable, small-sized and large in capacity, making users carry huge amount data or transfer data between devices.

What does "Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)" error mean? The USB device descriptor is used to store information for USB drives and it is responsible for recognizing different USB devices. If it fails to work properly on Windows 10 or Windows 11, the USB drive cannot be recognized by operating system and you may get errors like code 43. When you insert the USB device to your computer, you may get one of the following messages depending on your PC.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

"USB device not recognized. The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognized"

"One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it."

"Try reconnecting the device. If Windows still does not recognize it, your device may not be working properly."


"Unknown USB device (device descriptor request failed) code 43"

"USB vid_0000&pid_0008 5&3a33fe6e&0&5"

If you open Device Manager, you can see the USB device which is displayed under Universal Serial Bus controllers is marked with a yellow exclamation icon and with message "Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)". If you check its properties, you can see error message " Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43) . A request for the USB device descriptor failed" in the Device status section of the General tab.

In addition to error messages above, you may also encounter other symptoms, for example, the USB device my repeatedly disconnect and reconnect automatically, making it difficult to use. In some cases, the USB device might become unresponsive or not respond to any commands from the computer. Sometimes, the Device Descriptor Request Failed error is not limited to USB storage devices, which means it may also occur to other USB peripherals such as keyboards, mice, printers, etc.

What causes unknown USB device device descriptor request failed?

The error discussed in this article can be caused by various factors, and here are some common reasons that can lead to this error:

  • Windows cannot find the description of the USB device in question.
  • The USB device that reports error code 43 cannot communicate properly with computer, as there might be a connection issue.
  • Drivers of the USB device are outdated, incompatible, lost, or corrupted, leading to problems in communicating between computer and the USB device.
  • There are errors in some software or hardware components, for example, USB ports on the computer might be damaged, faulty, or not functioning correctly.
  • The USB controller you are using is corrupted or unstable.
  • Outdated or incorrect BIOS or UEFI settings can affect USB device recognition and lead to the error.
  • The USB device itself might be faulty or damaged. The hardware issue such as bad sectors prevents the USB drive from responding to the device descriptor request.
  • Windows is not up to date. Certain Windows updates or driver updates can bring about compatibility issues or bugs that affecting the USB device communication.
  • Errors in system files. Critical system files that are related to USB functionality are corrupted or missing.

If you are troubled by this issue now and have no idea how to fix it. How to solve a request for the USB device descriptor failed? Just continue reading the rest part which will present a couple of methods to help you troubleshoot this issue without losing data.

Solution #1: Check USB device & connection status

The first move to fix the issue should be making sure the USB device and connection is in good condition. If there is not hardware issue, you need to move to other solutions in this post.

Step 1. Disconnect and Reconnect the USB Device: Sometimes, a simple disconnection and reconnection of the USB device can resolve temporary communication issues. Safely remove the USB device from the computer, wait for a few seconds, and then reconnect it to a different USB port.

Step 2. Restart your computer: A restart can help in refreshing the USB connections and drivers. Reboot your computer and check if the error persists after it starts up again.

Step 3. Use a different USB port. Unplug the USB device which reposts not recognized error and insert it to another USB port to see if it can be recognized properly by Windows. This can make sure if the issue is caused by damaged USB ports.

Step 4. Test the USB device on another computer. Insert the device to a different computer to check if the USB device descriptor error is caused by PC itself.

Step 5. Check power supply. If the USB device requires additional power, make sure it is connected to an external power source or use a powered USB hub to provide sufficient power. Remove power plug from your laptop. Then restart computer and insert the USB device. Then check if the issue can be solved.

Solution #2: Use Hardware and Device troubleshooter

If your computer has installed Windows 10 Creator Update, you can try the new troubleshooting tool to fix the problem. It is a Windows built-in universal troubleshooting tool and it can be used to check and repair various system problems.

Step 1. Click "Start" menu and select the Settings icon.

Step 2. On the popup-up window click Update & Security option.

Step 3. Click "Troubleshoot" on the left pane and look for Hardware and Devices option on the right pane.

Step 4. Click button "Run the troubleshooter" and wait for the troubleshooter to finish. If any problems are found, it will fix them automatically.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Solution #3: Uninstall and update the USB drivers in Device Manager

The USB device descriptor failure issue usually has something to do with problematic USB drivers, for example, USB drivers on your computer might be outdated, corrupted, missing or broken. Therefore, you can try updating drivers for USB controllers to fix the issue.

Step 1. Open Device Manager. Press Windows key and R together to open Run dialog box. Type devmgmt.msc in Run and click "OK" to open Device Manager.

Step 2. Browse the list and expand category Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Then you can locate the malfunctioned USB drive which is tagged with a exclamation mark and named with "Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)" or "Unknown USB Device (Link in Compliance Mode)".

Step 3. Right-click on it and select "Uninstall" option from context menu. Once drivers are uninstalled successfully, restart computer and Windows will reinstall the device automatically.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 4. If Windows cannot install drivers correctly, you can go to manufacturer's site of your USB device and download the latest drivers. Then you can install drivers manually.

Solution #4: Check and repair bad sectors for the malfunctioned USB device

Bad sectors are areas that cannot be read or written, if a disk contains too many bad sectors, you'll have to consider replacing it with a new one. Here we'd like to recommend free partition manager software to check and repair bad sectors for USB drives. You can download DiskGenius Free Edition and follow steps below to repair damaged USB drives. It should be noted that the bad sector scanning process is safe, and yet the bad sector repairing process damages data and you should back up or recover data first if you want to repair bad sectors on USB drives.

Step 1. Launch DiskGenius and you can see the USB drive in the main interface.

Step 2. Select the USB drive from the left pane and click "Disk" menu to select " Verify Or Repair Bad Sectors ".

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 3. Click "Start Verify" button below and the software starts to scan the USB drive.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 4. Complete the scanning complete, DiskGenius reports if any bad sectors have been found. If the USB drive contains bad sectors, you can click "Repair" button to get them repaired.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 5. DiskGenius prompts repairing bad sectors damages data and you should create backup in advance. Click "OK" to continue.

Solution #5: Disable Fast Startup to fix USB device failure

The fast startup feature relates to hibernate and shutdown, which is designed to make computer boot faster. However, some users report that this feature makes computer performs so quickly that Windows 10 cannot detect USB device and the USB device descriptor failure appears. If that is the case, you can follow these steps to turn off fast startup.

Step 1. Press "Windows" key and "R" key from keyboard at the same time to open Run dialog box.

Step 2. Type "control" in searching box and click "OK" button. This will open Control Panel.

Step 3. Type "Power options" in the search box of Control panel and click "Change what the power buttons do" from searching result.

Step 4. Click "Change settings that are currently unavailable" link under Define power buttons and turn on password protection.

Step 5. Unselect "Turn on Fast Startup (recommended)" option under Shutdown settings and click "Save changes" button. Then restart computer and check if the USB device issue solves.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Solution #6: Disable USB Selective Suspend Settings

In some cases, operating system will put the USB port in low-power mode if the USB selective suspend setting is enabled. If so, the USB drive connecting to this port won't be able to work normally and cause USB device_descriptor_failure problem. To solve the problem we can try disabling this feature via following steps:

Step 1. Open Control Panel and click System Security, and you can find and click Power Options. If you are using laptop, you can right-click on battery icon and select Power Options.

Step 2. Expand "Show additional plans" and click "Change plan settings" link which belongs to High performance option.

Step 3. Click "Change advanced power settings" from the lower part.

Step 4. On the Advanced settings tab find and expand "USB settings". Then expand the sub-category "USB selective suspend setting".

Step 5. Select Disabled for both "On battery" and "Plugged in" settings. Click "OK" and "Apply" buttons and reboot computer.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Solution #7: Update driver software for Generic USB Hub

Step 1. Right-click on Start menu and select "Device Manager", and this opens Device Manager.

Step 2. Browse the list and expand option "Universal Serial Bus controllers".

Step 3. Right-click "Generic USB Hub" entry and select "Update Driver Software" from context menu.

Step 4. Now the "Update Driver Software Generic USB Hub" window pops up and you should select "Browse my computer for driver software".
This option helps to locate and install driver software manually. Thus you may need to download the driver to your computer beforehand. If you cannot find drivers, you can try selecting "Search automatically for updated driver software".

Step 5. Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer". The list will show installed driver software compatible with the device, and all driver software in the same category at the device.

Step 6. Select Generic USB Hub item and click "Next" button. Then wait for the installation to finish and close.

Solution #8: Check for Windows updates

Windows updates are crucial for keeping your operating system secure, stable, and up to date with the latest features and improvements. If you're using Windows 11 or Windows 10, make sure your operating system is up to date. Sometimes, an outdated driver or system component can cause USB-related issues. Here are how to check and install Windows updates:

Step 1. Click the Start menu (the Windows logo) in the lower-left corner of your screen and click Settings (the gear icon).

Step 2. On the settings window, go to Update & Security > Windows Update.

Step 3. Click "Check for updates" button in the Windows Update section. Then Windows will start checking if there are available updates.

Step 4. Click "Download" or "Download and install" button to start downloading and installing the updates.

Note that the Windows updating process can sometimes take a while to download and install, especially there are major updates. It is important to have a statable Internet connection and power source during the updating process. Moreover, the Windows updates usually require restarting computer one or more times, you should ensure you have saved any unsaved work and closed applications before restarting computer.

Solution #9: Recover lost/deleted files from USB flash drives in Windows

This method can be used to retrieve lost data from damaged USB flash drives , SD cards, external hard drives, HDDs, virtual disks, etc. If your USB drive which cannot be recognized by Windows holds important files that do not have a backup, you should perform USB flash drive recovery in the first place.

Step 1. Install and launch DiskGenius from your computer. Then you can view the malfunctioned USB device in this software.

Step 2. Right-click on the partition or drive from which you want to recover lost data, and select "Recover Lost Files" option.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 3. Select recovery mode and click "Start" button.

To recover data from malfunctioned or not recognized USB drive, the "Complete Recovery" mode should be selected. Also, the "Search For Known File Types" option should be selected, because this option performs deep scanning and it is very useful when retrieving data from damaged drive.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

DiskGenius is now searching for lost files, and many files have been found and listed in the software.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 4. Preview files to check if files are correct.

You can double click a file to view file content in its original size, thus you can make sure if the file can be correctly recovered. DiskGenius supports previewing photos, documents (Microsoft Office files, PDF, Text, etc), videos and audio files.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed

Step 5. Recover files from the USB disk by copying them to a different location. Select files you want to recover, right-click them and select "Copy To". Then you can specify a location to save recovered data.

Unknown USB device Device Descriptor Request Failed


We just mentioned 9 solutions to fix the unknown USB device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) error. We hope these methods can help you and now you can repair it on your own. Also, if the USB drive contains important data, you should apply data recovery before trying any repairing actions. If you have exhausted troubleshooting steps above and still can't resolve the issue, seeking help from a computer technician or the device manufacturer's support team might be necessary.


1. Why does my USB drive show up as an unknown device?

There are several reasons why your USB drive might show up as an unknown device, for example, driver issues, corrupted file system, corrupted file system, damaged USB port or cable, power supply problems, damaged USB drive, etc.

2. How do I force Windows to recognize a USB device?

If the USB drive is connected by not showing or recognized in Windows 11/10, you can try these methods to fix it: Try re-plugging the USB device, restart computer, check if the USB port is damaged, reinstall drivers for the USB device, use Windows Troubleshooters, etc.

3. What is USB device descriptor request failed code 43?

Code 43 is an error code that appears in the Device Manager on Windows computers when a USB device encounters a problem and cannot be recognized or used properly. It indicates a generic issue related to the USB device and is displayed as "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)." The error indicates that Windows has detected an issue while attempting to retrieve the device descriptor from the USB device, and as a result, the device cannot be recognized or used properly.

4. How do I fix unknown USB on Windows 11?

To fix an unknown USB device issue on Windows 11, you can follow several troubleshooting steps: try connecting the USB on a different USB port or computer, run chkdsk for fix errors in system, run SFC, reinstall drivers for USB devices and controllers, install Windows updates, check/repair sectors for the device, etc.

5. How to fix Unknown USB device port reset failed issue for Windows 10?

You can try these methods to resolve the Unknown USB Device (Port Reset Failed) error on Windows: check connections between the USB device and computer, uninstall and reinstall USB drivers, check if there is something wrong with BIOS/UEFI settings, run disk error checking for the USB drive, etc.

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