Windows Phone – Not Recognized by Windows 7

Twice within the first month of using the wonderful Nokia Lumia 1020 running Windows Phone 8 with the Black firmware update my computer has been unable to recognize the device using the standard Nokia USB cable connecting to Windows 7 on a desktop computer. Unfortunately I’ve been here before with multiple iPhones, Blackberries and even a Handspring Visor with various Windows OS’es and devices over the years. Windows has come a long way from the days of Windows 95/98 “plug and pray” but still occasionally struggles to recognize or support devices.

Issue:  I detached my phone from the cable in the morning and 10hrs later when reconnected nothing happened, for the second time in two weeks.  I check Device Manager and see a generic MTP USB Device icon in the Portable Devices group with a yellow exclamation mark. When I check the properties of the device it lists the issue as – USB Error This device cannot start (Code 10). Code 10 is a generic error indicating an issue with a device. Sigh….I’ve been here before and know it can be quick and easy, or I’m about to loose an hour or two.

Solution: Restarting the phone.
Yes indeed that’s what’s solved my issue twice now. Of course that’s not what I tried first, because, well why would the device generate what appears to be a OS Device driver issue? I went through the normal steps which you may need to as well if a restart doesn’t work.

If a phone restart doesn’t work, these are the standard steps for any USB device and are often the solution for phones, cameras and similar devices.

  1. Delete the Device, unplug the device and re-connect. If that doesn’t work try it again and reboot before reconnecting the USB device
  2. Delete the USB Devices – “WinUSB” for Windows phone, then Delete the “MTP USB” Device and reboot
  3. Delete the upper or lower filter keys for the device in the registry, see step 6 in the link below for details.


Windows phone USB device cannot start code 10
Windows phone USB device cannot start code 10

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