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Frequently Asked Questions

How to Download and Install the Proper USB Driver

The Basics

Many computer users experience problems with their USB devices and connections. There are actually a number of different reasons why these problems may occur. In order for your devices to operate properly, all of the USB Controllers on your computer need an updated and functional USB drive. Controllers are tiny pieces of hardware that allow your system to establish and manage USB connections.

One of the first things you should do when trying to resolve the issue is make sure you have the latest USB driver on your PC. These days, most operating systems come with an up-to-date USB driver. However, if your computer is running on an older operating system, such as Windows 98, you may need to contact the manufacturer or search the web in order to find the most recent USB driver.

Also, keep in mind that some devices require a vendor specific USB driver, while other peripherals don’t specify a given class code. Either way, a USB driver is needed to communicate with the device so that it can be set to a configured state. If the vendor does recommend installing a particular USB driver as part of the troubleshooting process, then you should definitely do so. This might just be the answer to your problem.


So, how do you find out if the problems you’re encountering are related to your USB driver? If your computer is running on a Windows XP or Windows 2000 operating system, you can follow these simple steps to see if there are any issues affecting the USB driver.

  1. Open Windows Explorer and right-click on My Computer.
  2. Click on the Hardware tab and then hit the Device Manager Button.
  3. Near the bottom of that list, there should be a heading titled Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Click on the little plus sign that’s located next to it.
  4. If there’s a yellow exclamation point next to the line that reads USB Controller (or a variation of that), then there’s a problem with the USB driver on your system. If there’s no entry for a “USB Controller,” that usually means your system does not have a USB driver installed on it. In this case, you’ll need to download the Service Pack that’s compatible with your Windows operating system.
  5. When you do see an exclamation point next to the “USB Controller” listing, you can right-click on the entry and hit Properties.
  6. Select Troubleshoot and just follow the prompts.

More often than not, this will help you fix any problems you are having with the USB driver or the device. If this does not fix the issue, then you probably need to update to a new USB driver.

You can do this manually by identifying your USB device and its current version, taking note of your existing Windows OS version, and then going online to try and find a new driver. You can also automate this whole process and find the driver you need after just a few clicks by using a highly-rated driver update tool such as Driver Detective.