Fixing “ Windows cannot load the Device Driver for this hardware, Code 38 ” Error in Windows 10

Each you connect time external devices like scanners, printers, and the likes to a Windows 10 computer, the device either pushes the drivers through the USB or any other port, or you are expected to install the drivers through external media. In both cases, the driver will be loaded into the system, allowing you to use the device. However, it doesn’t always go smoothly as you could encounter some errors like the “Windows cannot load the Device Driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the Device Driver is still in memory ( Code 38 )”.

If you encounter such an error in the Device Manager, then this means that a previous version of the device driver is still in memory and that each time the device is used, that previous version is loaded into memory and then unloaded which triggers the “Windows cannot load the Device Driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the Device Driver is still in memory (Code 38)” error. This kind of error occurs if the operating system loads the unwanted driver or if it fails to unload the driver.

It could be that there is an obsolete version of the driver that’s still installed in the system or it could also be that you need to update your USB drivers as they could be outdated or the problem could also be due to some third party program that is interfering with the installation. Whatever the cause is, here are some suggestions you can check out to resolve the problem.

Option 1 – Uninstall previously installed drivers and reinstall their latest working version from the manufacturer’s website

The first thing you can do is to uninstall the drivers that are currently installed on your computer and then reinstall their latest working versions from their official sites. This kind of error is commonly encountered while loading drivers for scanners and printers. This is due to the fact that their drivers and software come along with a package which is usually in external media like CD or DVD. So when you install the software package, there’s a possibility that a newer version has been launched by its manufacturer. When that happens, you have to uninstall the previously installed driver package and then download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website and install them.

Option 2 – Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

  • The first thing you need to do is click on Start and then on the gear-like icon to pull up the window for Settings.
  • After opening Settings, look for the Update and Security option and select it.
  • From there, go to the Troubleshoot option located on the left-hand side of the list.
  • Next, select Hardware and Devices from the list and open the Troubleshooter and run it. Once it is doing its job, wait for it to complete the process and then restart the system.
  • After the system restarts, check if the problem’s now fixed. If not, refer to the next option given below.

Option 3 – Update or reinstall the Universal Serial Bus Controller driver

Since it could be a driver issue, you can try to update or reinstall the Universal Serial Bus Controller drivers using the Device Manager. Refer to the following steps:

  • First, click the Start button and type “device manager”.
  • Then click on the “Device Manager” from the search results to open it.
  • From there, look for the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” option and then right-click on each one of the USB drivers and select the Update Driver from the menu.

Note: If it is a regular USB drive, then it will be listed as a USB Mass Storage Device but if you have a USB 3.0 device, then look for a USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller.

  • Restart your PC and then click the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option.

Note: If updating the USB Controller drivers didn’t work, you can try to reinstall them instead.

Option 4 – Restart your computer in a Clean Boot State

If the first three given options didn’t work and you still see the error when you connect external devices, you can try putting your computer in a Clean Boot State and then try connecting them again.

  • Log onto your PC as an administrator.
  • Type in MSConfig in the Start Search to open the System Configuration utility.
  • From there, go to the General tab and click “Selective startup”.
  • Clear the “Load Startup items” check box and make sure that the “Load System Services” and “Use Original boot configuration” options are checked.
  • Next, click the Services tab and select the “Hide All Microsoft Services” check box.
  • Click Disable all.
  • Click on Apply/OK and restart your PC. (This will put your PC into a Clean Boot State. And configure Windows to use the usual startup, just simply undo the changes.)
  • Now try to connect the external devices and check if the error is now gone.

Congratulations, you have just fixed the cannot load the Device Driver Code 38 error in Windows 10 all by yourself. If you would like to read more helpful articles and tips about various software and hardware visit errortools.com daily.

Now that’s how you fix the cannot load the Device Driver Code 38 error in Windows 10 on a computer. On the other hand, if your computer is going through some system-related issues that have to get fixed, there is a one-click solution known as Restoro you could check out to resolve them.

This program is a useful tool that could repair corrupted registries and optimize your PC’s overall performance. Aside from that, it also cleans out your computer for any junk or corrupted files that help you eliminate any unwanted files from your system. This is basically a solution that’s within your grasp with just a click. It’s easy to use as it is user-friendly. For a complete set of instructions in downloading and using it, refer to the steps below

Perform a full system scan using Restoro. To do so, follow the instructions below.

  1. Download and install Restoro from the official site.
  2. Once the installation process is completed, run Restoro to perform a full system scan.
    restoro application screen
  3. After the scan is completed click the “Start Repair” button.
    restoro application screen
Error tools logo

PRIVACY     TERMS

Copyright © 2021, ErrorTools. All Rights Reserved Trademarks: Microsoft Windows logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft. Disclaimer: ErrorTools.com is not affiliated with Microsoft, nor claim direct affiliation. The information on this page is provided for information purposes only.

DMCA.com Protection Status

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?