Causes and Fixes – Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device) Error in Windows

Causes and Fixes - device descriptor request failed (Unknown USB Device) Error in Windows

While connecting a USB device to your Windows PC, there are a lot of things that may go wrong. Device descriptor request failed (unknown USB device) error is one such issue that you may face. 

The error is simple: whenever you try to use a USB device, an input device, or a flash memory device through your USB ports, you are unable to do so. The error indicates that the connected device is unknown. 

If you have encountered the error for the first time and think that your device’s USB ports are fried, then you should stop. It is a common issue, and you are not the only one facing it. There can be multiple causes of the error however, there are fixes too. 

In this post, we will try to shed some light on both causes and fixes that revolve around the unknown USB device error on your PC. 

What Causes the Device Descriptor Request to Failed (Unknown USB Device) Error?

There can be a lot of reasons that cause the error with your USB ports. These errors, however, are categorized into two categories. You may find out more about these categories below – 

1. Hardware issues

These refer to the issues with your USB port physically. It is possible that one of your ports is damaged or there is something wrong with it. Another issue can be with the loose connection between the connected device and your port. 

Other than the issues with the port, the errors may reside on the device you are connecting. For instance, your flash drive might be corrupt, or there can be an issue with the connector pins. Loose USB wires, faulty cables, irresponsive devices, etc., all fall into the hardware issues. 

2. System Errors

These are software-based issues. These errors include corrupt files on the PC, poor configuration of USB ports, outdated USB drivers, missing USB settings, etc. System errors usually occur when the operating system is not updated regularly or there is some faulty software causing the USB port to malfunction.

System errors can be deceiving, and a user is often unable to identify all of them. This is also why you might panic, considering you have no experience with such an issue. However, you should realize that if the error is system-specific, it can be easily resolved. 

Both of these error types are common, and eventually, you will have to try out fixes related to both of these. While the causes of the device descriptor request failed Unknown USB device issue is known to us, the signs are yet to be determined. 

Ways to Fix Device Descriptor Request Failed Unknown USB Device Error

Now that you know the causes behind the error, let us focus on the fixes. After understanding the causes, you might have understood what should be done to resolve the error. Let’s dive deeper into the ways and understand things you should do. 

Fix #1 – Run the Hardware & USB Troubleshooter

The Windows operating system offers an internal troubleshooting mechanism to resolve any issue. One such troubleshooter is available for USB ports and hardware solutions as well. Run it to understand what the issue is. The troubleshooter will also try to fix the error. 

Here’s how you can engage the troubleshooter – 

  • Press Windows + R keys on your keyboard to open the run search.
  • In the run, use the command msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic. Type Command in Run Search Bar to Fix Unknown USB Device Error
  • This will open the Hardware & Devices troubleshooter wizard.  Open Hardware & Devices
  • Simply click on next, and the wizard will start looking for errors on your PC related to hardware. This will also include your USB ports and devices connected to it.detecting problems
  • Let it finish, and it will list the error on your PC.

Fix #2 – Check Your Connected Device for Faults

As mentioned earlier, hardware issues also cause errors on your PC. It is better to be sure of the device you want to connect with the system. 

Here’s what you can do – 

  1. Check whether the device is connected to the system properly,
  2. Try using another USB port on the system. If you use a CPU, try using the rear ports if the front ones show the error.
  3. If you still get the error, try to connect your USB device to another computer. This way, you will realize whether the device shows errors everywhere or your operating system is causing the issue.

With these 3 simple steps, you can clear things up and understand whether it is the device or your PC. If you realize that the device is at fault, you should connect with the service providers for the same. However, if the problem persists on your PC only, try using the next fix. 

Must Read: How to Protect Computers From Infected USB Devices

Fix #3 – Turn Off Fast Startup on Your PC

If the error Device Descriptor Request Failed has occurred when you have restarted or turned on the PC, chances are that the fast startup setting on your PC is causing the issue. When you use the fast startup, it often skips detecting the USB connection and shows the error as Unknown USB Device. 

To resolve the issue, try the following steps – 

  • Press Windows + R to open Run.
  • In the run, use the command “control,” which will take you to the control panel.Type Control command in Run Search Bar
  • In the Control Panel, change the view to large icons.  In Control Panel change view to large icons
  • After changing the appearance of the control panel, you may find Power Options. Click on it to open.  find Power Options
  • In the opened Window, look at the left corner panel on your screen.  Click on choose what the power button
  • Click on choose what the power button does from the list. Inside the opened option, you may find the option to change currently unavailable settings. Click on it.  find option to change currently unavailable settings
  • Keep in mind that this will require admin privileges. You might be required to enter your admin password
  • From the available settings, ensure you uncheck the fast startup and are done.  uncheck the fast startup

After this, restart your PC and do not remove the USB device. If the error revolves around this setting, it will be instantly fixed, and you can see your device after a restart.

Fix #4 – Uninstall the USB Port & Check for Hardware Changes

Sometimes, the USB port that you are using malfunctions internally. There is no need to worry if the error is not hardware oriented. The issue often lies in the system itself. The detection of the port often fails; hence, the error device descriptor request failed unknown USB device occurs. 

Try this fix to re-detect your USB port – 

  • Press Windows + R on the keyboard to bring up Run. 
  • Use the command devmgmt.msc to open the device manager on your PC. open the device manager on your PC
  • In the Device Manager, find the USB controller bus option. Expand it to find out which ports are listed as Unknown Devices.
  • Right-click on the Unknown Device, and you will see the option to uninstall the device. Click on it and remove the device from the list.  Choose option to uninstall device
  • Do not worry about uninstalling the port; it is an internal entity that will be detected on a system restart and will be automatically installed.
  • Once the device is uninstalled, navigate to the topmost panel in the Device Manager > click the Action option> click Scan for hardware changes.  click Scan for hardware changes
  • This scan will search for all the hardware changes. It will be reinstalled after detection, which might solve your issue.

Fix #5 – Update USB Drivers for the Connected Port

If the issue persists, do not leave the Device Manager as the next fix requires the same. After the detection, if the error still shows an unknown USB device, you might have an issue with the installed driver for the same. 

To update the driver for the port, simply right-click on the port again and, this time, click on Update driver option.
Update USB Drivers for Connected Port in Device ManagerOnce you click on the Update driver, you will find the updater wizard; follow the steps shown on it for the best results. 

While this might fix the issue for you, the concept of causes again comes into action. If the driver was the fault, one of the causes could be that it was not timely updated. The Windows operating system provides a manual way to update the drivers. However, no provision allows you to update them regularly. 

To avoid such issues in the future, you can install a dedicated driver updater tool, Advanced Driver Updater. The tool is super easy to use and is an effective one with features like – 

  • Update multiple drivers at once. 
  • Schedule scans for checking outdated drivers.
  • Instantly detect outdated drivers on your PC.
  • Get the latest and safest drivers for your device.

Using the application is also super-easy. All you need to do is follow the given steps. 

Step 1 – Download and install the Advanced Driver Updater from the link.

 Step 2 – Click on Start Scan Now from the application’s home screen.  start scan using advanced driver updaterStep 3 – Let the scan find outdated drivers on your PC with a thorough scan.  driver scanning is in progressStep 4 – Once the scan is over, simply click update now, and it begins to update.  Click on Update all to update outdated driverStep 5 – Let the process continue till it’s over.

I found a query on intel community, and one person tried all the solutions mentioned in the screenshot below, and none of them worked for him.

intel community query on unknown usb device descriptor request failed

This person replied

djkomic got solution

The user tried the solution and it worked-

n_scott_pearson replied

Fix The Unknown USB Device Error Instantly!

 With that, we have reached the end of this post. These fixes, along with the Advanced Driver Updater, can help you resolve the device descriptor request fails (unknown USB device) error in Windows. Try them out and let us know in the comments section which fix worked the best for you. 

Download the Advanced Driver Updater to help you avoid multiple issues like this one. Thanks for reading the post! Good luck.

Next Read: How to Fix Sims 4 Video Card Error

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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