4 Ways to Fix “Windows Cannot Identify this Hardware” Code 9 Error

Looking for ways to fix “Windows cannot identify this hardware” error on Windows 10? Well, also referred to as Code 9 in the technical domain, this error usually occurs when certain device drivers of specific hardware become outdated or corrupt. And due to this, Windows displays the following error when you check the device status properties of the hardware:

Windows Cannot Identify this Hardware


What is Code 9 error?

As you can see in the above snapshot, Code 9 error is encountered when Windows is unable to identify hardware due to a missing valid hardware identification number. When any of the hardware device drivers become incompatible with your system, you may have to face this error.

Also Read: Best PC Cleaner Software

Why Can Windows Not Identify Hardware?

To understand in technical depth, Code 9 error occurs when Windows is unable to detect a valid ID of a hardware device. This may be due to any reason which includes outdated drivers, insufficient memory (RAM), corrupted or faulty Registry, presence of a virus, or malware.

How to Fix Code 9 Error on Windows 10?

There are a few possible workarounds to fix “Windows cannot identify this hardware” error on Windows 10. In this post, we have listed 4 effective solutions that will allow you to resolve the Code 9 error on Windows 10.

Let’s get started and discuss each of these methods in detail.

Solution #1: Uninstall and Re-install Device Drivers

Error Code 9 occurs when Windows is unable to detect a valid ID of a hardware device, right? So, one of the best methods to fix this issue is by first uninstalling and then re-installing the hardware device drivers on your system. Follow these below-mentioned steps:

Uninstall Device:

Right-click on the Start menu and then tap on “Device Manager”.

In the Device Manager window, double click on the faulty hardware to expand the device properties.

In the Device Properties window, switch to the “Driver” tab and tap on the “Uninstall Device” option. Hit OK to save changes.

Uninstall and Re-install Device Drivers

Restart your device once you’re done.

Re-install Device Drivers:

After rebooting your device, re-open the Device Manager and then tap on the hardware device name which needs a fix.

Re-install Device Drivers:

Tap on “Action” on the top menu bar and then select “Scan for hardware changes” option from the context menu. Follow the on-screen instructions and re-install the device drivers for that specific hardware device.

Solution #2: Update Driver

Another solution to fix this issue is by updating the device driver of the hardware device. To do so, here’s what you need to do:

Right-click on the Start menu and select “Device Manager”.

Update Driver

In the Device Manager, right-click on the faulty hardware. You’ll probably see the corrupt hardware listed with a yellow exclamatory mark icon so that you can easily spot it on the list, after right-clicking, select “Update Driver” option to update the driver manually.

Note: Alternatively, you can use Smart Driver Care, an excellent way to update device drivers quickly to sort any issues related drivers on Windows 10. To know more, you can check out the detailed guide on Smart Driver Care.

Solution #3: Check Memory Status

As we mentioned earlier, insufficient RAM can also be a major cause for the Code 9 error to occur. So, to check the memory status of your device, follow these steps:

Press Control + Shift+ Escape Keys altogether to launch Windows Task Manager.

Tap on “More Details” and then Switch to the “Performance” tab.

Check Memory Status

In the Performance tab, tap on “Memory” to get a clear overview of your system’s available RAM space. If you find the RAM to be insufficient, you can contact a nearby vendor and get an upgrade for your system.

Solution #4: Modify Registry

No luck with the above-listed methods? Still facing the “Windows cannot identify this hardware” error? Well, as a last resort, you can try modifying the registry files of the hardware. Updating the registry files on your system is not considered to be safe. But still, if you’re willing to give it a shot, here’s a step by step process:

Open the Run window by tapping the Windows + R key combination.

Type “Regedit” in the text box to open the Registry Editor and hit Enter.

Windows Cannot Identify this Hardware

In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path location:


On the right side of the window, look for UpperFilters and LowerFilters file. Right-click on these files and select “Delete”.

Windows Cannot Identify this Hardware

Reboot your device whether doing so fixed the Code 9 error issue.

Also, to know more about how to backup, restore and edit Registry files on Windows 10, visit this link.

Rather than following all of the above-mentioned troubleshooting hacks, you can try downloading the Advanced System Optimizer tool for Windows. Advanced System Optimizer is an all-in-one tool to fix registry issues, update drivers, save memory, boost and optimize your system’s performance in just one click.


Here were a few useful solutions to fix “Windows cannot identify this hardware” error on Windows 10. The above-mentioned solutions will help you resolve the Code 9 error on your device. Good luck, fellas!

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