Windows XP Won't Install New USB Drivers

By RedSwirl ยท 84 replies
Feb 7, 2007
  1. Loquacious1

    Loquacious1 TS Rookie

    Wow, that's just sad. Never having trusted such programs and not having using them, wasn't sure if or not to warn against using one, but suspected it wasn't a good idea. Once ran a 'free' scan which came up with a lot of things that didn't ring true, so bolted and Goggled research on those drivers it said were out of date to find they were not. Seems they generate false reports to get people to buy into their software, at least this was my conclusion. Your $25 was an inexpensive lesson in 'if it sounds to good to be true'. Don't get me going on that similarly priced data recovery software I once used! ;^) Sometimes there are no easy fixes, and drivers must be dealt with independently.

    All the same, I'm still having driver problems and haven't determined which one, but still thinking Nvidia's Nview may be the one acting up. It isn't thinking this is a bad driver as much as it has been damaged, or didn't install properly and refuses to do so now. May be evidence of a deeper underlying problem, so now I backup, backup, & backup regularly in case the house of cards falls, which is what we are supposed to do.

    What I don't understand is why if a primary drive has been turned into a slave it doesn't access portions of previous data unless there is something wrong with that drive.... or something ate data prior. Say, a worm or virus?

    If this is remotely possible, it would be wise to exercise caution about what type of data is return transfered to the new drive. I've been there, and the way I dealt with it was to turn off system restore, then run a virus/Trojan scan on the slave. When it comes to a fresh install, I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'll wait a few days between software installs to ensure all is well and system restore has a chance to make restore points so I can roll back. Makes is easier to determine which restore point is the correct one to return to.

    Anyway, hope all your woes are behind you...
  2. kerbouchard

    kerbouchard TS Rookie

    A solution

    My brother was having this same problem. After a little messing around we discovered that the file usbstor.inf was missing from his C:\Windows\inf folder. I sent him a copy of mine, he dumped it into the folder, and it fixed the problem.
  3. Loquacious1

    Loquacious1 TS Rookie

    My usbstor.inf file is still there, yet probably not entirely healthy. Don't dare mess with it, might stop things from working as they are. This file can be found in the \I386 folder on the XP installation CD also for those who don't have another computer to copy from and wish to try this.
  4. wombat27

    wombat27 TS Rookie

    My first Post--THANKS!

    Have been beating my brains out for months to get new USB devices to work.

    Tried the windos \inf folder route after reviewing tis thread. WORKS LIKE A CHAMP!

    I have a Sony VIAO laptop, XP SP2.

    Thanks so much.
  5. Sly319

    Sly319 TS Rookie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    As it says thank you!

    After the weeks of grief the \windows\inf trick worked for me as well and I was able to get an external USB hard drive recognised by my system on Saturday and finally back everything up.

    The usbstor.inf file was there and I didnt bother replacing it 'just in case', just told XP to look in this folder and after a rather long wait (I am sure it was teasing me!) the drive was 'found'

    Not had time to try my other non working USB devices but I suspect that they will finally be recognised as well.

    There are so many other forums that seem to mention this problem as well I am surprised that nobody else has picked up on it.

    But that aside, thank you once again for posting the solution.


  6. denisallais

    denisallais TS Rookie

    hi there, thanks so much for this thread. I looked for hours on the microsoft site hoping they would mention the problem somewhere but nada. I have ony this USB driver problem so far with USB memory keys that suddenly stopped loading. the c:\windows\inf did work for me but my laptop (an IBM T42 with XP SP2) still asks for the driver when I plug it in but since the installation has been done before it works...I am not very sure where it comes from; I install a lot of program here and there but maybe it is simply a Microsoft update that turned wrong...Good luck for all the others

    I am adding some key words because it took me a while to find this forum: USB key not mounting, XP asks for USB driver, no USB driver available
  7. dfuse

    dfuse TS Rookie

    Same problem here, I can definitely confirm it happened after I did a Windows Update, don't know which exact update caused it though. None of the suggested solutions (here and on other forums) worked for me, I fixed it by Repairing my Windows installation (not with the Recovery Console but a real Repair from the within the Windows setup process)

    Oh and for the record, I'm using a Dell Latitude D620
  8. cipher1024

    cipher1024 TS Rookie

    If pointing windows to windows\inf allows you to install your USB device, you can go here: (can't post links, replace the beginning with www)
    Here's an excerpt:
    It does not find the drivers
    This is the case when the registry key that points to the INF folder is corrupt. Start the Registry Editor (Run -> Regedit). Check if under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion the item 'DevicePath' points to '%SystemRoot%\inf'. Additional items, separated by semikolons, are ok but '%SystemRoot%\inf' has to be one of them.
    Then delete the file C:\WINDOWS\inf\infcache.1 - XP will recreate it.
    The INF folder and the infcache.1 file are 'hidden'. To see them in the Windows Explorer:
    Menu 'Tools' -> 'Folder Options'
    Tab 'View', mark 'show hidden files and folders'
    If it still doesn't work after a restart, the files in C:\WINDOWS\inf might be corrupt. An Windows repair install helps then.

    Another thing to check is if the values 'FactoryPreInstallInProgress' and 'AuditInProgress' are set to '1' under
    . They should be 0 or non present.
  9. Daywraith

    Daywraith TS Rookie

    Thanks so much.

    The \I386 fix mentioned previously save my day.

    It required the usbstor.inf file from an XP disk but seems to be working perfectly now.

    Seriously thanks :), I had less than 2 hours to fix this problem before a large conference began with people flying in from all around the world with presentations on usb devices.
  10. Loquacious1

    Loquacious1 TS Rookie

    Just hearing you've been successful made my day! :) That was the same fix which saved me once, but eventually had to drop 2 very old USB 1.1 externals into USB 2.0 cases to eliminate the problem entirely. Of course a fresh install now and then doesn't hurt. Got away 2 years without one, but that's about the longest period. Am pleased to know your meeting was saved by something useful mentioned on this forum.
  11. SilverPhoenix69

    SilverPhoenix69 TS Rookie

    Ok, I'm going nuts hear and I would REALLY like some help, if someone can help me.

    I really don't no "computer talk" but I usually know how to figure out problems I'm having with the computer, but not this. Anything I try to plug into my USB ports it wont let me "install" it. The pop up comes up but it says unable to download.

    I was wondering if someone can talk me through the Windows\inf way to try to fix it. One problem I have is I have no mouse now! So I'm doing everything by keyboard. So I can't save all my files to reinstall Windows XP right now. I'm just trying to install the new mouse/keyboard I have since my old mouse stopped working, and any other I try to wont work cuz there USB. *sigh* Please help someone :(

    Ok I figured out how to do the windows\inf (its 4:40am, not thinking to clearly) but it sadly didn't work. Is there anything that you can help me with with out reinstalling Windows XP? As I can't save all my things and I really can't loose some of the stuff.
  12. Loquacious1

    Loquacious1 TS Rookie


    I'm not expert on these matters either but will take a stab at making suggestions.

    If you haven't done so yet, try performing an XP repair install. If you aren't comfortable doing this, read the instructions from this link.

    If you have done this and it didn't help, consider that your USB device drivers might need updating. Sometimes after Windows Update installs patches, older drivers stop working I've found. Also, I'd like to share something that recently helped me install an old Microsoft Sidewinder Commander Pro gaming mouse on Vista Ultimate. You don't need to do everything I did, but one part in particular might be a key to your problem. Mainly the part where they tell you to go into the device manager and right click on two files there and 'install' unrecognized drivers using the driver properties dialog. Keeping in mind I don't have the 64 bit OS but 32 bit, yet these instructions helped - proving you never know where an answer might come from!

    "go to control panel and open Device manager. Under the heading Human Interface Device you will see two items: HID-compliant device and USB Human Interface Device. Right click on the HID-compliant device choose update driver software; then click browse my computer for the driver software; then click let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer; then you will be given a list in that list will be Microsoft Sidewinder Strategic Commander HID Drivers, click on that, will get the usual warning that the driver is unsigned, click on "install anyway". When finish repeat same steps for USB Human Interface Device."

    One more thing came to mind. If you have another USB port (even a hub) try connecting your mouse to it and see if this makes any difference. Sometimes it's the port acting up in which case you'll need to deal with it until your next fresh install. If you get your files backed up do yourself a favor and fresh install XP. Longest I've gotten away without doing this is 2 years, and that was like a miracle. lol

    Hope you get your devices working again, and I wish you best of luck discovering the solution.
  13. SilverPhoenix69

    SilverPhoenix69 TS Rookie

    Hey, thanks the the links. I'll check them out.

    We haven't done a fresh install ever lol. Its been about 3-4 years since we've had the computer, and we haven't had a problem until now *sigh*.

    I have about 6 USB ports :S two in the front, 4 in the back and I've tried them all. I honestly don't no what a hub is, they might be that? Blah! I'm just frustrated.

    Will doing the repair whip out all my stuff? I have a lot of pictures, that I'm pretty sure I've saved them all but I can't loose them if I haven't. There's also a few other things that I really can't loose lol.

    How do I install the unrecognized drivers? and I really don't no what 64 or 32 bit OS is lol, and I have no idea what I have.

    Thanks for replying! :)
  14. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    This type of repair won't wipe out your stuff
  15. SilverPhoenix69

    SilverPhoenix69 TS Rookie

    So just follow what the link said and I'll be fine? No chance of it wiping out anything?
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Everything will be the same, desktop items, and no data loss... The only thing you may have to do is reinstall some Windows updates
  17. SilverPhoenix69

    SilverPhoenix69 TS Rookie

    Ummm I think I might know whats missing..Possibly. When I go to the Device Manager, the USB human interface Device is there but not the Compliant Device is that possibly whats wrong?

    I don't have the Windows XP CD right now. We lost it when we moved. So my moms going to get one from her work *sigh* Can I repair it with out the CD some how?
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You will need an XP install disc... If you are using XP Home or XP Professional, it may make a difference, so make sure your mom knows what version you are running
  19. SilverPhoenix69

    SilverPhoenix69 TS Rookie

    She knows *sigh* thanks for all your help!
  20. chypsas

    chypsas TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Thanks helped me too !
  21. Loquacious1

    Loquacious1 TS Rookie


    A hub is a small electronic USB extension to have more ports to plug devises in that may or not work. lol In your case a hub might not help the situation as it sounds like all your ports are down, and I'm guessing it's an OS corruption matter.

    It's okay not to know all about computers, lovingly call my boyfriend 'technospaz' and help him a lot too, but in his case must do so remotely as he is cross channel. You will need the install CD to perform a repair install, there's no way around that because it's where uncorrupted files must be obtained. Over time your system gathers a lot of grime in the registry from installing or uninstalling software, so this is why a fresh install every so many years is inevitable. You've gotten by fairly well from the sound of it, probably because you don't fiddle with your system as much as I do. ;) You need not worry a repair install will wipe out your system, that's why it's called a 'repair' install rather than 'fresh' install. All it does is over write bad files and replace them with good ones. Tmagic650 is correct in saying you should run Windows Update afterward to ensure your computer is completely protected.

    I'd recommend getting a nice external backup if you can swing it to store valuable files on, or at least a DVD-ROM combo to write files to DVD that you can't stand loosing. There are ways to recover data, but it's always best to prevent loss in advance and backup regularly. One way you might salvage files would be to buy a new internal drive to install a fresh copy of the OS on, then convert your old drive into a slave. It is what I'd do personally if I had important files in peril, and believe me, I've been there! Most have. New drives have become affordable, so that's the good news. This might be complicated for you to do on your own without learning how, but there are people in business who could do this for a nominal fee. In our area we have what's called 'Geek Squad' tech to make house calls in a pinch.

    If you don't know the difference between 32 and 64 bit, you probably have a 32 bit OS. The more you know about your system, the easier it is for others to help you though. The unrecognized drivers would be listed in the devise manager under 'human interface devises'. To get to the devise manager in XP:

    Click on Start then choose Control Panel.
    Locate the System icon within the Control Panel. Double-click on the System icon to open the System Properties window.
    Within the System Properties window, the General tab will be opened by default. Click the tab labeled Hardware and click the button labeled Device Manager
    Under the Device Manager you will see a long list of the different types of hardware installed on your system.

    This is where you can see if various peripherals are working or not, install and/or uninstall drivers and such. It might take a little hunting and pecking to find the right one, but my advise is to look and read each one carefully to determine which belongs to each devise. If you do not have drivers installed or Windows doesn't install them for you, they will not be found here though. While USB is plug n' play, there still needs to be something communicating between each devise and your operating system.

    I seriously hope you recover all your precious files. If you need help it sometimes is worth hiring someone, but only you can decide how much your data means and if it's affordable to recover or just start over again. One thing I can say for certain. If you loose these, you'll probably start backing up data from then on so it doesn't happen again. Like I said, most of us have been there one time or another. Wish I could be of more help than I have... as my heart truly goes out to you. One last bit of advise is to never work on your computer when you feel either tired or upset. More mistake have been made under these conditions than any other. Try to remain cool and collected, and think everything through.

    Good luck with your mission!

    Lynn Ava
  22. SilverPhoenix69

    SilverPhoenix69 TS Rookie

    Thanks so much Ava. I'd post a better post to you, but its 4:30am and I'm ready to crash.

    After about 5-6 days with out a mouse, I became a pro at using the keyboard for everything, so something good came out of it all.

    My mom ended up taking the CPU to the "Professor". Someone she knows at work. He tried to fix it but sadly he couldn't and just wiped out the whole thing.

    I was smart and ended up saving all the files we needed to DVDs, or at least most of them. I've been telling my mom that we needed to just crash the computer for a few weeks now. Meh, next time she'll listen to me :) . I can usually figure out how to fix things, but this was just...frustrating. All is good now though, I have a mouse, keyboard and the files I need.

    Thanks so much for all your help!
  23. DigitalOxygen

    DigitalOxygen TS Rookie

    SOLUTION for inf folder not working

    I was having the same issue as everyone here (existing USB devices worked but no new ones, happened after I tried to plug in and use a WD external HDD) and this is how I solved it.

    I had also tried pointing the driver wizard to the i386 folder (in C:\Windows\Driver Cache\i386 as well as on the original XP install CD) with no luck. Also tried the C:\Windows\inf folder with no luck AND replacing individual files like usbstor.inf

    Finally I copied the entire C:\Windows\inf folder from a working XP computer and backup the original inf folder on the "broken" XP machine and replaced it with the files from the working XP machine.

    Ran the update drivers wizard again via device manager and managed to get the USB 2.0 Hub Controller (something I had uninstalled during my troubleshooting and hadn't been able to get working again) AND the WD external HDD.

    Don't know what caused it but obviously something in the inf folder became corrupt and copying the entire folder from a working machine fixed it! I didn't even have point it to that folder specifically, Windows just automagically picked it up when I choose to install automatically.

    Thank god I got it solved. This has plagued me on several machines over the years and I have re-installed windows entirely several times to fix it. By the way, to those who were wondinerg if an OS reinstall would fix it reinstalling Windows will always fix software related OS problems (if it was working before that is). If it doesn't you're probably looking at hardware problem or a problem with software that is not part of the OS.
  24. barkgrove2

    barkgrove2 TS Rookie


    I too had this problem and wanted to join to say thank you to taberh for the .inf tip. I will now be able to sleep tonight !!!

  25. Yordic

    Yordic TS Rookie

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