Windows Vista / USB device detection problems

During the initial installation of a USB device (most often external drives, although not always), Windows Vista does not locate or install drivers for the device.

Windows Vista might report that there is “no driver found for you device” and/or will not display the pre-installed Vista OEM drivers. Even by manually selecting the driver, you will still get the “no driver found…” error.  This is most likely caused by a corrupted INFCACHE.1 file. This file stores the location of drivers and their INF files. This file is hidden, has restricted access, and can be found in “c:\windows\inf”.

Delete the INFCACHE.1 file and it will force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file the next time Windows searches for drivers. To delete this file, you have to set the security permissions of it to allow Full Control for the User Group Administrators or full control for your user account. Please follow the directions below:

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window by right clicking on Start and then clicking on Explore.
  2. In the address bar, type C:\windows\inf and press Enter.
  3. Find and then right click on the file named INFCACHE.1.
  4. Select Properties.
  5. Click on the Security tab.
  6. Click on Edit to edit the permissions of the file.
  7. Click on Add to add User Groups.
  8. Type Administrators in the User Groups field and click on OK.
  9. Set Administrators to Full Control and click on OK.
  10. Move or delete the file INFCACHE.1.
  11. Reinstall a device to force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file (DO NOT reinstall the same external hard drive that you were having issues detecting before. Please connect another USB device other than the one that Vista had an issue detecting).

This detection issue can happen several times in a row, but repeat the steps 1-11 and try again until this works.

UPDATE: To clarify a couple emails I received, this *only* applies to Vista (all editions, x86 and x64) but not to XP, or any other version of Windows.

67 thoughts on “Windows Vista / USB device detection problems

  1. Thank you so much. The winsxs solution worked for me. I’ve spent many hours searching the Internet and yours is the only solution I’ve found that worked.

  2. Thank you for the INFCACHE.1 info…

    However, my problem is that Mozilla Firefox 7.01.1 will not work with the Logitech Setpoint Vertical Options. When I ‘left click’ on the Vertical Bar nothing appears. In IE9 it displays a drop down box to ‘Scroll Here’, or ‘Top’. I tried reloading, but to no avail. Would you have any suggestions. It is not covered in the Q and A or FAQ at Logitech.

    Thanks!

  3. Just a quick query…

    I have a USB wired retractable mouse which i have used for a good while on this laptop.

    Started up my laptop today, and mouse ‘is not recognise’ yet the mouse is fine in terms of cable condition etc.

    I have followed these steps, should i really delete this InfCache file though, or just try restarting my laptop. Basically, I want to know if deleting the said file will cause any other problems/changes, and seek more information on stuff i should be aware of regarding this change e.g. will ALL other usb devices/drivers ALL need to be reinstalled? =/

    Would appreciate some feedback/help, thankyou

  4. Reboot first, or try another USB port before worrying about infcache.1

    Should that fail, deleting infcache.1 is harmless, it’s just a cache and will be rebuilt (with correct data) when needed.

  5. Thanks sdw, your solution solved this problem!

    I tried deleting the infcache file, but the problem reappeared after I restart my PC. Hope the problem is gone for good now.

  6. I have same problem in my pc. what can i do for this problem please give me the best way to solve this problem .

  7. Hi, I have tried the INFCACHE.1 and it did not work. I am trying SDW’s step by step only problem is I only get as far as expanding the tree on step 2.

    when getting to step 3 the matter of “Update the driver for all Unknown Device” is not possible as this is not an option. I could sound really silly in saying that here but I am at a dead end? all the options available are…..

    -HID-complaint consumer control device
    -HID-complaint device
    -HID-complaint device
    -HID-complaint device
    -HID-complaint device
    -Sony firmware extension parser device
    -USB human interface device
    -USB human interface device

    Where am I going wrong? Someone please help me out, I have been hitting dead ends for at least a week now

  8. I have Viper internet Security 2013 usb stick,when i plug it in it shows mass storage ,says found driver but had problem installing,device maganger shows symbol canot update driver so i reboot with it in it shows up i try to install the program it stops almost half way and rolls back. I updated my drivers at gateway and added value from 8 to 14 in the registry,still won’t fully load mass storage says it found drivers but couldn’t load them,I downloaded the viper to desktop when i try to install same thing doesnt finnish and rolls back,rep from viper tried everything he knew,i have vista home premium 32 bit os windows 8 all is compatable.thought maybe parts of old security antivir might be stopping but i used avast removal tool,the install for viper says its a firewall to unisatll any firewall based programs before install,any thoughts?

  9. Dave! You are DA MAN! Thanks! worked like a charm! Now get out there and go phishing! Thanks again!

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  11. Hey, this is similar to a problem I’ve been having. My network adapter is not recognized, with that exact error. My adapter is a Netgear wn111v2. I have tried deleting the infcache file, but it hasn’t worked. This is not the first time this has happened. The last time, I also used this solution and it did. I don’t knoknow why it won’t work this time. If you could offer advice i would be very grateful. Typing on a phone is annoying, but it’s the only internet access i have.

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