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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. How do I fix it?

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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:

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

0

If it doesn't work, please try an USB port that's directly on the mainboard. The joystick draws quite some power and secondary connected 'front' ports or ports on a hub do not always work.

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