windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware code 38

Code 38 Windows Cannot Load The Device Driver for This Hardware: Fixed

Windows, the ultimate operating system that every millennial trust, failed to do something. It is such a strange thing. But, several users are experiencing this annoying code 38, “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware” while connecting external devices such as printers, scanners, USB, etc. to the device. If you are also one of those troubled fellows who are struggling to solve this issue, then this penned note is what you need to read.

Here we disclose the tried and tested methods to effortlessly fix “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware” error code 38. But, before we jump to the fixes, a question that strikes the mind is why this error pops up in the first place. Below we first answer this question.

Why is error code 38 “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware” & its causes?

Error Code 38 displays a message meaning that the device is not properly working because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. It happens in the cases where you are trying to connect peripherals such as a printing machine, etc. as when connecting these devices you need to install the drivers via some external media and wait for Windows to load the drivers. The major causes of this irritatingly irksome error include

  • Outdated drivers present on your PC.
  • Dated USB drivers.
  • Interference of some third-party software.

These were the prominent factors responsible for Code 38 and 39 “Windows cannot load the device driver for this software.” Now that we know what has caused these errors fixing them will be an easier task.

In the below segment, we share the best possible solutions for the error message that the Windows cannot load the device driver for this software because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory.

Fixes for Code 38 “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware” (100% working)

Here we walk you through solutions for Code 38, “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware.” You can travel down these fixes until you reach the one that perfectly solves the problem for you. One of them will surely fix it.

Fix 1: Install a new Driver Version from the Device Manufacturer’s Website

As we have seen that old drivers are one of the prime reasons for which you get the error Code 38 “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware”, uninstalling the driver and then reinstalling it can fix the problem. You can reinstall a new driver version through the manufacturer’s website with the following steps.

  • Visit the official website of the component manufacturer.
  • Search for the drivers compatible with the model of your PC and the OS version which it runs.
  • Download the driver installation file and unzip the same if needed.
  • String along the instructions displayed on your screen to install the required driver.

Also Read: [FIXED] Conexant HD Audio Drivers for Windows 10 PC

Fix 2: Launch the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Windows comes with a troubleshooter for almost all the problems including the ones related to hardware. Hence, follow the below steps to run the troubleshooter and fix the Code 38 and 39 “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware.”

  • Press the Windows and I key on your computer to call up the “Settings” window.
  • Select the “Update & Security” option from the options displayed on the screen.
    update & security from windows setting
  • After you get the Update & Security screen, click on the “Troubleshoot” option.
  • Now, you will see a list. From that list, select “Hardware and Devices troubleshooter” to run it.
  • Check whether the “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware” error is fixed or it is still unfixed.

Fix 3: Install the USB Drivers Again

Since incorrectly installed or outdated USB driver is among the topmost reasons for which you are getting the error Code 38 “Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware”, you need to reinstall the USB driver to fix it. Be guided by the below steps to do the same.

  • On your keyboard, hit the Windows and R key concurrently to bring up the “Run” dialog box.
  • In the Run box that is displayed on the screen, type the command “devmgmt.msc” without quotation mark and select “OK.”
    type devmgmt.msc in run
  • Now, once you get the “Device Manager” on the screen, locate and expand the category of “Universal Serial Bus Controllers.”
  • Right-click on the USB device and choose the “Uninstall device” from a list of options that appear on the screen.
    uninstall driver option
  • On the next screen, give your confirmation for the uninstallation and wait for the procedure to complete.
  • After the process finishes, restart the PC to reinstall the USB driver.

Fix 4: Perform a Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot brings to fore the programs interfering with your device’s functioning and fixes the errors stating that this device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. Below is how to perform a clean boot for smooth and glitch-free PC performance.

  • In the “Run box”, type “msconfig” and choose “OK.”
    open msconfig from run command
  • Once the “System Configuration” window appears, move to the “General tab” and uncheck the “Load startup items” box.
  • Move to the “Services” tab and checkmark “Hide all Microsoft services”, and then select “Disable all.”
    Hide all Microsoft services
  • Go to the “Startup” tab and select “Open Task Manager.”
  • Once the Task Manager window comes, move to the “Startup” tab.
  • Right-click every enabled item and click on the “Disable” button.
    right-click every enabled item and click on the Disable
  • Enable all these disabled items one after the other and restart the PC.
  • Check whether the error is fixed or still Windows cannot load the device driver.

Fix 5: Update drivers with Bit Driver Updater (Recommended)

The above fixes are too technical for a novice user. Moreover, if any step goes even slightly wrong, then the problem can become worse and unsolvable. Therefore, we have got a simple automatic solution for you. Simply, install Bit Driver Updater on your PC, follow a few quick steps, and leave the task of solving the issue to it. This tool, in addition to updating drivers, takes your device’s performance a notch up and makes it free from all kinds of errors. First, let’s have a look at the short step series that you need to follow to update drivers using Bit Driver Updater, then we will talk about the incredible features of this tool that instigated us to recommend it.

Steps to Automatically Update Drivers with Bit Driver Updater

  • Download the installation file of Bit Driver Updater and install the utility.
  • Wait for a couple of seconds till the results of the automatic PC scan appear.
  • Once you see the results, click on the “Update Now” button present in front of the outdated driver to update it. If you are short on time and want to update all drivers in one mouse click, then choose “Update All.”

Bit Driver Updater


The above was the easiest way to update drivers. Now, let’s have a look at what makes Bit Driver Updater a favorite of millions, including us.

Remarkable Features of Bit Driver Updater

  • It downloads only those drivers that have authentication from WHQL.
  • Hosts the functionality to backup and restore drivers whenever you feel the need to do so.
  • Scans the PC automatically for outdated, corrupt, and missing drivers.
  • You can schedule the PC scans.
  • There is an option to exclude drivers for which you do not want to run a scan.
  • Boasts support for multiple languages and all the latest Windows versions.

Now that you know how amazing this tool is, do not waste time being confused. Instead of doing that, click on the below link given here to install Bit Driver Updater and solve all the PC issues.


Code 38 Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware: Solved

This post taught us the best fixes for Code 38 Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. Bit Driver Updater is one solution that worked for us as well as several other users in case of almost every PC problem. Hence, we suggest you give it a try. If you have solved the error in some other way, then do tell us about it in the below comment box. We would love to add it to our write-up. Lastly, before you click on the arrow to leave this page, be sure to subscribe Innovana Blog for more fixes to annoying tech issues and other updates.

Niharika is a writer with a keen interest in the tech field. She is a passionate writer with a desire to gain more knowledge about science & technology, and this made her a technical content writer. When not writing, she spends her time reading and exploring new places.

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