Rarely (several days to weeks between occurrences,) and seemingly at random, I get a balloon notification from Windows 7 (x64 SP1 Home Premium) that it is installing hardware for me.

Whatever is being installed does so without error. However, no new hardware has been installed or plugged in! When I click the balloon it doesn't give me any useful information:

Unknown Device Installed

Looking in the event log, I find this entry:

  • Event ID: 20001
  • Source: UserPnp
  • Task Category: 7005
  • Message:

Driver Management concluded the process to install driver FileRepository\usb.inf_amd64_neutral_153b489118ee37b8\usb.inf for Device Instance ID USB\VID_0000&PID_0000\6&3AF9A177&0&0060&&02 with the following status: 0x0.

It appears to be USB related. My motherboard has both USB 2.0 and 3.0 controllers. My keyboard and mouse are plugged into the 2.0 slots and the data/recharge cable for a tablet (but not the tablet itself) was plugged in to the 3.0 slot. No other USB devices have been attached for several days/reboots.

Why is Windows doing this?

Check under Device Manager for any unknown devices.

As per the Windows USB Core Team blog post titled Why is my USB device not detected or comes up as "Unknown Device"?, the reason for a Device ID like USB\VID_0000&PID_0000 is failure during enumeration.

The follow-up post titled What to Try When Your USB Device is an "Unknown Device" lists some reasons and possible solutions:

  1. The USB device is "hung" - Removing all power from the device (e.g. unplugging and re-plugging the USB cable and also the power cable if it has one) will reset the device and allow it to enumerate successfully.

  2. Worn or faulty USB connectors and cables - Over time USB cables and connectors can fail. Try plugging it into a different USB port, and also using a different USB cable if it is removable.

  3. No driver is installed - To resolve this problem you will need to find a compatible driver for the device, typically by contacting the device's manufacturer.

  4. There is insufficient power to start the device - To resolve this problem, plug-in the USB hub's power supply (if it has one), move the device to a root hub port, or move the device to another hub that is self-powered.

  5. The upstream hub has failed or is "hung" - If the device is connected to an external hub, try moving the device to a different hub or a root port. If the device enumerates successfully, try power-cycling the hub or removing/replacing it.

  6. The USB device has failed - It is possible that the USB device itself has suffered a hardware failure and is no longer functional. You will need to replace the device.

Additionally, you can try this Microsoft Fix it tool. If this by itself does not help, you can try refreshing the USB stack by going to Device Manager, expanding the USB Serial Bus controllers category, right-clicking and uninstalling everything listed under it, then finally rebooting.

  • There are two hubs, both front-panel USB ports (1 each 2.0 and 3.0.) Could they be causing the issue? – Andrew Lambert Nov 25 '12 at 23:44
  • Possibly, if the USB cables are not connected to the front panel headers properly. But it's more likely to be a specific device. Did you check Device Manager? – Karan Nov 26 '12 at 4:47
  • Yes. There was an unknown USB device, but then the Device Manager refreshed and it was gone. – Andrew Lambert Nov 26 '12 at 5:13

I just spent two weeks with the annoying USB connected error, accompanied by a ghost USB device in Device Manager that would just not go away. I tried registry hacks, uninstalling/updating/disabling the drivers etc. I didn't go as far as reformatting or re-installing Windows because from what I read that never seemed to help. Also unplugging my computer and letting it drain of power didn't fix the issue either.

What DID solve my USB woes was the Windows 7 "HotFix". It's basically a hotfix for USB problems on W7. It's litterally the only thing that fixed this issue- so if you've got this problem look no further.

You can download the (x64) HotFix here: http://thehotfixshare.net/board/index.php?showtopic=17961

I'm sure the hotfix is available for x32 as well. The name of the hotfix is "Windows6.1-KB2528984-v2-x64" if you need to further search it.

Hope it helps!

Sounds like it’s pulling some sort of software for the peripherals also might be worth running a scan with the AV.

If you’re definitely sure you have nothing else connected via USB, including hubs.

  • The only scanner installed and running is MSE. Aside from that, the only software running every time this has happened are Firefox, Thunderbird, and Clementine (music player.) – Andrew Lambert Nov 26 '12 at 5:15

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