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Solved : This device cannot start. (code 10) network adapter, realtek high definition audio or usb to serial

Sometimes you may notice, Network adapter, Realtek high definition audio driver, or USB to serial adapter stopped working. And after performing several troubleshooting steps you may notice a “This device cannot start. (code 10)” under device driver properties on device manager. Now you have the question on your mind what about this code 10? Let’s understand This device cannot start. (code 10) error and how to fix the problem.

What is This device cannot start? (code 10)

This error occurs when the device manager is unable to start a hardware device such as a printer, sound, or USB device. The error code 10 is a common driver error. It indicates that the driver for the specific device is failing to load. The Code 10 error could apply to any hardware device in Device Manager, though most Code 10 errors appear on USB and audio devices. As this is a driver compatibility-related problem, Therefore you can easily fix the problem by focusing on device drivers. Such as by update, Rollback or Reinstall the specific device driver ( which causing Code 10 error.

Fix This device cannot start. (code 10)

If you are getting This device cannot start. (code 10) error while plugging a USB device then first make sure the USB device is not defective and connected properly. Also, try to connect the device with different USB ports available on your Desktop/Laptop. If possible plug this USB device into another computer to check and make sure whether it’s working properly or not.

Update Drivers in Device Manager

As discussed this problem is mostly related to the device drivers lets update the problematic device drivers to fix error 10 issues. If updating the drivers does not work you will need to move on to the next solution which involves completely uninstalling and reinstalling the Drivers.

  1. Press Windows + R, type devmgmt.msc, and ok to open Device Manager.
  2. Double-click the device that is causing the error (there will be a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark to the left of it)
  3. Right-click the specific device and select Properties
  4. Click on the Driver menu tab and select Update Driver
  5. Windows may ask for the path of the driver in which case you will need to either insert your Drivers disk (if you have it) or download the Drivers from the manufacturer’s website
  6. Restart your computer
  7. This solution did the job for you

Disable USB Suspend Settings

1. Open Power Options from Control Panel.
2. Click at Change plan settings.
3. Then select Change Advanced Power Settings.
4. At USB Settings set the USB selective suspend setting to Disabled. *
* Note: If you own the laptop set the USB Suspend to Disable to both “On Battery” & “Plugged in”.
5. Click OK to apply changes.
6. Restart your computer.

Disable USB Suspend Setting
Disable USB Suspend Setting

Delete invalid or corrupted Registry entries

If all above solutions didn’t fix the problem then open registry editor by press windows + R, type regedit and ok. Frist backup registry database then navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\GUID path

( Select the GUID as per your problematic device, for ex I am face problem with USB device then for me the GUID is 36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000  ) And the exact path for me is

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000 

GUID Details 
 No GUID  Device Class
 1 4d36e965-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives CDROM
 2 4d36e967-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Hard drives DiskDrive
 2 4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Video adapters Display
3 4d36e969-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Floppy controllers FDC
 4 4d36e980-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Floppy drives FloppyDisk
 5 4d36e96a-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Hard drive controllers HDC
 6 745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da Some USB devices HIDClass
 7 6bdd1fc1-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f IEEE 1394 host controller 1394
 8 6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f Cameras and scanners Image
 9 4d36e96b-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Keyboards Keyboard
 10 4d36e96d-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Modems Modem
 11 4d36e96f-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Mice and pointing devices Mouse
 12 4d36e96c-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Audio and video devices Media
 13 4d36e972-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Network adapters Net
 14 4d36e978-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 Serial and parallel ports Ports
 15 4d36e97b-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 SCSI and RAID controllers SCSIAdapter
 16 4d36e97d-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 System buses, bridges, etc. System
 17 36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000 USB host controllers and hubs USB

Note: For Different problematic Device GUID may be Different For Ex if you having a problem with an Audio device then the GUID is 4d36e96c-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318 

Look at the right-pane and Delete (right-click > Deletethe following registry entries (values) if found:

  • UpperFilters
  • LowerFilters

Close Registry Editor and restart your computer, and check if your USB Device is working. For Better understand check bellow video, For registry, tweak check time 3.29 


Did these solutions help to fix “This device cannot start. (code 10) network adapter, Realtek high definition audio, or USB to serial devices” Let us know which option worked for you. Also, Read 5 Simple steps to troubleshoot network connection problem on windows 10

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