What is “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” error

Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) is a popular error that can be encountered on both Windows 10 and 11 operating systems. In the majority of cases, it indicates that Windows could not detect and recognize the connected USB device. To get more information on the appeared error, users can enter the Device Manager and see a device named Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed). If you open this device, you might see the device status saying “Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems (Code 43). A request for the USB device descriptor failed.”. This, therefore, prevents users from using their USB devices for transferring or reviewing files. The reason why such errors occur is not binary, however, it is more likely to merge due to an outdated or corrupted driver, missing system components, or hardware malfunction. Below, we have compiled a list of solutions potentially able to address the issue. Note that all solutions presented are compatible with both Windows 10 and 11 and even older versions of the OS.

Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) error

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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 “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” error in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP.

1. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

It is recommended that users start their solution journey with this easy method. It involves Windows troubleshooting abilities to try and address the issue on a software level. Here is how:

  1. Press Windows key + R buttons together, copy-paste this line msdt.exe -id devicediagnostic and press Enter.
  2. Once the troubleshooter window appears, click Next and wait until Windows finishes scanning your system for potential problems.
  3. If anything is found, click Apply this fix and restart your PC when prompted.

2. Update USB drivers

Drivers play an extremely important role in the establishment of proper operation between hardware and the operating system itself. Based on this, it is reasonable to assume that 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 icon and select Device Manager.
  2. In the opened tab find and expand a section called Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  3. First, try to update the unregonized device Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) if such is visible on the list. Right-click on it, select Update Driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. If this does not resolve the issue, do the same with other USB devices as well.
  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 in bulk, we recommend using a special utility called Driver Booster from IObit. The program is equipped and always updated with broad databases of drivers for all Windows devices including USB controllers. You can download it using the button below.

Download Driver Booster

3. Uninstall the problematic USB driver

This is another alternative similar to what we performed above. The only difference is that here you uninstall the problematic USB adapter. This is made to make Windows reinstall it from scratch. Windows is educated to immediately detect the lack of essential drivers and install them after the next reboot. In theory, this method should be more effective and make Windows recognize the USB device next time you plug it into your system.

  1. Open the same Universal Serial Bus controllers section through Device Manager we did in the first few steps above.
  2. Right-click on Unknown USB Device or other problematic adapter and choose Uninstall.
  3. After that, reboot your PC and wait a bit until Windows restores the deleted adapter.

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 Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) error and stop USB devices from working correctly. You can try disabling this feature to see whether it fixes the error. 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. Disable Power Management feature

In this method we are going to show how to disable the Fast Startup feature. The feature is meant to save your battery power just like the USB suspend setting. You can feel yourself free to turn it off without being afraid of some implications 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.

Summary

Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) is very similar to another problem (“The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error) we discussed on our blog. We hope you are no longer a victim of this annoying issue and are finally able to use your USB device for its purpose.

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