Windows Cannot Load The Device Driver For This Hardware

The drivers play a crucial role in connecting your PC to other devices. Apart from that, you also need them to connect your device to a stable network. And, you might face a wide range of issues if your computer does not have the required drivers. Not only that, but you must also have the right driver version for a particular task. So, you must always keep your device drivers up-to-date.

Do you get an error code 38 on your PC? As the message says, this error occurs because there is a previous driver version in your device’s memory. And, it usually occurs when you are trying to connect to an external device.

However, this issue is not as simple as it might seem to you. Follow the methods we have mentioned below to fix this error if you are looking for a solution.

Error 38

6 Simple Fixes for Error Code 38: Previous Driver version Still in Memory

You might get an error code 38 on your PC under a wide range of circumstances. The cause of this issue is not the same in all cases. So, you might need to try out various methods to fix it effectively. Here are the most effective ones that you must give a try:

  • Restart Your System

As you might know, restarting can fix a wide range of temporary errors on your PC. It can provide you with an effective solution immediately in many cases. So, you might want to try this method first if you are in a hurry.

Shut down your computer for a few minutes and power it back on once ready. This should fix any temporary errors with various functions of your PC.

Does the problem persist after you restart your computer? Then, you must move on to some more advanced solutions.

  • Reinstall All Your USB Devices

Do you get the error code 38 while trying to connect to an external device? Then, there might be an issue with your USB drivers. If the error shows up repeatedly, you might have to reinstall the drivers for an optimal solution. So, go to your Device Manager and expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers.

Right-click each USB controller and opt for uninstalling their drivers. Then, restart your device to automatically download the latest drivers for all of them. If your PC does not download the drivers automatically, manually install them through the Device Manager. 

  • Troubleshoot Hardware and Device Issues

You can use the troubleshooter to fix various issues with your PC. You can also use it for the hardware and connected devices, among other components. So, you must try using the troubleshooter to fix error code 38 on your device. Open the Updates & Security section in your Settings menu and the Troubleshoot tab.

You will see various components of your PC listed on the right panel. Click on Hardware & Devices and run the troubleshooter for it. Then, follow any instructions on the screen to complete the procedure.

Once it detects the issue, the troubleshooter will start the repair. Depending on the problem, the repair might take some time. Restart the PC once you are done and check the problem. 

  • Update Your Device Drivers

Your device might fail to load a driver when using an outdated driver version. If it has been a long time since you updated your device drivers, you must update them now. And, that might offer you an effective solution to the error code 38.

Navigate to the adapter or controller facing the issue in the Device Manager. Right-click it, and opt for updating its driver software. Restart the device to register the changes you made.

You can avoid the error code 38 on your device by keeping your device drivers up-to-date. If required, you must download an automatic driver update app for your convenience. You will find many suitable options for your requirements out there. 

  • Fix Corrupt System Files

Your PC might fail to load a driver due to corrupt system files. You need to repair the damaged file to fix the problem in such cases. And, the System File Checker (SFC) on your device can help you with that task. You need to use the Command Prompt as an administrator to activate this tool on your PC.

Enter the command “sfc /scannow” to look for damaged system files. SFC can usually find them within a short time and proceed to repair them. Close the program once the procedure is complete and restart your device. Then, check whether your PC can load the device drivers. 

  • Disable Auto-Turn Off for the Hard Disk

Your hard disk might turn off if the device stays idle beyond a certain time. This depends on the power settings you are using on your PC. Your computer might often fail to load the device driver because the hard disk has turned off. So, you must make sure whether that is indeed the case. Open the Power Options on your Control Panel to do that.

Select the power plan you have enabled and click on ‘Change power settings’. Then, opt for changing the advanced power settings. Check the values next to ‘On Battery’ and ‘Plugged’ in and Enter “never” in place of any number you find. This would ensure that your hard disk does not turn off when your device is idle.

What if You Fail to Resolve the Error?

You must give all the aforementioned solutions a try for fixing the error code 38 on your PC. But, if none of them is effective, you must perform a clean boot on your device. In other words, you must disable all background software services and restart your device.

Apart from that, you must also make sure the connected device is working properly. Reach out to an expert immediately if you cannot find any explanation for the problem.