Apr 27, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

Windows Vista Cannot Auto Find Driver for New USB Device Plugged In

Normally Windows Vista can automatic detect USB device such as mouse, keyboard, video card, printer, sound car that is connected to computer’s USB port, and then try to install a valid driver for the device without user intervention. Most USB device can be used right away after a slight delay on first use when Windows needs to search and install the driver, and almost instantly subsequently.

However, in some system, when user plug in a new plug and play USB device such as mice, keyboard, card reader, USB key, and storage device such as flash drive, key or card reader that use the universal mass storage driver, Windows Vista will pop up message that no driver found for you device, and asking the user to insert a driver CD or opt to browse for a driver software for the USB storage device. Most of these USB devices supposedly to be of plug-and-play nature, which can be auto installed on other system.

When the user select C:\Windows or C:\Windows\inf folder for Windows Vista to look for driver for the USB device, a valid driver will eventually be found. Why Windows Vista unable to locate the driver automatically is puzzling. To make matter worse, for USB storage device, each device will need to install several driver to function and work properly. For example, driver for the hardware itself, for the storage, and for the generic volume. Thus user will have to manually select and install the driver for the USB storage device 3 times in order to use it, and for each of the USB device inserted.

The problem is caused by a corrupted INFCACHE.1 file, which stores and caches the location of drivers and their INF files. The INFCACHE.1 file is restricted access file as it’s located in \Windows\inf folder. If the Infcache.1 file is deleted or corrupted, Windows Vista does not re-create the Infcache.1 file. So, deleting INFCACHE.1 away will allow Windows Vista to re-create and rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file the next time Windows searches for drivers.

To delete INFCACHE.1 file, user have to has the Full Control permission and ownership on the file. You can choose to rename if you want to be on the safe side. If the UAC prompt for administrator’s password or permission, enter administrator’s password and click Continue button to delete the file away.

Once deleted INFCACHE.1, Windows Vista would be able to automatically search and install the driver for most common USB device.

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