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When I plug it in, Windows 8 doesn't recognize the Microsoft Sidewinder Precision 2 joystick as being plugged in at all and it doesn't work.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I ended up shutting off the computer (actually, just sleeping it, but you could try shutting it off). With the computer off I plugged in the joystick, started it up, and Windows 8 found the joystick, installed the correct drivers, and I was good to go.

Screenshot of the joystick recognized in Windows 8:

1

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The above also works for Windows 7 with Sidewinder joysticks. If Windows sees the device, but doesn't recognise it as a game controller, go into the Control Panel and uninstall the driver or the device. Then connect the joystick, and reset Windows and it should work.

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