How To Fix This Device Cannot Start (Code 10) Error

Written by Lucy John on May 02, 2023

“I use WD USB HD to store my important files like images, videos, compressed files, documents, etc. I have had this device for a few years and everything was working fine. Yesterday I was in need of some documents so I connected the disk to my system. Then I noticed that only 1 file was visible on the drive, but the disk space was displaying properly (as it should show with all my data present). I scanned for viruses and no threats were detected. So I tried to reconnect the drive, but got an error message “the device cannot start (code 10)”. Now, how can I access my external device?

Don’t think you are alone if you're experiencing the device cannot start code 10 error, there are a lot of people who face the same issue. This article will provide you all the information you need to fix the device cannot start (code 10) error.

Table Of Content:

What Is Code 10 The Device Cannot Start Error?

Code 10 error is one of the Device Manager errors and is usually encountered when the Device Manager cannot recognize and connect to a hardware device. This usually happens due to outdated or corrupted drivers, or other hardware problems (most often related to audio devices).

What Causes The Error This Device Cannot Start Code 10?

Like mentioned earlier, the error external hard drive cannot start code 10 arises when Device Manager can't load the external disk, required device drivers failed to start, outdated/corrupted or missing drivers are present, the unspecified issue with driver or device exists, many drivers are being used by a particular device, Device Manager has improper information of the device, etc.

It is hard to settle on the exact cause of the error. So, you need to find out whether the issue is with the device or with the system. A simple way to do this is to connect your USB drive to another computer and check your device works. If you can access the disk on another computer then the issue is with your system. So try to fix the error on your computer.

Part 1: How Do I Fix The Device Cannot Start Error Code 10?

You can easily fix the device cannot start code 10 error with the help of below-mentioned methods:

Method 1: Update The Device Drivers To Fix Error Code 10

Error code 10 can occur due to corrupt or faulty device drivers. It can be fixed by updating the driver in the Device Manager following the below steps.

Method 2: Fix The Device Cannot Start Code 10 Using Run Device Troubleshooter

Device troubleshooter is a Windows built-in utility, which lets you get rid of any error related to the system’s hardware. Follow the below-mentioned steps:

Method 3: Uninstall and Re-install Driver

Fix the corrupt or faulty device drivers by uninstalling them and then reinstalling the device with the help of the below-mentioned steps:

Method 4: Using Delete Invalid Registry Entries To Fix The USB Code 10 Error

There is a possibility that the Upper Filters and Lower Filters values in the registry are corrupted, resulting in the error 'the device cannot start code 10'. This can be fixed by deleting these values in the registry. Here are the steps to follow:

Method 5: System Restore

In case the error is caused by system changes or issues, you can perform a system restore, which may create checkpoints automatically and fix the error code 10 this device cannot start.

If none of the above methods work, then the problem lies with the device itself. you need to use hard drive data recovery to recover the data first and then you need to format the drive to fix the error.

Part 2: How To Recover Lost Or Deleted Data Due To Code 10 Error?

Yodot Hard Drive Recovery is one of the promising recovery solutions for all your portable hard drive data loss problems. This tool helps you in fixing the error code 10 in a few clicks, It supports all sorts of external disk brands and it works on both Windows and Mac.

Steps to Recover Data From The Drive That Is Having This Drive Cannot Start Code 10

Step 1: Run the Yodot Hard Drive Recovery tool on your PC.


Step 2: Click on the “Partition Recovery” option button, it will automatically navigate to the next window.

Step 3: Click on the external drive from the list of available drives and click on the “Next” button to continue to further step.


Step 4: Select file types that you want to recover and click the “Next” button to commence the scan.


Step 5: After scan, you can sort restored files in two different views, either in “Data View” or “File Type View

Step 6: At the end, preview and save retrieved data in the desired destination.


After recovering data, format your drive so that you can use your drive for further read and write operations.

Tips to avoid this device cannot start code 10:

  • Keep your external hard drive virus free
  • Frequently scan portable devices for bad sectors

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