Code 10: device cannot start

Another awesome error message from Microsoft.  I came home for winter break and plugged my mp3 player in to recharge it and edit some music files to get this error message in the device manager.  The most irritating thing is that I’ve plugged this mp3 player into my computer I don’t know how many times before without any sort of problem at all – I have no idea where this came from.  The first thing I thought was maybe the cord is dying or the device itself is tweaking out.  I went downstairs and plugged it into my Dad’s computer to test it and within seconds his computer recognized the device perfectly, Sansa e280.  Now this really irritated me because it works on my Vista laptop and my Dad’s XP sp3 machine which is exactly like mine.

So the research began and the ideas I saw until I luckily came across the actual solution were to:

  1. Update the firmware on the mp3 player (FAILED)
  2. Update my computer’s BIOS (FAILED)
  3. Update the mobo’s chipset drivers (FAILED)
  4. Uninstall/reinstall everything listed under universal serial bus controllers in the device manager (FAILED)
  5. Manually install it through add hardware in the control panel .  (FAILED sort of)

As you can see nothing worked except #5, but that was only part of the solution for me.  Finally after getting fed up and taking a break I came back to it and updated the firmware using my Dad’s computer since it detected the device properly to begin with.  I think this was part of the solution, either that or I’m completely blind because in the Sansa mp3 players, at least the e280, there is supposed to be a setting where you change how it’s detected.  There’s MTP and MSC (I don’t honestly know the difference and don’t care enough to look it up) or just automatic.  But in mine I couldn’t find that setting anywhere until I updated the firmware.

Now that I had the detection options I tried switching them around to see what worked.  I got all excited when, in MSC mode, that happy little bubble popped up in the bottom right saying my device had been installed and is ready to use.  But when I looked in the device none of my music was in there anywhere.  MTP and automatic still didn’t work and by that time I was pretty pissed off and just about ready to chuck something out the window.  Then I found this forum which suggested adding the hardware through the control panel and changing it so that it looks for the driver in C:\Windows\inf.  Every other time I tried adding hardware manually I pointed it to the drivers folder – who would’ve thought that drivers would be in the drivers folder?  Why the hell wouldn’t Windows search there to begin with?  Anyway, That worked, but only when I had my mp3 player set for MTP mode.  It still doesn’t work in MSC mode, but now automatic works as well.

Make sure you play around with the USB detection settings in the mp3 player itself and tell the computer to search in C:\Windows\inf when installing the hardware manually or if a prompt pops up when you first plug it in.

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