Fixed: The Last USB Device You Connected to This Computer Malfunctioned

Why my USB device not recognized? Don’t worry, this post provides you with 6 solutions to fix “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error. Read it carefully.


By Ellie / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I fix “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned”?

“I am facing the following error with my USB drive when I connect it with my Windows 10 laptop. I also connect it to another system but the problem still remains. Please help me fix the problem. I need to recover some really important files from it.”

USB Device Not Recognized

What causes “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned”?

There are many other possible software problems that may prevent the system from recognizing a USB device. Let's take a look at the most common 3 causes of “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned”:

Cause 1. Malfunctioning or wrong drivers

As you may already know, driver issues are the most common causes of many errors in Windows, and this hasn't changed with the latest version. If the system incorrectly identified your USB device, it will also install the incorrect driver, which will be ineffective.

It's also possible that the device you're attempting to install is too old and the OS simply doesn't recognize it.

Cause 2. The USB drive is not partitioned

You won't be able to see a USB external hard drive in Windows if it isn't partitioned and doesn't have a drive letter.

Cause 3. Malfunctioning USB ports

USB ports can malfunction just like any other component. Although it happens frequently, you can avoid it by choosing a different one.

Different USB Port

How to fix “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” on Windows 10, 11

If you have unfortunately encountered this problem, here we provide you with 6 effective solutions to fix “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” on Windows 10, 11. Before continuing, do the following 3 quick checks.

  • ✍Quick check 1. Reconnect the USB Drive. 
  • ✍Quick check 2. Clean the USB contact points. 
  • ✍Quick check 3. Use a different USB port.

If you have done the above 3 quick checks and the USB device still not recognized, use the solutions below.

Solution 1. Update or reinstall the USB drivers

The "The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned" error on Windows 10, 11, can be brought on by an old disk drive. As a result, you might attempt to resolve the problem by updating the USB drives.

Step 1. Right-click on the Start menu > Choose Device Manager.

Device Manager

Step 2. Go to Disk Drives and right-click on the USB flash drive you plugged in > Choose Update Driver.

External Hard Drive Update Driver

Step 3. Click Search automatically for drivers. Your computer will search the internet for the latest version of drivers and download/install them.

External Hard Drive Search Automatic For Driver

Solution 2. Reinstall the USB controllers

All of your USB-connected devices, including your keyboard, mouse, and USB flash drive, which is a necessary drive for your USB devices to function, are managed by the USB controllers. Reinstalling USB controllers enables your system and USB to communicate once more. To reinstall your USB controller, stick to the steps below.

Step 1. Open Device Manager > Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.

Universal Serial Bus Controllers

Step 2. Right-click your USB controller and click Uninstall device, click Uninstall again when asked.

Reinstall USB Controller

Solution 3. Change properties in USB Root Hub

This method is similar to the one above, but instead of uninstalling the drivers here, you will fix the USB Root Driver's properties.

Step 1. Open Device Manager, locate the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and expand it. Then find the USB Root Hub option. Right-click on it and then select the Properties.

USB Property

Step 2. Switch to the Power Management tab and then uncheck the option Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. At last, click OK to confirm the change.

Allow the Computer to Turn Off This Device to Save Power

Solution 4. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

Try this simple and effective solution. To try to solve the problem on a software level, we will use Windows troubleshooting capabilities. As follows:

Step 1. Right-click Start and select Windows PowerShell > Choose Run as Administrator > Click Yes if prompted.

Windows PowerShell

Step 2. Type in msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press Enter.

Windows PowerShell Command

Step 3. Click Next and follow the on-screen instructions based on the problems that Windows discovers.

Solution 5. Change the USB selective suspend settings

The hub driver's automatic USB suspension is another potential cause of your USB's malfunction. In this situation, altering the USB selective suspend settings might be beneficial.

Step 1. Right-click on the Start menu > Choose Power Options > Click Additional Power Settings.

Additional Power Settings

Step 2. In the Choose or customize a power plan window, click Change plan setting.

Change Plan Settings

Step 3. On the Edit Plan Settings window, click Change advanced power settings.

Change Advanced Power Settings

Step 4. Find and expand the USB settings section. Expand USB selective suspend setting. And set it as Disabled. After that, click Apply and OK to save the change.

Setting Disabled

Solution 6. Assign a drive letter to the USB drive

If your USB external hard drive doesn't show in Windows, it is possible that it isn't partitioned and doesn't have a drive letter. You can assign a letter or change it to address this issue.

Step 1. Type in cmd. in the search bar beside the Start menu > Click Run as administrator.

Run As Administrator

Step 2. Input the command DISKPART > list volume and press Enter. Then, you can see the list of all available volumes, not only physical drives.

CMD Diskpart

Step 3. Find the letter you want to change and note its number > Enter the Select volume X. Replace the X with the number.

Diskpart Select Volume

Step 4. Enter the assign=X. replace the X with the letter you want to assign. Finally, close Command Prompt.

CMD Assign Letter

Bonus tip: How to recover files from a USB flash drive

To avoid data loss caused by impropriate operations, it is recommended to recover files from the USB flash drive to a safe place in advance. Here we would like to recommend a free yet professional data recovery tool MyRecover to you.

  • ✍All-inclusive. It applies to several different data loss scenarios. Files can be recovered from formatted drives, corrupted partitions, after system crashes, virus attacks, etc.
  • ✍Efficient. It can quickly recover files and has a high success rate.
  • ✍Widely-compatible. Windows Server, Windows 11/10/8/7, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS are all compatible with it.
  • ✍Comprehensive. Any lost data, including texts, emails, compressed files, photos, videos, audio files, and more, can be recovered.

Download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer and connect your flash drive to the computer.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan to let it be scanned.

Select The Formatted Partition to Scan

Step 2. You will see all deleted/lost files here. You don’t need to wait for the process to complete if you find the files you want to recover. You can also type in the file name on the upper right search box to find the file you need quickly.

Scanning Formatted Partition

Step 3. Check the scanning result and choose a new location to save your recovered files. Click Recover xx files to save the restored files.

Select Files to Recover from Formatted Partition

The bottom line

This post focuses on five solutions to the “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error. After you’ve successfully resolved the issue, you can recover the data on your USB drive using the freeware MyRecover.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.