Fix Common USB Problems With Windows USB Troubleshooter


Windows USB Troubleshooter

USB devices can run into issues periodically. Download and run the Windows USB Troubleshooter to diagnose and repair common USB issues.

From time to time you may not be able to safely eject a USB device from Windows using the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box. You may see a "This device is currently in use" message, or the USB device isn't detected. The USB Troubleshooter can diagnose and repair these and some other USB problems. It was created to work with USB audio, storage, and print devices - such as thumb drives, USB hard drives, and USB printers - that don't eject using the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box.

The Windows USB Troubleshooter is small and fast, and can be downloaded from this Microsoft website.
When you click the Download button, you'll see a download prompt asking if you want to run or save a file named WinUSB.diagcab. If you opt to run the file, it will run immediately. Saving the file downloads it to your computer and can be run at any time.

If device drivers are set not to update in Windows Update, a dialog box will pop up that says Windows Update needs to allow driver updates. There are two choices in the dialog box; Set Windows Update to allow driver updates, and Continue without changing Windows Update settings. I like to update device drivers myself, so I went with the choice to continue.

After the Troubleshooter finishes, you'll see a Troubleshooting report that lists any issues that were found and repaired, and a list of potential issues that were checked and weren't a problem. The file is small - 310 KB - and it will run on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10.

If you still have problems with a USB device, one of these steps may help:
- Updating the driver
- Removing the driver in Device Manager and letting Windows detect it again
- Use the Hardware troubleshooter that ships with Windows and is accessed through the Control Panel

(h/t The Windows Club)

You can find more Tech Treats here.


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Thanks for the software recommendation

In addition, I have never heard discussed any USB utility, that protects your computer from the very common autorun viruses

Autorun viruses are spread to work PCs by coworkers with infected USB drives. You then get infected when you connect one of your USB drives to a work computer. Alternatively, your own PC can be infected when you connect someones infected USB drive

Autorun viruses load the code from the USB drive onto a PC
Any subsequent USB drives connected to the computer either have their USB files erased, or the USB files are hidden so cant be used

MCShield is one freeware utility I use to protect my PC from infected USB drives
Note that this free software hasnt been updated since 2014.
It works on Windows 7, not sure if it works on Windows 8/10
It will scan all the USB drives you connect to your computer, and if it finds a dodgy autorun file trying to load, it will be blocked
You will need this utility for your own PC, if you are frequently using USB drives at work, then connecting those USB drives to your own computer

The other freeware USB program I use everyday is "Autorun".
Pretty basic program, that recognises every USB drive you connect to your PC
This utility then displays all connected USB drives, each on a different 'tab', and gives you the option to explore or eject the USB drives quickly
Again, it works on Windows 7, not sure if it works on Windows 8/10

I have no affiliation with either program

Finding freeware that protects or lists or encrypts USB drives, is like finding treasure
- they are very helpful utilities you wil use every day
- but useful USB freeware is not common

Same here. Installed usb disk eject. (free) In Wins 7 system tray. Which works 90+% of the time.

Very good item. I had frequent problems with my USB device

I'm glad to hear it. I have occasional problems. :)