Windows OS

How to Fix “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” Error in Sound Devices on Windows 10?

The “this device cannot start” limitation is associated with removable devices and is indicated in all versions of Windows. This particular limitation prevents CD drives or storage devices from showing up on the PC. This issue can be encountered due to malfunctioned USB ports, audio/USB devices, or outdated drivers.

This write-up will provide the solutions to resolve the malfunctioning sound devices issue in Windows 10.

How to Resolve “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” Error in Sound Devices Faced in Windows 10?

To resolve this particular limitation in sound devices faced on Windows 10, consider the following fixes:

Fix 1: Try Alternate USB Port

The foremost approach to consider is to check for the USB port with which the device is connected, as the malfunctioned USB port can be a bottleneck in starting the device. To cope with this issue, plug the particular device into an alternate USB port in the PC.

Fix 2: Restart the PC

Restarting the PC fixes most of the issues faced in Windows. Therefore, the sound device malfunction can also be resolved by performing a restart, simply. After that, access the device again by re-plugging it after the PC restarts and see if the discussed issue vanishes.

Fix 3: Replace the Sound Device

It is also likely that the integrated sound device is malfunctioning. Hence, replacing the sound device is another fix. After doing so, observe if the error vanishes. Otherwise, overview the next approach.

Fix 4: Perform a Windows Update

Outdated Windows can also result in facing the discussed error. Therefore, updating Windows can resolve this issue since the updated version resolves most of the issues.

This procedure can be achieved by following the below-enlisted steps.

Step 1: Navigate to “Update & Security”

Firstly, navigate to “Settings-> Update & Security”:

Step 2: Check For Updates

In the below-given pop-up, hit the highlighted button to check for the available updates and install them:

The following progress window will check for the latest updates and install them:

Lastly, restart the PC to complete the installation process.

Fix 5: Update Hardware Drivers

The outdated hardware drivers can also result in displaying the “This device cannot start (Code 10)” error. To update the hardware driver, follow the below-listed instructions.

Step 1: Navigate to “Optional Updates”

In the “Update & Security” settings, opt for the “View optional updates” option:

Step 2: Update Driver

Here, mark the drivers that are outdated and hit “Download and install” to install the particular driver(s):

After the driver(s) are updated, observe if the faced issue is streamlined now. If it is not the case, move on to the next fix.

Fix 6: Uninstall Problematic Driver(s)

In case updating the device driver doesn’t work out for you, uninstall it by applying the following steps.

Step 1: Open “Device Manager”

First of all, press the “Windows + X” shortcut keys and opt for “Device Manager” to switch to the Device Manager:

Step 2: Switch to Driver Properties

Now, right-click on the problematic driver and hit “Properties”:

In the following window, switch to the “Driver” tab and check if the highlighted “Roll Back Driver” button is blurred out. This particular button is effective if an issue is faced after updating the driver. If the button is blurred out, uninstall the driver:

Fix 7: Reinstall Windows 10

If none of the above approaches work, then the clean installation of Windows can resolve the malfunctioning in the sound devices. So, try reinstalling Windows 10 to switch to the default settings for each functionality and start using your system efficiently.


To fix or resolve the “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” error in sound devices on Windows 10, try an alternate USB port, restart the PC, replace the sound device, perform a Windows Update, update hardware drivers, uninstall the problematic driver(s), or reinstall Windows 10. This blog explained the approaches for handling the malfunctioning of sound devices in Windows 10.

About the author

Umar Hassan

I am a Front-End Web Developer. Being a technical author, I try to learn new things and adapt with them every day. I am passionate to write about evolving software tools and technologies and make it understandable for the end-user.