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."
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:
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!