Fix Windows Drivers: Device Manager Error Codes

fix computer errors

What is Windows Device Manager?

The Windows Device Manager is a program built-in to Microsoft Windows operating systems which enables a user to monitor and edit hardware associated to the computer (such as printers, audio devices etc.). When there is a problem with one of your hardware devices, the Device Manager will highlight this and allow you to view more detail on the issue.

This detail often comes in the form of error codes and associated error messages. These errors appear when there are Driver or other hardware problems on your PC. Device Manager error codes can tell you a lot about the problems your PC is experiencing, but understanding what these errors mean can be another problem!

We have put together a list of all the Device Manager error codes (this refers solely to codes within Device Manager and not general system errors).

Windows Drivers Errors:

Code 1 –
Error Message: This device is not configured correctly. (Code 1)
Cause: The device cannot find the required drivers on your computer, or these drivers are corrupt or configured incorrectly.


Code 3 –
Error Message: The driver for this device might be corrupted, or your system may be running low on memory or other resources. (Code 3)
Cause: as the error message states

Code 10 –
Error Message: This device cannot start. (Code 10)
Cause: as the error message states

Code 12
Error Message: This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system. (Code 12)
Cause: This message can occur if two devices are conflicting with each other in some area (such as assigned ports) or if the BIOS has failed ot allocated sufficient resources to the device in question.

Code 14 – 
Error Message: This device cannot work properly until you restart your computer. (Code 14)
Cause: as the error message states, try a restart to fix the problem

Code 16 –
Error Message: Windows cannot identify all the resources this device uses. (Code 16)
Cause: The device is not fully configured

Code 18 – 
Error Message: Reinstall the drivers for this device. (Code 18)
Cause: as the error message states

Code 19 –
Error Message: Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)
Cause: as the error message states

Code 21 – 
Error Message: Windows is removing this device. (Code 21)
Cause: as the error message states

Code 22 – 
Error Message: This device is disabled. (Code 22)
Cause: as the error message states

For information on Code 32 errors, see our article: Device Manager Error Code 32 – what is it and how do I fix it?

With over 10 years' experience in the Device Drivers and Computer Software Industry, Lee has a wealth of information to share with you in his regular blog posts....


4 comments… add one

  • Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging
    on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always
    be helpful to read articles from other writers and use something from other web

  • Thanks for the article! It was a great read. I’d just like to zero in on a specific driver device error code. The driver device error code 16 usually occurs when a device has not been configured properly. There are several ways to solve this error. It can be solved by allocating more PC resources to the device or using a utility tool to assist in this process.

  • Hello everybody. I have an Acer Extensa 7630EZ laptop with Windows 10 installed.Every time it boots up I have to disable PCI driver for a few seconds to get rid of the driver error code 12 then re-enable PCI driver. Then everything is working fine until next startup/restart. Then I have to do it again. What should I do? I’m running 64-bit OS with 4 GB RAM and it’s super fast. I would not like to go back to 32-bit. Any help would be apprciated. Thank you all.


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