What is “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error

The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned is an error message that one may receive while plugging a USB device on Windows 11. As a result, users become unable to read what’s on their external drive, use a mouse, keyboard, or other peripheral devices. This issue was also quite popular and frequently seen in previous Windows generations. Unfortunately, there is no single reason why such errors tend to appear. The range of possible causes usually narrows down to malfunctioned/outdated drivers, corrupted USB ports, and unpartitioned USB drives. As a rule, fixing this error should not be a huge deal with the help of effective instructions. If simply replugging your device into a PC does not remove the issue, then follow our solutions in the tutorial below.

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair to fix “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP.

1. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

This is an easy and quick solution to try. We will engage Windows troubleshooting abilities to try and address the issue on a software level. Here is how:

  1. Right-click on the Windows 11 icon and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
  2. Then, copy-paste this command line msdt.exe -id devicediagnostic and press Enter.
  3. Once the troubleshooter window appears, click Next and wait until Windows finishes scanning your system for potential problems.
  4. If anything is found, click Apply this fix and restart your PC when prompted.

2. Update USB drivers

Drivers play an important role in running proper communication between hardware and the entire system. Thus, it is reasonable to suspect there could be a problem with some USB drivers which leads to the unrecognition of USB devices. Do the following to update them and potentially resolve the issue.

  1. Right-click on the Windows 11 icon and select Device Manager.
  2. In the opened tab find and expand a section called Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  3. Ideally, you should update all drivers you see on the list. Right-click on it, select Update Driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Windows will start searching for available updates and automatically install them on your computer.
  5. If you see a driver marked with a yellow triangle, this means it is malfunctioned and more likely the one causing the problem.

Updating each driver manually can be time- and energy-consuming. If you want to update drivers faster, we recommend using a special utility called Driver Booster from IObit. It has broad databases of drivers for all of the devices including USB controllers you need to maintain your PC. You can download it using the button below.

Download Driver Booster

3. Uninstall USB drivers

This is another alternative similar to what we performed above. The only difference is that here you uninstall USB adapters and force Windows to reinstall them itself. Windows immediately detects the lack of essential drivers and installs them after the next reboot. In theory, this method should be more effective and make Windows recognize the USB ports next time you plug something in.

  1. Open the same Universal Serial Bus controllers section through Device Manager we did in the first few steps above.
  2. Right-click on visible drivers and choose Uninstall. Do it with each driver you see on the list.
  3. After that, reboot your PC and wait a bit until Windows restores all the deleted drivers.

Then, upon rebooting your PC and waiting a bit, you can try to connect the problematic USB device again. We hope it finally works.

4. Disable USB selective suspend setting

USB selective suspend setting is a Windows feature allowing users to conserve battery power by putting disengaged ports into a suspended mode. In other words, it turns off the operation of other ports that are not used by USB devices. Sometimes this feature may cause problems like the “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error and stop USB devices from working correctly. You can possibly fix it by disabling the USB selective suspend setting. Here is how:

  1. Click on the Search loop icon and type Control Panel.
  2. Choose Power Options from the list. If you do not see it, make sure View by is set to Large icons.
  3. Then, click on Change plan settings next to your selected power plan.
  4. Click Change advanced power settings.
  5. Scroll down the list and until you find USB settings. Expand it and change value of USB selective suspend setting to Disabled.
  6. Finally, click Apply and OK to save the changes.

After applying these steps, try to connect your USB device again. If nothing gets solved, follow the other methods below.

5. Perform a Power Drain

Although this may sound weird, unplugging the power cord of your PC can actually help you resolve the issue. You can do it following this sequence below:

  1. Unplug all the USB devices and shut down your PC.
  2. Then, unplug the power supply cord from your computer and wait a couple of minutes.
  3. After waiting, plug the detached power supply cord back into your PC.
  4. Boot it up and try to connect the problematic USB device again.

No worries if this does not resolve the issue. We have a few more solutions left down below.

6. Partition the USB device

Sometimes a USB device (external drive) may be missing a letter which hinders Windows from recognizing it fully. In such a case, we should manually give that USB device a letter so that Windows could finally see it. Do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Windows 11 icon and select Disk Management
  2. Take a look at the connected disks below.

If you see a disk that says Unallocated under its gigabyte volume, then do the following steps:

  1. Right-click on it and select New Simple Volume.
  2. Once the utility opens, click Next and choose the volume capacity (you can simply leave it as it is by default). Click Next again.
  3. Choose Assign the following drive letter and select any letter you like. Click Next again.
  4. If your USB drive does not have any valuable data, select Format this volume with the following settings and select Next. On the contrary, if there is data stored on the device, choose the first option called Do not format this volume.
  5. Finally, click Next and Finish to complete the process.

If your drive has already been allocated space under its gigabyte volume, then do these steps instead:

  1. Right-click on it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  2. Tap Add and OK in the end.

This should resolve the issue and let Windows finally see your USB drive.

7. Disable Power Management feature

This method implies disabling the Fast Startup feature. It is meant to save your battery power just like the USB suspend setting. You can turn it off without consequences and put it back on in case nothing works out. Follow these steps:

  1. Type Control Panel into the searching tab and open it.
  2. After that locate Power Options.
  3. Click on Choose what the power button does.
  4. Now click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  5. Then disable Turn on fast startup (recommended), Sleep and Hibernate options.
  6. Click on Save Changes.

Now check if the issue appears after plugging your device again.

8. Try using a different USB cable

If none of the above turns out effective in rectifying the error, then you should probably try another USB cable. It is possible that your device or cable is damaged not letting Windows see it. As an alternative, you can also try connecting your device to another PC or laptop and check if the same error appears. If yes, then it is more likely something wrong with the device itself.

Summary

We hope “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error is not there to bother you anymore. If there is anything more you have problems with on your PC (e.g. errors, malware, unwanted programs, etc.), feel free to look them up on our website. There are plenty of new topics we publish each day to help users resolve various issues.

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