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Dealing with Drivers and Other Tales of Hardware Troubleshooting (part 2) - Interpret Device Manager Errors

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2. Interpret Device Manager Errors

From time to time, Device Manager will report a problem with one of your devices by marking it with a yellow exclamation mark (!) or a red ×. Double-click the device name, and you'll likely see one of the following errors:


This device is not configured correctly (Code 1).

This is a driver problem; click Update Driver to install a new driver.


Windows could not load the driver for this device... (Code 2).

Again, try installing a new driver. If that doesn't work, contact the manufacturer of your motherboard for a BIOS update.


The driver for this device may be bad, or your system may be running low on memory or other resources (Code 3).

Try removing the device (right-click and select Uninstall), restarting Windows, and then reinstalling the driver.


This device is not working properly because one of its drivers may be bad, or your registry may be bad (Code 4).

Of course, try updating the drivers. (Laughably, Microsoft suggests running Scanregw.exe, a program designed for Windows Me and not included in Windows Vista, to fix this error.) If a new driver doesn't fix the problem, try the solution for Code 3, just discussed.


The driver for this device requested a resource that Windows does not know how to handle (Code 5).

Remove the device (right-click and select Uninstall) and then run the Add New Hardware wizard from Control Panel.


Another device is using the resources this device needs (Code 6).

You'll see this error if you've installed a device that doesn't support PnP.


The drivers for this device need to be reinstalled (Code 7).

Click Update Driver to reinstall the drivers. Duh.


This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load... (Code 8).

This may indicate a missing or damaged .inf file, located in the \Windows\INF folder, which may make it difficult to reinstall the driver for this device. If the Reinstall Device button doesn't work (or isn't there), and installing drivers provided by the manufacturer fails, you may have to run Windows setup again.


This device is not working properly because the BIOS in your computer is reporting the resources for the device incorrectly (Code 9).

This indicates a problem with your motherboard's support for ACPI power management . Contact the manufacturer of your motherboard for a BIOS update. Next, try removing the device (right-click and select Uninstall) and then restarting Windows.


This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed (Code 10).

If the device is a PCI or ISA card inserted in your computer, make sure it's firmly seated in its slot. Otherwise, make sure it's plugged in and powered up. If it's an external device, try turning it off and then on again. Then, of course, try removing the drivers (right-click and select Uninstall) and then run the Add New Hardware wizard from Control Panel.


Windows stopped responding while attempting to start this device, and therefore will never attempt to start this device again (Code 11).

Windows may disable devices that prevent it from loading. To re-enable this device, right-click the device name and select Uninstall, and then restart Windows.


This device cannot find any free {type} resources to use (Code 12).

See the solution for error code 6.


This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed (Code 13).

See the solution for error code 10.


This device cannot work properly until you restart your computer (Code 14).

Do I need to tell you what to do here.


This device is causing a resource conflict (Code 15).

See the solution for error code 10.


Windows could not identify all the resources this device uses (Code 16).

Right-click the device, select Properties, and then choose the Resources tab. You may have to fill in some information provided by your hardware documentation. See also the solution for error code 10.


The driver information file {name} is telling this child device to use a resource that the parent device does not have or recognize (Code 17).

You'll need to obtain and install newer drivers for this device.


The drivers for this device need to be reinstalled (Code 18).

See the solution for error code 7.


Your registry may be bad (Code 19).

This extremely helpful message will appear if there is any corrupt data in your Registry pertaining to this device. Note that if you restart Windows, it may revert to an earlier copy of your Registry, which you may nor may not want to happen.


Windows could not load one of the drivers for this device (Code 20).

The driver you're using is likely designed for an earlier version of Windows; contact the manufacturer of the device for a driver written for Windows Vista.


Windows is removing this device (Code 21).

This temporary message will appear immediately after you've attempted to uninstall a device. Close the Properties window, wait a minute or two, and then try again. If it doesn't go away, try restarting Windows.


This device is disabled (Code 22, version 1).

This means you've manually disabled the device by right-clicking and selecting Disable. Click Enable Device to re-enable the device. If you can't enable the device, try removing it (right-click and select Uninstall) and then restarting Windows.


This device is not started (Code 22, version 2).

Some devices can be stopped, either manually or via their drivers. Click Start Device to re-enable the device. If this persists, look for updated drivers, and see whether the device has any power management features you can disable.


This display adapter is functioning correctly (Code 23).

Despite the fact that the message states the device is functioning correctly, there's obviously a problem. This typically occurs in systems with two display adapters (video cards), wherein one doesn't fully support being installed in a system with two display adapters. Try updating the drivers for both cards, and look for an updated BIOS for either card.


This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed (Code 24).

See the solution for error code 10.


Windows is in the process of setting up this device (Code 25 and Code 26).

You'll see this if Windows is waiting until the next time it starts to complete the installation of the drivers for this device. Restart Windows to use the device. Note that you may have to restart twice. If that doesn't help, remove the device (right-click and select Uninstall), restart Windows one more time, and then try again.


Windows can't specify the resources for this device (Code 27).

See the solution for error code 16.


The drivers for this device are not installed (Code 28).

Click Reinstall Driver to install the drivers currently on your system, or obtain new drivers from the manufacturer of the device.


This device is disabled because the BIOS for the device did not give it any resources (Code 29).

This message appears for devices on your motherboard—such as on-board hard disk controllers, network adapters, or video adapters—that have been disabled in your computer's BIOS setup.(Note that this error may also appear for the device's firmware if it's not on your motherboard; in this case, refer to the hardware documentation.)


This device is using an Interrupt Request (IRQ) resource that is in use by another device and cannot be shared (Code 30).

See the solution for error code 10.


This device is not working properly because {device} is not working properly (Code 31).

This means that the device is dependent on another device. For instance, this message may appear for a joystick (game) port that is physically installed on a sound card that's having problems. To fix this error, troubleshoot the hardware on which this device is dependent.


Windows cannot install the drivers for this device because it cannot access the drive or network location that has the setup files on it (Code 32).

First, restart your computer. If that doesn't fix the problem, copy said drivers directly to your hard disk, and try installing them again.


This device isn't responding to its driver (Code 33).

This may indicate a problem with the hardware, or simply a bad driver. Start by removing the device (right-click and select Uninstall), restarting Windows, and then reinstalling the drivers. If that doesn't help, you may have a dead device on your hands.


Currently, this hardware device is not connected to the computer (Code 45).

This message will appear for any hidden or ghosted device, shown when you select View → Show Hidden Devices in Device Manager. This means the driver is installed, but the hardware has been physically disconnected or removed.

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