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Friday, September 29, 2023

How to Fix “This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Error in Windows

Error Code 10 is one of many Device Manager error codes. It is created when Device Manager cannot start a hardware device, which is mainly caused by outdated or corrupted drivers.

Thewindowsfan.com will walk you through how to fix the Code 10 error that prevents your device from booting.

Some note

The device may also receive a Code 10 error if the driver generates an error that the Device Manager does not understand. In other words, a Code 10 error is mostly a very general message, indicating some unknown type of driver or hardware.

Although most of the Code 10 errors show up on USB and audio devices, Code 10 errors can happen with any hardware device in Device Manager.

Error Code 10 – This device cannot start
Error code 10 – This device cannot start

How to fix the Code 10 error that makes the device unable to boot

Restart the computer

Please restart your computer if you haven’t done that already. There’s always a chance that the Code 10 error you’re getting on your device is actually due to some temporary problem in Device Manager or with the hardware. If so, restarting can actually fix the Code 10 error.

Using the Advanced System Repair Tool

As you know, the most common reason for a Code 10 error is a corrupted, malfunctioning, or outdated driver. For that, you will need the Advanced System Repair Tool, which makes it easy to fix Device Manager-related problems. It also repairs missing or damaged system files, such as DLLs, exes, sys, ocx, inf, etc. The Advanced System Repair Tool also takes care of registry files and fixes errors easily.

Check the Device Manager for more information

Device Manager collects information about all devices connected to your PC, so it’s an important place to check when you get error code 10. To open Device Manager, press Win+X or right-click the button Start, then select Device Manager from the menu.

You can expand each section to see the individual devices below. If a device crashes, you’ll see a small yellow warning sign appear next to it; this will indicate the device causing the error. Double-click the device and check the Device status field; if it says This device cannot start (Code 10), it is not working properly.

Check the Device Manager for more information
Check the Device Manager for more information

You should check all categories, especially Audio inputs and outputs as well as Universal Serial Bus controllers. If you don’t see the problem here, see other USB devices like Printers and Mice and other pointing devices. If you’ve recently added any hardware to your computer, check that out.

When you find the device causing the error, try unplugging it for a few minutes, then plugging it back in. If this does not work, you should continue to update or remove the driver for that device.

Fix corrupted drivers on Windows

If the Code 10 – This device cannot start error in Device Manager occurs because the device driver is corrupted, uninstalling and reinstalling the device driver may fix the problem. Just uninstall the driver from Device Manager and install the latest version of the compatible driver.

  • Open Device Manager from menu Start.
  • Select the problematic device, right-click on it, and then select Properties.
  • Go to the Driver tab and then click the Uninstall button to uninstall the driver.
  • Then restart the PC.
  • Open Device Manager again and go to Action > Scan for hardware changes.

Follow the on-screen instructions and fix Code 10 – This device cannot start error in Device Manager.

Running the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Hardware Troubleshooter is an effective and easy way to fix any device-related problems, not just the Code 10 – This device cannot start error in Device Manager. Running the Hardware Troubleshooter can help you fix this error quickly.

Click on the Start menu, and then search for troubleshoot. Click Troubleshooting.

Click View All in the left panel. After that, all troubleshooting menus will be opened.

Find Hardware and Devices in the list and then tap it. Then the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooting process will start.

Click Next to start the process.

Manual driver update

The above error is related to the driver software, so it is best to update the driver manually.

Refer: 5 basic ways to update and update drivers for computers for detailed instructions.

Increase system memory

You must analyze the system memory to fix this problem. If your system is running out of memory, a great choice is to add more RAM to your PC.

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager. Click More Details.

Click More Details
Click More Details

Go to the Performance tab and analyze how much system memory is available for use.

Modify registry files

Modifying the registry file is really not recommended, as incorrect editing can harm the operating system. To be on the safe side, you must have a backup copy of the registry file before performing any operations on it.

Open the Run command by pressing Win+R and then typing regedit.exe

Browse for the following, and then delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters.


Then restart the PC.

Try another hub or USB port

If you’ve identified the device that’s causing the code 10 error to appear, try plugging it into a different USB port on your computer. It is possible that the USB port is faulty, causing the computer to communicate with the device improperly.

Also, consider replacing them with supported models if you use any basic USB hubs with your computer.

Hardware testing elsewhere

You most likely have a device failure at this point. If possible, try connecting it to another computer and seeing if that works. If the device does not work on another system, you should contact the manufacturer or replace the device.

Perform a system restore or reset

If your device works on another computer, you can try a system restore to see if there is some Windows bug preventing the hardware from working. This brings the system back to an earlier point in time, which is useful if the problem just started.

If all else fails, you can reset Windows entirely, but that might be overkill for this problem. Hardware problems, especially at this point, are usually caused by the device itself. But if your device works elsewhere and you don’t mind trying, resetting Windows 10 might solve the problem.


  • How to fix the WHEA Uncorrectable Error on Windows 10

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