Error Code 10 in Device Manager – How to Fix It?

There are many PC users who are being bothered by hardware devices with error code 10 in Device Manager. This article will address some of the possible causes of Error Code 10 and some of the options to fix such a hardware device problem.

What is Error Code 10?

Possible Causes of Having Error Code 10 in Device Manager

Options for Fixing Devices with Error Code 10



What is Error Code 10?

Microsoft defines Code 10 as an error code generated by Windows OS when your Device Manager fails to start a hardware device. The reason is either that the Device Manager has insufficient details about your hardware device or the Device Manager is not able to recognize the problem/error produced by your hardware device. This means that the Device Manager is not able to exactly determine which specific error code to provide after a hardware device malfunction or problem occurs.

Unlike other problematic devices with device driver related issues, hardware devices with Error Code 10 are mostly not listed under the category of Other Devices in Device Manager. This is an advantage for PC users like you (especially non-savvy PC users), since you don’t need to trouble yourself identifying your problematic device.

Possible Causes of Having Error Code 10 in Device Manager

When you encounter error code 10 issue with your device, the Device Manager will provide the description “This device cannot start (code 10)” as shown in the image above. Most of the time, you will just encounter error code 10 issues all of a sudden, and you will learn that the problematic hardware device has a code 10 error after checking its properties.

On the other hand, there are also cases when this error code will be included in a warning message while you are attempting to install a hardware device such as a USB device or while you are installing a device driver such as audio device driver.

Either you have seen the description of error code 10 in the properties of your problematic device in Device Manager or through a warning message; this description further provides hints for the possible causes of your hardware device problem. For example, it might mean that one or some of the drivers required by your hardware device to function properly failed to start. It might also be due to corrupted or outdated device drivers installed on your computer. There are also cases when a problem is due to compatibility issues between the installed device drivers and software/programs installed on your computer.

Another possibility is that the problematic device was not designed to function with the edition/version of Windows OS installed on your PC. Such cases are normally being observed for devices that are working properly before a PC user changes (upgrade/downgrade) the OS of his computer.

Options to Fix Devices with Error Code 10

Since there is a big possibility that this issue is device driver related, then the first option to fix devices with error code 10 is to reinstall or update the current device drivers. You can try updating your device drivers through the Device Manager, but this option fails most of the time. You can always try to visit the official website of your hardware device manufacturer to download the latest updates of your device drivers.

In some cases (most especially for USB devices with error code 10), some PC users are able to fix their issues by just reattaching their USB device or by rebooting their computer. On the other hand, you must also make sure that your USB device is not defective by attaching it to another computer to check if it will function normally.

Another option is to check if your problematic device is compatible with your OS version/edition. To do this, you can use the Windows Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) to determine if your hardware device is listed as a compatible device with your current edition/version of Windows OS. You can visit this link: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx to check if your problematic device with error code 10 is compatible with your current Windows OS version. HCL will also let you check the software programs compatible with your current OS.

Error Code 10 is only one of the error codes that Device Manager provides to warn you about device driver related issues such as Other Device Base System Device, Other Devices Coprocessor, etc. The best way to prevent such issues is to make sure that all drivers installed on your computer are correct and up-to-date.