USB can easily mean ubiquitous as it has become the standard for computing devices, mobile phones, and electronic gadgets at home or in the office. According to Simple English Wikipedia, more than six billion USB devices exist in the world. Despite the huge number of such peripherals, certain laptop brands have fewer or have pared down the number of ports. That’s where hubs come to the rescue.

With any technology, the USB has its share of problems that require diagnosing, isolating, and troubleshooting. The error may be due to the port, the cable, the connector attached to the device, or the device itself. Who knows?

Thankfully, some of these woes don’t need special skills or extensive knowledge in computers. Tinker around for the solutions to common USB malfunctions here.

USB Device Not Recognized

Windows users encounter this prompt when plugging in a USB device into the computer. The error says the computer that runs on Windows does not recognize the portable disk, which has malfunctioned.

It’s a common inconvenience that can be resolved by doing these:

  • Turn off the computer (pull the plug from the power supply), and turn it on again. Or simply hit the Restart button. After the computer boots up, replug the USB device into the port. If it doesn’t work, try the next steps.
  • Check the USB port for dust or any object stuck inside the opening. Put alcohol on a cotton swab to clear the port of any obstructions. Insert the USB device.
  • If a refresh or cleanup doesn’t resolve the problem, switching to another USB port on the computer may do the trick.
  • Examine the USB cable for signs of wear or damage that may cause the device to fail. Buying a replacement USB cable is easier and safer than fixing a damaged one.
  • Try to plug the USB device into another laptop. If the second laptop recognizes the device, then the port is likely to be the culprit. You can also try plugging another flash drive into the port to confirm the diagnosis.
  • The port’s not working means going to the Device Manager for Windows to find out if it has turned off the controller to save power, and untick the checkbox. Sometimes, the USB port needs an updated driver, which you can check with the Device Manager.

  1. USB Disk Not Formatted

Formatting can result in loss of data, and ought to be the last resort if you see this error message. For one, you can try plugging the device into the computer to see if it works. If it’s working fine, then you may have to update the driver in the first computer. Refer to point no. 1.

You can also work with data recovery tools to salvage data from a corrupted device. Try this method with a caveat. If all else fails, format the disk.

  1. USB Drive Can’t Be Formatted

Here’s a reverse situation to point no. 2. Windows tells that you can’t complete the formatting such that you can’t save files on the flash disk. The USB device may have been corrupted by a virus, physically damaged, or the memory is full.

Another likely reason is that the device is write-protected. Look for a manual switch in the device to turn on or off the write protection. You can further examine the device’s properties for the used and free space to confirm the memory. You can also try Diskpart, which is Windows’ disk partition management tool.

  1. Limited or Lack of USB Ports

MacBooks are infamous for their ports, which count from one to two, and being unable to accommodate other regular USB formats at that. Given that the USB devices come in billions, from cameras to chargers, it’s indispensable to have numerous slots for them.

Laptop docking stations resolve the limited or lack of USB ports for plug-and-play devices. It helps to have a single hub to accommodate what you need to accomplish schoolwork or office work wherever you go.

If portability isn’t a significant consideration, you can look into powered USB hubs. They can have more devices without draining the host computer’s power or interrupting any of the devices’ performance and data transfer rate.

Hopefully, these resolve your common-day USB issues. Keep us connected with a comment below!