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How to fix “Base System Device” error in Device Manager

You might not be familiar with this error if you recently opened Device Manager and noticed the Base System Device error. But before you freak out and start messing with your Device Manager, you should figure out what this enigmatic device is and why it’s there.

So what is a Base System Device and how can I fix the warning it gives you in Device Manager?

What is a Base System Device Error?

The Base System Device is a hardware component that is connected to the PC. For example, it could be a motherboard chipset, a Bluetooth transmitter component or an SD card reader.

The reason it appears as “Base System Device” is because your system cannot properly interact with the device. This is usually because your computer doesn’t have an official device driver to work with.

Base System Devices are marked with a small yellow exclamation mark and are classified as Other devices in your Device Manager.

A Base System Device is a hardware component connected to a PC
A Base System Device is a hardware component connected to a PC

How to fix the Base System Device Error in Device Manager

You can usually fix Base System Device errors by installing the respective device’s driver. This then gives the PC something to work with and allows it to communicate with the appropriate device.

1. Installing the driver manually from the manufacturer’s website

The first place you must visit to download the correct driver is the device manufacturer. You can tell Windows to find the driver for you, but it’s most likely caused by Windows not finding anything to download.

If you don’t have the original driver disc for your device, try searching online by the device name or device manufacturer. Then go to the manufacturer’s website and download the relevant drivers. For example, if you want to install drivers for your Intel-based chipset, you can use Intel’s Chipset Installation Utility.

When you find the appropriate driver, right-click on Base System Device in Device Manager and select Update driver. On the following screen, select Browse my computer for drivers and navigate to the folder where you have stored the driver files.

Installing the driver manually from the manufacturer's website
Installing the driver manually from the manufacturer’s website

Select them and complete the steps to install.

2. Allow Windows to locate and download the driver on its own.

If you want to try Windows’ automatic update feature, go to the Update Driver menu as above. However, select Search automatically for drivers instead of Browse my computer for drivers.

After that, Windows will look for a compatible driver. If it does, you can install the driver by going through Windows’ setup instructions. Running Windows Update might be able to help if not.

Let Windows use updates to locate and download drivers.
Let Windows use updates to locate and download drivers.

Note that this will show you every system update that is currently available. If there are multiple updates available, you must view the list of updates to see whether the driver you need is among them.

Hopefully you can identify the Base System Device on your computer, locate the correct driver, and fix the problem.

If the problem cannot be resolved, your hardware most likely has to be repaired. On another PC, you can test the hardware. You can test the SD card, for instance, by inserting it into another PC.

However, you might want to use a third-party driver updater if you are having difficulties updating or locating the correct driver.

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