How to Recover from a ‘USB Device Not Recognized’ Message

I just bought a new computer. It came with Windows 7 installed. I opened up the box, removed all the wrapping, put the battery in, plugged it in, and pressed the power button. Once everything was up and running, I plugged in a mouse.  So far so good…

I followed the Quick Start directions and downloaded all the OS updates. I installed a few programs, and then I did a reboot. That was when my mouse quit working, and a balloon appeared at the bottom of the screen – “USB Device Not Recognized…” I tried plugging in a different mouse, and several other USB devices, but my new computer kept beeping, and flashing me with the warning that not all was right in it’s world, nor mine.

I won’t bore you with everything I did to try to get my mouse working again. But I went to bed very unhappy with Windows 7, and very disappointed with my computing experience. As the 2002 Apple magazine ad said, “My PC wasn’t Plug-n-Play. It was Plug-n-Get-Mad.”  The next morning I woke early, booted up my old computer, and settled in to search the internet for an answer to my computer problem. I found a few suggestions that included the words “uninstall” and “reinstall”. This was not an activity I  wanted to do on a brand new computer. Then I found the following site: Online Tech Tips

The author suggested that the problem could likely be fixed by doing the following:

– turn the computer off

– unplug  it and wait for a few minutes

– plug it back in and turn it on (I plugged in my mouse before I turned it back on.)

There were over 300 comments about his advice, and most of them said that this simple solution worked for them. So I followed the advice exactly, and held my breath. Yes, my mouse was working again. Yes, my USB external drive was working! Since then, I’ve checked the Windows 7 help file on my computer again, and Microsoft’s various help sections online. None of these sources tell me to unplug my computer...

I have an Epson scanner. Before I plugged it in, I installed the driver and the scan software that came with it. Then I downloaded a new driver for Windows 7 and installed that.  I plugged in the scanner and turned it on. Windows recognized the scanner, and the software started up correctly.

My PC wasn’t Plug-n-Play.
It was Plug-n-Get Mad.

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