Fix If a Device Attached to the System is not Functioning

When the issue “a device attached to the system is not functioning” pops up, it means that the USB flash drive, phone and external device cannot be used. Basically, when this error occurs, it signifies that the machine is unable to communicate and move data to and from the USB storage device. There can be several reasons as to why this error occurs after all. Some of the common causes are that if the driver of the USB port is obsolete, then you can get this error. Even, if the USB port and the device itself are defective, then you also encounter this issue. Further, if the format process is not properly done, then it can also lead to this glitch. Moreover, when some system files are corrupt, then even that can trigger this issue.

Best Methods to Rectify This Error

In this section, you will get several points that will help you to efficiently correct the error “a device attached to the system is not functioning”:

Procedure to Format the Drive

When some external storage devices like flash or portable USB hard drive’s data have got corrupted somehow due to improper formatting procedure, then you might encounter this error. Therefore the solution to resolve this issue is to reformat the external storage device. In order to do that in a correct manner, follow the steps below.

  • First, tap on the combination of two keys ‘Windows + E’ simultaneously on the keyboard. This will open the ‘File Explorer’ directory window, here move to the left panel and then choose the option ‘This PC’.
  • Next, within that window only, go to the right panel and then under the section ‘Devices and drives’ locate the USB storage device.
  • After that, right-click on the USB drive then, from the popup menu that comes up, navigate and choose the option ‘Format…’. Now, a dialog box will show up with the name ‘Format (name of the USB flash drive) (Drive Letter)’.
  • Within that dialog box, go to the section ‘Format options’. Under that section, put a tick mark on the option ‘Quick Format’. Then, at the bottom of that dialog box, click the ‘Start’ button. This will initiate a format procedure of the drive, which basically means that all the contents within the device will be deleted.
  • Give some time for the completion of the format process. Once it is over, then eject and re-insert the USB device and see if this error comes back or not.

Connect the USB Drives to Other Ports

If the formatting process did not help to correct the error “a device attached to the system is not functioning”, then there can be some kind of glitch within the USB port itself. Even due to a defective USB cable that comes with the external hard drive can give this problem also. Thus, an easy way to solve this issue is to insert the flash drive to the other USB ports present on the computer and check the USB cable for any damages. In order to do that, follow the steps below:

  • First, try to connect the external hard drive on every USB port present within the machine. If this error does not pop up, then the USB cable of the device is the culprit. Next, look for a puncture on the wire, if there is any then replace it.
  • Now, if you get this error when either a flash or external hard drive is inserted on a specific USB port, then connect them all the remaining ports. If you do not encounter this problem then that specific USB port has become bad. Otherwise, the devices are defective.
  • If you do not insert the USB flash drive properly then also this error can trigger. So, remove the device from the port and reinsert it correctly and see if this glitch reappears or not.

Run the DISM and SFC Tools

When the system files of the Windows Operating System gets corrupted or deleted somehow, then surely you can encounter this error. The solution to resolve this issue is to execute both the SFC and DISM tools. The ‘SFC’ or ‘System File Checker’ is a built-in tool within the Windows, which scans the machine to find any corrupt system files and then verifies and if required, correct them. The ‘Deployment Image Servicing and Management’ or ‘DISM’ is another tool built-in to the OS, which is used to service the image files of Windows. Here are the steps on how can you do it:

  • First, tap on the ‘Cortana’ logo present on the right side of the ‘Windows’ logo. This will open the search empty space, where type the text “command prompt”. Next, from the result list of this search, locate the option ‘Command Prompt’.
  • After that, right-click on the option and then, from the popup menu select the item ‘Run as Administrator’. As soon as you do this, then immediately a window called ‘Command Prompt’ with a black background and white text will come up.
  • Now, inside this window, type the command as follows “sfc /scannow” and in order to execute, tap on the ‘Enter’ key. This command actually scans the entire machine for any corrupt system files. If the SFC tools find any such file, then that will automatically be repaired.
  • Wait for the execution of the above command to get over. Once it is complete, then check the message which will say that the repair process is successful or not.
  • If the SFC tool is unable to fix the corrupt system files, then type the following command – “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth”. This command will replace the corrupt files with the cached versions. The replacement process takes enough time, so wait for its completion.
  • When everything is over reboot the computer and see whether this issue is still present or not.

Start the Computer Once Again

The error “a device attached to the system is not functioning iPhone” can come up if the USB driver software is not properly loaded by the Windows Operating System. Therefore the simple fix to eliminate this issue is to perform a simple restart of the computer. Steps to correctly reboot the machine are provided beneath. So, follow along:

  • First, hit the ‘Windows’ logo present within the taskbar. This opens the ‘Start Menu’.
  • Now, on that menu locate and then, choose the ‘Power’ icon, which is present in the lower section.
  • After that, from the popup menu that appears, select the option ‘Restart’. At this moment the computer will close every application and services and reloads the OS within the RAM (Random Access Memory) and then all the different drivers of the devices.
  • Once the startup process is complete, then examine if this issue reappears or not.

Update the USB Driver

When the driver of all the USB ports present on the computer is not up to date, then there is a possibility of you to get this error. So, the most feasible answer to this problem is to perform an update of the USB driver. For that to happen, follow the below-mentioned lines underneath:

  • First, tap on the combination of both ‘Windows + R’ keys simultaneously. This will launch the ‘Run’ dialog box.
  • Within that dialog box, to the right side of the label ‘Open:’ there is a blank area, in it type the text “devmgmt.msc” and then press on the ‘OK’ button.
  • Now, a window will open up with the name ‘Device Manager’. Within this window, there are various categories of devices and their corresponding drivers on a list, which installed on the computer.
  • From that list, go to the last device category ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ and double-click on it. This action will reveal all the drivers of that specific device within an expanded sublist.
  • Next, choose and right-click on the first driver. Then, from the popup menu that appears, select the option ‘Update driver’. At this moment, a new window will show up, where you will get two links. Out of those two, choose the first link that says ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’. As soon as you click on that link, then Windows will start to look for any updates available for the device driver from the Microsoft servers. If an update is present, then it will be downloaded and installed automatically.
  • Repeat the last step for all the other drivers present on the list. When all the driver updates are complete, then restart the PC to apply these changes.
  • Lastly, connect a USB flash drive or a phone and see if this issue is still there or not.

Setup Windows OS Once Again

When not a single point present on this section cannot able to correct the problem “a device attached to the system is not functioning Android”, then as a last solution reset Windows. To do a reset follow the steps given beneath:

  • First, press both keys ‘Windows + I’ altogether. This will launch a new window called ‘Windows Settings’. Within this window, there are many kinds of settings categories for the Windows Operating System, which you can alter.
  • From all those categories, locate and then choose the one that says “Update & Security”. Now, a new page within this window will show up, in it, move to the left pane and then select the option ‘Recovery’.
  • After that, go to the right panel of that page. Then under the heading ‘Reset this PC’, choose the button ‘Get Started’.
  • At this moment, if you get a prompt with a blue background which says ‘Insert media’. Then put an installation DVD or a USB recovery drive of Windows 10 OS and continue the process.
  • Restart the computer and boot it from the installation or recovery media.
  • Now, after the startup when the blue background screen with the heading ‘Choose an option’ comes up. Then select the option ‘Remove everything’.
  • In the next screen that shows up, click on the option ‘Only the drive where Windows is installed’, if there are multiple drives within the machine.
  • Next, on the screen that shows up next, according to your preference choose either one of the options ‘Just remove my files’, ‘Remove files and clean the drive’. In order to know what these options do, refer to the information presented just below them.
  • After the selection of the option on the previous step is over, the final screen will come up. Here, go to the bottom of the screen and press the button ‘Reset’. This will initiate the setup process of Windows once again.
  • While the Windows OS is being reset, during this time the computer restarts multiple times. This reset process will take hours to complete so be patient.
  • Once the reset procedure is complete, then the Windows will prompt to enter some details. So, input those details according to your preference and tap on the button ‘Next’.
  • Now, on the license agreement screen, click on the ‘Accept’ button to continue the setup process.
  • At last, when the ‘Get going fast’ screen appears there go to the bottom and choose the ‘Customize settings’ link. This will allow you to alter settings accordingly thereby completing the setup process fully.

In the End

Every step within all the points in the previous section must be followed, in order to mitigate the problem “a device attached to the system is not functioning”. Although, after following all the points on the above section carefully, you would be easily doing away with this error. However, if still you are unable to get rid of this issue, then worry not. Just, provide with all the problems that you have faced or are facing in the comment section, which is below this post.

Maria Colombo
Maria Colombo
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