How To Solve the “Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Error in Windows


The “device cannot start code 10” message in Windows may seem to be a common error in Windows. However, the reason for the error message is unknown; this makes it understandably annoying. Luckily, there are a few methods that help fix the issue. We’ve curated a list of these fixes and suggest you walk through each step until you find the right solution for your PC.

So, let’s understand what code 10 is, why you encounter it, and how to solve it.

If you are short on time and are looking for a workable solution, try Advanced Driver Updater to update outdated, missing, and problematic drivers. This best driver updater for Windows helps update drivers quickly. To use it, you don’t need to collect any information or do a search on the internet. The tool scans the PC for outdated drivers and shows compatible updates giving the user the option of whether to update the driver or not.

What Is Error Code 10?

This error code is one of the many Device Manager error codes. It is generally associated with detachable devices; hence when Windows cannot read hardware devices, like a printer or USB, code 10 errors are encountered. Also, the error occasionally blocks CD drives, Bluetooth gadgets, or storage devices from being detected & appearing on This PC.

Note – Any device running the Windows operating system, including Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and older versions can encounter a Code 10 Device Manager problem.

Causes for  This Device Cannot Start Error

1. Problematic, outdated, or corrupt device drivers.

2. Faulty hardware or damaged cable.

3. Invalid registry entries.

4. Malware or virus infection.

5. Issues with power supply.

6. Conflict with third-party software or other device drivers.

Best Ways to Fix “This Device Cannot Start (Code 10) Error” Windows

1. Restart the PC

A simple reboot can fix the issue and other PC problems. Therefore, before getting into complex solutions, always start with this simple troubleshooting. Detach all connected devices and restart the PC. Now connect all hardware devices again and see if it works. If the error persists in the stop code inaccessible boot device, it’s time to move on to complex troubleshooting.

2. Run the Hardware Device Troubleshooter

To identify problems, Windows operating system includes several built-in troubleshooters. In contrast, the Hardware and Devices option can be used to troubleshoot problems with hardware devices.

To run Hardware & Devices troubleshooter, follow these steps:

1. In the Windows search bar, type Command Prompt

Type Command Prompt
2. Select the best search result > right-click > Run as administrator.

Run as administrator
3. In the command prompt window, type the following line and hit Enter key:

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic  

Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
4. This will launch the troubleshooter window. Click Next to proceed; after the process is finished, it will notify you of any issues discovered and ways to fix them.

Click Next in troubleshooter window
5. If you get the message Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem, move to the next method.

message Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem ss

3. Use Device Manager

The Device Manager stores information about all connected devices. Hence, it’s a good place to find the reason for the Windows stop code error. To access it, follow these steps:

1. Right-click Start menu > select Device Manager from the context menu.
2. Double click each category to see the specific gadgets inside it. You can know which device produces the error if you see a little yellow warning sign against any device.
3. Double-click the device with a yellow warning sign and look at the Device status box. If it reads This device cannot start (Code 10), you have narrowed down the culprit.

Note : Universal Serial Bus controllers and Audio inputs are the two common categories that create the problem. If they work fine, you should check other additional USB devices such as printers, mice, and other pointing devices. Furthermore, check your computer's hardware if you’ve recently installed any new hardware.

4. Disconnect the device and then re-plug it. If this doesn’t work, try updating the device driver.

How to Update Outdated Driver?

Updating device drivers manually is time-consuming and requires technical skills. Also, the risk of updating the incorrect drivers is involved. Therefore, if you don’t want to risk the computer, use Advanced Driver Updater to identify outdated drivers and update your PC’s latest and compatible drivers.

More ways to Update Outdated Drivers in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

The tool also allows you to take backups of old drivers, schedule driver scanning, exclude incompatible drivers, and see the version of the latest driver installed. With the help of this best driver updater for Windows, you can update drivers in just a few clicks. To use it, follow these steps:

Steps to use Advanced Driver Updater

1. Download and install Advanced Driver Updater.

2. Launch the tool and click on Start Scan Now to scan the PC for outdated drivers.

Advanced Driver Updater home screen
3. Review scan results and update the outdated drivers. If you are using the FREE product version, click Update driver next to it.

ADU Scan
4. However, if registered user, you can update outdated drivers by clicking on the Update All button.

update all driver
5. Restart PC to apply changes.

That’s it; this is how you can update outdated drivers in just a few clicks.

4. Check for Windows Updates

When using an outdated version of Windows, you can also face the Windows 10 stop code error.

To check for the latest Windows updates, press Windows + I to open Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

Windows Update

Running this update check will also fix bugs and vulnerabilities in Windows operating system.

5. Try Alternate USB Port

If you know the device behind the code 10 problem, try connecting the USB to an alternate port. There are chances that a potentially broken USB port is causing the problem.

6. Delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters from Windows Registry

If nothing has worked, try removing a pair of Registry settings for driver filtering. Clearing them sometimes resolves the code 10 problem.

Note : Making incorrect changes to the Registry might lead to even more issues, so proceed with caution:

1. Press Windows + R and open the Run window
2. Type Regedit and press enter.
3. Navigate to the following registry key HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class.
4. Double click on the Class key to unhide it. You will now be able to see a slew of keys underneath it.

Double click on Class key
5. Locate the suitable GUID for the type of device against which you saw the yellow exclamation in the Device Manager.

Open Device Manager > double-click on the problematic device > click the Details tab > select GUID from the Property dropdown box.

In the box below, a Value will display corresponding to one of the Registry keys.

Value display Registry keys

Return to the Registry Editor > in the left panel, double-click the matching string of characters  & open its contents.

Be sure you access the correct key. Making changes to incorrect keys might create problems.

Once you’ve found the correct folder:

Look for the items UpperFilters and LowerFilters.

If you just see one item no worries. Suppose, you don’t see either of these; double-check that you have the proper GUID. However, if you’re certain you’ve done everything correctly, and the keys are still not there, move to the next step.

Select the key > right-click and select Delete if you see either of them. Confirm the warning; the file will be deleted.

Select Delete

Restart your computer, and check if the error is solved or not.

Note: Deleting GUID might stop some software that uses the same GUID from working correctly. Therefore, reinstall them.

7. Test Hardware

Even after following the above steps, if the code 10 error is still not resolved, the device is possibly faulty. To ensure that is not the case, try connecting the hardware to another PC and see if it works. If it doesn’t, contact the manufacturer or replace the device.

Useful: Fix Usbhub.sys Blue Screen Errors (BSOD) Issue On Windows 11, 10

Error Code 10 in Windows – Fixed:

You now know what to do; you notice “This device cannot start (Code 10)” on Windows. We suggest using Advanced Driver Updater to update outdated drivers and keep them updated. Let us know if you have questions and how you found the post. Leave comments below.

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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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