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UNKNOWN DEVICE

Posted on 2012-03-26
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Last Modified: 2012-03-29
Both "DEVICES & PRINTERS" and "DEVICE MANAGER" are referencing an unknown USB device as "Unknown Device".
I have made several attempt to delete this reference; including, using "Microsoft Fix-It," which is totally useless.
My best "Guesstimate" is something I did rather stupidly: attempting to connect a USB hub to another USB hub, increasing hub availability.  Yes, I know, that was dumb. I have since removed the offending hub from the original hub. The original hub, which works fine, has several external HDs attached to it. If I remove the original hub, I lose access to the drives.

Please tell me there is a way to remove this "unknown device" from my PC. Otherwise, I will just "Disable" it in Device Manager. There has to be a better way.
Thank You.   GadgetDude
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Question by:GadgetDude
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Expert Comment

by:atechnicnate
ID: 37769693
I would right click and go to properties and try to find a hardware ID or something like that to identify what Windows thinks it is.  I've had something like this happen with random odd onboard ports that I could never find drivers for.  Worst case scenario you could find out how to remove it using reg edit but I'd suggest you live with it long before attempting that...

Find out what it is and that will make it easier to correct.
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Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 37770048
Is this a laptop?  If so, its probably related to some security feature of the laptop.  However, as atechnicnate suggested, if you can give us the device ID (right click item in device manager - select properties - select details) then we can figure out what it is and correct the issue.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37770220
is there a memorycard reader in the printer?  probably something like that
if you post the printer model we can check
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 37770867
Try removing the USB drivers in device manager.  When you reboot, they should reinstall automatically (hopefully without the unknown one).
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 37772352
Right-click the 'unknown device' in Device Manager and choose Uninstall.
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Author Comment

by:GadgetDude
ID: 37774522
With the exception of "Callandor's" suggestion, everything suggested thus far has been tried and failed. "Unknown Device" is identified as "Unknown," "Unavailable," and "Universal serial bus controllers."

Rather than removing USB drivers from the Device Manager, I will attempt the following:
{a} shut down the PC
(b) disconnect the USB Hub (the one with my External HDs). Yes, I know I won't have access to them.
(c) Inspect Device Manager and see what it sees. (UNKNOWN DEVICE should not be seen).
(d) Reboot the computer and, one a time, reconnect each device to the main USB hub and see how Device Manager responds.

So far, unfortunately, nothing suggested seems to be the answer to the problem. I will try this step and see what happens.
Of course, any additional and further recommendations are very heartily welcomed and appreciated.
Talk to you soon.  Thanks!  GadgetDude
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Expert Comment

by:atechnicnate
ID: 37774737
That is one way to possibly identify it.  If you check the various tabs you should be able to get at least a hardware ID for us to work with.  So same basic idea.  You're going to ID it based slowly ruling things out where we were thinking of trying to figure it out without having to disconnect anything but either way should yield the same basic results so nice idea.  Let us know what you find!
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Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 300 total points
ID: 37774943
For a hardware/device ID, run msinfo32, expand Components, click Problem Devices... unless you have numerous 'unknown devices' the one that appears on the right should be the one you want. Click on it, then use Edit->Copy from the menu.
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Author Comment

by:GadgetDude
ID: 37775088
The only "ID" I found was "Universal serial bus controllers."

However, and most importantly, doing what I said I would do in my last posted comment, something very interesting has turned up (which I will further investigate tomorrow):

After connecting the USB Hub, I continued to closely monitor Device Manager as I reconnected each USB external drive to the hub. Finally, I got to the last drive (Let's call it "G") and "Unknown Device" reappears in Device Manager.  So I found the problem, right?  WRONG!
This is where, in my opinion, it gets really weird:
(a) unplugged the USB "G" drive to the hub and; of course, "Unknown Device" disappears.
(b) Now, if "G" drive is disconnected, it should disappear and not be accessible because it is "disconnected".
(3) THE REALLY WEIRD PART: "G" Drive is STILL accessible and visible ( transferred files from it). So how could something disconnected still be accessible?
SOLUTION: The USB connector plugged into the USB hub (although labeled for Drive "G" is, in point of fact, connected (or not) to something else which causes "Unknown Device".

Tomorrow, I will follow that cord and find out what it is connected to. I am not an "Expert" as you distinguished members are, but I think I might have found the problem: a mislabeled USB connection.   I will find out tomorrow and keep you posted.
Again, Thanks!   GadgetDude
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Assisted Solution

by:atechnicnate
atechnicnate earned 100 total points
ID: 37775102
This is a stretch but.. Reboot with the device disconnected and then open disk management and take note of drive letters and the physical drive. Then plug in the g drive and see if anything changes. Then unplug it and check again. I once had an issue where a drive acted kind of,like this because windows insisted on duplicating a drive letter..... Like I said its a big stretch qbut it's a thought if the cable trace doesn't yield anything
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Expert Comment

by:atechnicnate
ID: 37775108
As for I'd we meant right click on the unknown device. Then click the various tabs and drop downs and look for a device id
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by:nobus
ID: 37775191
can you answer my post also?
is there a memorycard reader in the printer?  probably something like that
if you post the printer model we can check
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Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 37775304
The device ID will look something like this, USB\VEN_1000&DEV_0001&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_02.
Find the unknown device in control panel->system->device manager and right click it and select "properties".  Click the "details" tab and the number should be there.  You may have to click the drop down and select "hardware IDs".
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 37776095
Typically, if it's an 'unknown device' the ID won't show up on the Details tab... only in msinfo32 (aka orb->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Information) Components->Problem Devices as noted in http:#a37774943
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Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 37778195
Hey Darr247, that's not true.  Unknown devices IDs do show up under details.
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Author Comment

by:GadgetDude
ID: 37779468
nobus:
 I did not intentionally disregard any advice or comments you have given.  Mea Culpa! To answer your question: yes, there is a memory card read in the printer; but, that is something I have never used.
Thank You.   GadgetDude :)
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Author Comment

by:GadgetDude
ID: 37779500
Hi, Everyone!
I hope I didn't start the "E-E" version of "Family Feud" here. (LOL)
You are all really great people.
Bottom Line: Problem Solved.
Details: It appears that the "Unknown Device" was showing up because of both a faulty connection of the External HD to the USB Hub; as well as, a mislabeling of, at least, this device. So, when I connected it to the USB, it couldn't be found because the wrong connector was plugged into the USB Hub (Duh!).
As I said, and I will say it again, you are all really great people.
Shortly, I will be rewarding points to those members whose guidance, advice, and comments came closest to helping me solve the problem.
As Michael Coreleone said, "It's not personal, it's just business." LOL

With gratitude and thanks, GadgetDude.  Peace! :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:GadgetDude
ID: 37779521
What was found was not only a solution; but, guidance as well. What I learned from this is: anytime you make changes from your system (External Drivers, Printers, UBS or whatever, do 2 things: (a) make sure all the connections are correctly done - and labeled (what connector goes to what device); and, (b) make sure that the device(s) you install or upgrade, do not have a negative impact on your PC.  And in my case, if there's a problem with my PC, there will be a problem, by extension, of the Home Network I have built.
I know I sound redundant; but, I always make a great effort to THANK EVERYONE even though I may or may not apply the information given.
THANK YOU!!!!!   GadgetDude :)
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37780440
thanks for feedback - i asked it because it is often "an unknown device"
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Author Comment

by:GadgetDude
ID: 37785071
YOU ARE VERY, VERY WELCOME!

I Bid You Peace & Many Blessings.
GadgetDude :)
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by:nobus
ID: 37785843
no problems  - you're welcome !
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