Fix: Error code 10 (This device cannot start)

The error code 10 is a common error of Windows. Windows users often notice that the device they plugged in is not working and shows the error message “This device cannot start code 10” or “This device cannot start (code 10) a device that does not exist was specified”. This error code 10 relates to communication 1394 devices which are connected via USB cable. In this article, we will teach you 10 methods to fix error code 10.

What causes Error code 10?

Following are the reasons which are responsible for the error code 10 –

  • The driver which device needs does not start
  • Device manager is not able to start the device
  • Outdated or incompatible drivers
  • Missing or corrupt drivers
  • Device manager has insufficient information to recognize the error that is bubbled up by the device driver

How to fix Error code 10 (This device cannot start)

Here are the 10 fixes for error “This device cannot start (error code 10)”

Fix 1 – Restart your PC

Restarting your PC might help you in fixing the error. This is the very first thing to do when this error occurs. There are chances that this error is caused by some temporary problem in Device Manager. Restart your PC a couple of times to see if the problem will resolve itself.

Fix 2 – Update drivers

Outdated drivers of the PC does not support the new software and thus create many types of error including code 10 error. Old drivers might not work properly. Updating the driver can be done manually by going to the manufacturer’s website and search for the most recent and compatible driver. Automatic update options are also available.

To update manually, follow these steps –

  • Click on Start icon
  • Open Windows Device Manager

  • Right-click on a driver from the list (which need to be updated)
  • Choose Update Driver option

To change the settings of the device manager to update the driver automatically, follow these steps –

  • Click on Start icon
  • Go to Devices and Printers

  • Select Device Installation Settings
  • Select “Check for drivers automatically” or “Yes, do this automatically”

You can also use a driver update tool to update the driver

Fix 3 – System restore

Restoring system can fix many errors including code 10 error. To restore the system, follow these steps –

  • Boot with Windows Installation Media/CD/Flash Drive
  • Click on Repair my computer

  • Select language preference and click Next

  • Open Troubleshoot and go to the Advanced Options menu

  • Select System Restore

  • Pick a restore point. After restoring, Windows will return to that point without affecting any other file

Fix 4 – Uninstall and then reinstall the USB controller

Uninstalling and then reinstalling the USB controller might help in fixing code 10 error. By applying this method you will lose temporarily connection to any USB connected device including keyboard, mouse, printer. To uninstall and then reinstall the USB controllers, follow these steps –

  • Click on Start icon
  • Open Device Manager

  • Look for Universal Serial Bus controllers and expand it

  • Right-click the USB controller and click Uninstall

  • Do the same for each USB controller that is listed under Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  • Restart your PC (after restarting windows will automatically scan for hardware changes and reinstall USB controllers or else you can download latest drivers by visiting manufacturer’s website)

Fix 5 – Run the hardware and devices troubleshooter

Try fixing the code 10 error by running the hardware and devices troubleshooter. To run the Hardware and devices troubleshooter follow these steps –

  • Click on Start icon
  • Open Control Panel
  • Go to All Control Panel Items option

  • Click on Troubleshooting and select view all (This will open the list of available Windows troubleshooting tools)
  • Look for Hardware and devices and click on it
  • Click on advanced and mark the small box near Apply repairs automatically

  • Click Next
  • Restart your PC after the troubleshooting process completes

Fix 6 – Set the Windows Audio Service to automatic

By setting Windows Audio Service to automatic this error might be resolved. For doing so, follow these steps-

  • Press the Windows key + R to open a Run Window
  • In the dialogue box type “services.msc”  and press Enter (a list of services will open)

  • Look for the Windows Audio service on the right pane and double click it to open menu

  • Select Automatic option from the drop-down menu to let Windows Audio service start immediately as soon as your computer is powered on
  • Click Apply and OK

  • Restart your PC

Fix 7 – Install the latest Intel device drivers

Try fixing the error by installing the latest Intel device drivers. Here are the steps to install drivers-

  • Run Intel Driver Update Utility and press Next

  • Accept the license terms and press Install 

  • Wait until Intel Driver Update Utility install all requires programs and files

  • Press launch when System Update is completed

  • Press Start Scan

  • When the driver scan is completed, press Download to save the latest drivers

  • After that press Install 
  • Restart your PC when the driver installation is completed

Fix 8 –  Re-register a DLL File

According to Microsoft, the root cause of the code 10 error is a missing or corrupted btmshellex.dll file. The solution is to re-register the problematic file. To do so, follow these steps –

  • Click on Start icon
  • Type cmd in the search box
  • Click on cmd and run it as administrator
  • When the Command Prompt opens, type regsvr32/ubtmshellex.dll and hit Enter (by doing this you are removing the btmshellex.dll file from the registry)

  • After that, type regsvr32btmshellex.dll to re-register the same file once more and press Enter
  • Restart your PC to put into effect the changes you made

Fix 9 – Update Bios

By upgrading BIOS, the overall performance of your PC improves. Thus, upgrading BIOS might help in fixing Error code 10. To upgrade bios, follow these steps –

  • Click on Start
  • Open System information
  • Type “msinfo” and hit Enter

  • Check your computer’s model name (skip this step if you have a custom-built computer)
  • Find your Bios Version number

  • Open your BIOS manufacturer’s support site
  • There you will find bios update file
  • Download the update file

Fix 10 – Install a fresh copy of your operating system

If you have tried everything and the problem is not yet solved then go for installing a fresh copy of your operating system. Try this in last because this method is time-consuming. Make sure you have taken a backup of all your old files before installing a fresh copy of your operating system.


These are the 10 fixes for code 10 error. Try fixing this error by restarting your PC. If this didn’t work then go for updating drivers. Then try the other methods mentioned above. If all these methods didn’t work then go for installing a fresh copy of your operating system but make sure you have taken a backup of all your old files. If you tried these methods wisely, you are now using your PC without being frustrated by this error.

For any query or suggestion regarding the topic, please comment below in the comment section. I hope I helped you in fixing this error. Have a great day!

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