I have had a DEL XPS15 laptop for ages (5.2 years) without this issue showing at all. Recently 2-5 months ago, it appeared from time to time ; now it shows up almost every time.
From time to time, I use an external disk drive (generally a version of a Western Digital My Passport, whether ultra or elements or whatever); also USB flash drives
After use, the HDD is dismounted cleanly (these are my backups, I would not dare endangering them)
when, after that, plugging the same or another HDD, more often than not, the USB device is not recognized (nothing showing as mounted, USBDeview showing purple dots for each device).
Windows Troubleshooting points to the Code 38 error:
Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory. (Code 38) The driver could not be loaded because a previous version of the driver is still in memory.
It may be the case that the situation is fixed by itself after some time (some could be a couple of hours - no measurement there). It is definitively resolved by a reboot. Looking at other posts elsewhere, I tried to uninstall all USB drivers so that they are installed back on a per needs basis : this also works, but no more than just rebooting.
Of course, I checked the device driver. Windows tell me it is the latest version. (6.3.9600.18224, Microsoft Windows, 21/06/2006).
Some friends suggested the following:
- install drivers for the WD: (1) I could not find any (2) anyway, I get the issue with Flash drives
- repair Windows 8.1: (1) I do not have a CD, this is DELL (2) I would not want to restart from scratch a clean install (too much history to wipe everything)
- upgrade to Windows 10: I will do that when I get a new computer, and want to keep this one for a museum (half a joke)
I would be fine with a way to force the unloading (e.g., a script) the device driver from memory so that it can be reloaded with rebooting the computer.
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