Fix: The Last USB Device You Connected to this Computer Malfunctioned

When Windows fails to recognize a USB device that has been connected to the computer, it spits out an error message that states:

The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned

The only thing that can be inferred from this error message is that the USB device the user affected by this problem most recently connected to their computer has, in one way or another, malfunctioned and is not working like it is intended to. This problem renders whatever USB device it affects unusable, and not being able to use a USB device connected to your computer is most certainly a significant problem.

This issue is not bound to a specific version of the Windows Operating System and has been known to affect users of all currently supported versions of Windows. This problem certainly is quite the head-scratcher, but that does mean that it can’t be fixed. The following are some of the most effective solutions that any Windows user affected by this problem can use to try and get rid of this problem and successfully use the affected USB device:

Solution 1: Disconnect and then reconnect the affected USB device several times

First and foremost, the simplest possible solution to this problem would be to disconnect the USB device you are facing this problem with from your computer and then reconnect it. In many cases, the “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error message is merely temporary, and disconnecting and then reconnecting the affected USB device several times get rid of the error message and gets the USB device to successfully interface with and work with the affected computer. Getting this solution to work might take several tries, so be sure to disconnect and then reconnect the affected USB device at least a dozen times.

Solution 2: Power cycle your computer

  1. Remove the affected USB device from your computer.
  2. Turn your computer off.
  3. Unplug the power supply cord from your computer.
  4. Wait for approximately 2 minutes – this is enough time for any and all residual charge present on the computer and its hardware to dissipate.
  5. Plug the power supply cord back in to the computer.
  6. Boot your computer up.
  7. When the computer boots up, reconnect the affected USB device and check to see whether or not the problem has been resolved.

Solution 3: Disable USB selective suspend

USB selective suspend is a feature built-in to the Windows Operating System and enabled by default. In some cases, the USB selective suspend setting can cause USB devices to malfunction and not be successfully recognized by Windows, which is why disabling this feature is an excellent course of action if you are experiencing this problem. To disable the USB selective suspend feature, you need to:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for “power options“.
  3. Click on the search result titled Power Options.
  4. Click on Change plan settings next to the power plan that is currently active on your computer.
  5. Click on Change advanced power settings.
  6. Double-click on the USB settings section to expand it.
  7. Click on the USB selective suspend sub-section to expand it.
  8. Change the setting to Disabled in however many instances of the setting there are under the USB select suspend sub-section (there can be two instances – On battery and Plugged in – in the case of laptops, for example).
  9. Click on Apply and then on OK.
  10. Click on Save changes.
  11. Restart your computer and check to see whether or not the problem still persists when it boots up.

Solution 4: Disable and then re-enable the Generic USB Hub device

  1. Press the Windows Logo key + R to open a Run dialog.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager, double-click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers section to expand it.
  4. Locate and right-click on the Generic USB Hub device.
  5. Click on Disable. You should be free of the “The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned” error message as soon as this device is disabled.
  6. Right-click on the Generic USB Hub device once again and click on Enable.

Solution 5: Update the drivers for all of your computer’s Universal Serial Bus controllers

  1. Press the Windows Logo key + R to open a Run dialog.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager, double-click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers section to expand it.
  4. Right-click on the very first device listed under the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and click on Update Driver Software….
  5. Click on Search automatically for updated driver software.
  6. Wait for Windows to automatically search for available updates for the affected hardware device’s drivers.
  7. If Windows finds any available updated driver software, it will automatically download and install it and all you’ll have to do is wait for it to do so.
  8. Repeat steps 4for every single device listed under the Universal Serial Bus controllers section in your computer’s Device Manager.

Solution 6: Uninstall and then reinstall all of your computer’s Universal Serial Bus controllers

  1. Press the Windows Logo key + R to open a Run dialog.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager, double-click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers section to expand it.
  4. Right-click on the very first device listed under the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and click on Uninstall.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and for every single other device listed under the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  7. Once the drivers have been uninstalled, close the Device Manager and restart your computer.
  8. When the computer boots up, Windows will automatically detect and reinstall all of the devices you uninstalled.
  9. Once all of the devices you uninstalled have been reinstalled, check to see if the issue has been fixed.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: The Last USB Device You Connected to this Computer Malfunctioned

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