Fix: this device cannot start. (code 10) - Windows 10

When incorrect/corrupt drivers have been install or Windows 10 update has replaced a driver for the mentioned device this error will occur. It is a good idea to backup your drivers before making any changes. Download Driver Backup (free download) software to save the drivers.

Error 'The device cannot start. (Code 10) on Windows 10
The Code 10 Error message as it appears on Windows 10's device manager.

There are a few things to do to fix this but before we get to technical do these simple things to rule out an unstable OS session, even though this guide is for Windows 10 it also works with Windows XP to Windows 8.1


Windows 10 Shutdown Machine.
Windows 10 Shutdown from the Start Menu.


  • Reboot your LAPTOP/PC - Shut down Windows completely (No sleep or hibernation) (If the battery can be remove from the laptop take it out for a few minutes, and if you plugged into a wall outlet PC/Laptop remove for a few minutes.
  • Replace the battery and power up again, plugin to wall outlet again.


If you are still having the same issues then try the following:


Windows 10 Uninstall a Device.
Right Click Uninstall a Device on Windows 10.

In the Device Manager, right click on the device that is giving the Code 10 and click Uninstall.

Uninstall confirmation.
Click Uninstall to remove the device.

Now that the device has been remove we can refresh the device list, this will scan for hardware changes and re-install the driver.

WIndows 10 Hardware Scan
Windows 10 - Device manager - Scan for Hardware Changes.

Once this has been click the Device manager will scan for hardware.

Windows 10 scanning for new hardware.
Windows 10 - Device manager - Scanning for Plug and Play compliant hardware.

After the scan you will see the device re-appear in the list. If it is working you are done. If it is still giving a Code 10. go to #3


The next step is to get the latest drivers for the device and install them.


This error message will come up also with the following extra message when a Device wasn't able to initialize.

The request is not supported.


FW did not send FW Ready notification.

{Operation Failed}
The requested operation was unsuccessful.

(also see...)

this device cannot start. (code 10) wifi

high definition audio controller code 10

this device cannot start. (code 10) audio

this device cannot start. (code 10) usb to serial

this device cannot start. (code 10) touchpad

this device cannot start. (code 10) android adb interface

bluetooth this device cannot start. (code 10) status_device_power_failure

this device cannot start. (code 10) mouse ps/2

this device cannot start. (code 10) a device which does not exist was specified.