Windows will no longer install any new drivers

Original Title: Windows Cannot Install ANY new drivers:__"Windows found driver software for your device but encountered an error while attempting to install it. The system cannot find the file specified."


Hi,

I have been having this problem for a few months now that windows is completely unable to install any new USB related drivers for any kind of device.

Any time I plug in a USB device that I have not installed prior to this error occuring I get the "Found New Hardware" wizard pop-up. This happens for all devices, even plug'n'play devices such as Memory Sticks that would normally install automatically without showing this wizard.

If I click "Locate and Install Drivers" the wizard does as expected, and searches for drivers. Once it finds them however, it attempts to install them and then produces this error:

"Windows found driver software for your device but encountered an error while attemping to install it.

<Name of Device>

The system cannot find the file specified."

If you google that error message you can find dozen and dozens of people with the same problem for different devices: scanners, printers, iPods, mouses, memory sticks, digital cameras. This is not a device specific problem; any solution that revolves around installing via special driver installation software etc. for specific devices is at best a work around, and often devices that come with their own custom driver installation CDs/etc. will often still not install correctly and produce this same error.

I have already attempted a number of solutions to no avail:

1) Uninstall USB Hubs and reboot (to reinstall them): USB Hubs also cannot now (re)install due to the same error, so previously working USB devices also do not work (as they too need reinstalling.)

2) Disabling Driver Signing: disabled via command prompt but the problem persists.

3) Install hotfix KB940199: Upon running the hotfix I get the message "The update does not apply to your system." (I am running Vista Home Premium 32bit, but I have seen others who get the same message on different OS versions.)

 

As far as I have seen, this problem is specific to Windows Vista, as I have not seen the same problem reported for Windows 7 nor any older OS such as XP etc.

Some devices seem to (occasionally) erroneously report correct installation but continue to not work. Some things I have tried to install come up saying "ready to use" after I click "Locate and Install drivers" in the Found New Hardward wizard, but still do not work, and still trigger the wizard the next time I plug them in.

In these cases this only seems to occur when plugged into a certain one of my 6 USB ports, and all the other ports produce the main error noted above.


On one site I looked at, it said to check if the following registry entry was missing:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

While I do not know for sure how to check that, I did paste that path into command prompt which told it me that it could not find the path specified. I do not know if this means it is missing or not, but the site that I mentioned said it could potentially cause the "System cannot find the file specified" error.

 

I must admit I'm pretty much at wits end with this error, having been plagued with it for months and tried to find a solution various times and failed. I really, really want and need to get this error fixed but so far nothing seems to work.

Once again, this applies to all and every kind of USB device (and potentially other types of) drivers that I have tried to install, so the problem is not device specific but some kind of error within windows/the computer.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

 

Question Info


Last updated August 19, 2019 Views 19,960 Applies to:

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Hi DLTyrus,

 

1. Since when are you facing the issue?
2. Had you done any changes on the computer after which the issue started?

3. Which service pack version for the operating system is installed on your computer?

 

You may refer to the below provided Microsoft article and check if the steps provided assist your resolve the issue -

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940267

 

Hope this helps.

Thanks,
Meghmala – Microsoft Support

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4 people were helped by this reply

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Hi, thanks for the reply.

 

1. I've had this problem since around June (the 12th to be precise.)

2. I've not made any changes that I am aware could have caused this problem. I first encountered it whilst trying to install an audio interface hardware from Line 6, and at the time I merely thought I had issues with their drivers on Vista. However since then I have discovered that I cannot install any drivers that I have tried to install - from neither windows update nor CDs that come with hardware.

3. I'm currently running Service Pack 2 on Vista.

 

I checked out the link you provided, and while I have nothing from NETGEAR installed nor could find any trace of the mentioned "Zetsfd.sys" file, I did try the work around.

However, after finding the registry entry it referred to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E967-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
At which point it says to delete "LowerFilters", I had no LowerFilters entry so I had nothing to delete.
Is there anything else which I can try? I'd really like to be able to use USB devices again. :|

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Sorry to post again but I have an update on the issue.

 

I just tried updating random drivers in my Device Manager to see if I encountered this problem with any other types of drivers (other than USB related ones) and sure enough when windows found new drivers for my battery I got the same error.

 

So, I have no idea if this bears any relevance on solving the problem but it would appear that this problem is universal for drivers of any kind whatsoever, not merely drivers for external USB devices.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------

EDIT

 

Okay, I have made some progress with this issue but now I've reached a point where I am unsure how to go further.

Based on some advice I found via google I have been trying to resolve the "The system cannot find the file specified" error via the setupapi.dev.log in windows/inf, in order to locate which file the systen cannot find and then place it in the folder it is looking.

Each time I attempt to install the drivers, with it failing with the same error, and checked the setupapi.dev.log I would find a few lines like this:

 source media:
     flq:                               Description  - [windows cd]
     flq:                               SourcePath   - [c:\windows\inf]
     flq:                               SourceFile   - [hcrstco.dll]
     flq:                               Flags        - 0x00000000
     flq:                          {_commit_copyfile}
     flq:                               {SPFILENOTIFY_STARTCOPY}
     flq:                               {SPFILENOTIFY_STARTCOPY - returned 0x00000001}
!!!  flq:                               Error installing file (0x00000002)
!!!  flq:                               Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified.
!    flq:                                    SourceFile   - 'c:\windows\inf\hcrstco.dll'
!    flq:                                    TargetFile   - 'C:\Users\Aaron\{4d629fc3-e91c-455f-83a6-4c57305e6f22}\hcrstco.dll'
     flq:                               {SPFILENOTIFY_COPYERROR}
     flq:                               {SPFILENOTIFY_COPYERROR - returned 0x00000000}
!!!  flq:                               SPFILENOTIFY_COPYERROR: returned FILEOP_ABORT.
!!!  flq:                               Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified.

Each time I saw this I would

1)Go to C:\windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository

2)Search for the file listed under SourceFile above, in the example hcrstco.dll

3)copy this file to C:\windows\inf

Each time I did this I would see a different file listed in the log that the system could not find. Sometimes it was a .dll and sometimes a .sys.

I figured I was making progress, and I took it to mean that the install process was looking for a bunch of files in windows/inf that weren't there, and so I was having to add them manually.


Having done this with about 6 or 7 files I am still receiving the "The system cannot find the file specified", however the log file has now changed. I no longer see a specific file that it cannot find, and so I am unsure how to proceed.

 

I would like to post my current setupapi.dev.log file for someone to look at, who might understand it better than I do. However, I don't think I can attach documents to this forum (?) and I believe if I simply paste it into a post it will exceed whatever character limits are in place. What's the best way to submit this info?


Hopefully this will provide a bit more technical insight into the nature of the error so that it can be resolved!

Many thanks for any help that can be offered.

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You apparently have a Laptop, go to your laptop makers site, specific to your model and reinstall the chipset drivers, at least. Also check if there are any critical Bios updates there

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I do have a Laptop yes, a Toshiba one. I forgot to mention that.

Regarding Chipset drivers; considering that no drivers I have attempted to install with any method have installed correctly, is there any reason why chipset drivers would be any different? I've already fallen into the trap of effectively disabled my USB ports by uninstalling the hubs without realizing the bug would prevent their reinstallation, and I do not want to do the same thing and prevent the laptop working entirely.

Also, when I found my model (which apparently wasn't on the regular method of specifying a model) the only chipset drivers were for Windows 7, Vista 64 bit (I'm 32) or Windows XP, so I could not find them for my system anyway.

I did manage to find a BIOS update for my laptop however, it didn't seem to indicate it was critical or anything, but nevertheless I will try it, thank you.

 

Edit: As I suspected the BIOS update doesn't seem to have made a difference to the problem.

 

Edit: Okay... can anyone explain how this makes any sense...

 

My mouse just spontaneously started working. I tried re-uninstalling my USB Hubs (that are still listed as Unknown Devices) as well as my Mouse since I had it plugged in from blindly hoping it would install the drivers without error (which it didn't of course.)

I rebooted but left my mouse plugged in, and when my computer started up I skipped the wizard popup and just selected ask me later. Instead I went into Device Manager and tried to install drivers by browsing instead. For my mouse I selected the "Select from a list" option and chose the USB Mouse driver, and for my Hubs I just pointed them at the inf folder again.

The same error messages popped up again and the devices remained listed as unknown (My mouse also, which was previously correctly named)

Suddenly I noticed my mouse was working, and the properties o in the Device Manager state it is working... what the heck happened?

I'm probably not explaining myself very well, but essentially after rebooting with my mouse remaining plugged in, and selecting the drivers manually from a list, my mouse is currently working despite the fact that it is listed as an unknown device and the drivers supposedly did not install.

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I'm experiencing this exact same problem on Windows 7 x64 as well. No matter if I provide an inf, let Windows automatically search for a proper device driver, or pick a driver from the device list I get the file not found error. Very frustrating, I think at this point my only recourse is to reinstall Windows. I love Windows 7, but the fact that such a crippling bug is so widespread with absolutely no solution even though I can find instances of it reaching well back to over a year ago now is fairly off putting.

I've read countless other posts about various people experiencing this issue with various drivers just like DLTyrus has, and nothing mentioned in any of them has been of help so far.

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Adrian Guenter,

 

It looks like your problem is similar, but differs from the original question. Please start your own question and provide the details of your problem so that we can help you further.

 http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistahardware/threads

 

Thank you


Chris
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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Hi, Microsoft! I have been having the same problem for the past six months. I am operating on Vista and do not know much about computers. I have tried deleting the infcache.1 file but it did not work. USB devices which I have used before this problem arose works fine, but anthing new gets the same response from the computer as DLTyrus. Please help. It is really important that I get to use new USB devices.

 

thank you.

jeff

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I am also experiencing the same problem as Adrian Guenter on Windows 7 x64.  Have any helpful approaches been identified?

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Hello,

 

Due to the age of this issue, it would be best to create a new thread for this.

 

Doing so will avoid any confusion between your issue and that of the original poster.

 

Be sure to create the new thread in the following forum:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/hardware

 

Best regards,

Matthew_Ha

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