Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What to Do When USB Device Driver Takes Too Long to Install

By: Logan Albright

The universal serial bus (USB) is the “old new wave” of plug and play capabilities of Windows and other operating systems. Now, installing new pieces of hardware is extremely easy, all you need to do most of the time is to plug in the device through the USB port and wait until Windows detects it. If you are using Windows XP or Vista, you will realise that Microsoft has made things even simpler by having a database of drivers for common products from a long list of manufacturers. So really, the whole process of installing something can take as little time as you plugging it in, Windows detecting it, finding the driver and installing it for you.

Most of the time, there is no need for a restart, because the USB is based on the ‘plug and play’ interface, which means that usability of the product is literally instant. The range of products that now use the USB interface has now spread to across all manners of hardware and peripherals, like the mouse, keyboards, printers, scanners, DVD drives, external hard drives etc., just to name a few. The USB has also taken over the aged IDE female/male port that your ancient printer would have used for data transfer.

With the USB, data transfer can be almost 4 to 5 times faster than those old ports at the back of your PC. One of the more common problems that people do encounter when they try to install a USB device is that the installation will sometimes take too long, and they never know why. This is especially true when they install small USB flash devices or devices from third party manufacturers that are none too familiar on the market.

One of the common problems of this is that there could be a problem with the driver itself, which means that Windows or another operating system has trouble checking the binary files and is confused as to how to register the product. It will try a system of matching and elimination as it tries to register your new USB hardware. Another reason could be that the driver itself is corrupt, which means any and all system communication cannot be processed and thus your product cannot be recognised by Windows.

You need to check for either an alternative, more updated driver, or see if there is a copy you can download from the internet. Usually it is readily available in the tech support section of most manufacturers’ websites and they will often either post the driver or post a FAQ, where you should be able to find which problem you are experiencing and either a tech or user recommended solutions for it.

USB driver devices are still an easy alternative to complex data and installation for products and the plug and play viability of it still remains number one. With USB 3.0 on the horizon, most issues should be resolved by then, and you will get a much faster data transfer rate and maybe even greater functionality in future.