27 Nov 2013

Unable to connect Android phone to PC via USB

One of the most common issue one faces an Adroid user faces is unability to connect the phone via USB. There are many varied solutions given in various other forums and blogs, where some worked and some didn't. I will here, show you how to get the same resolved using simple steps.

Note: This tutorial is prepared for educational purposes only! I'm not responsible for whatever risk you take or mistake you may commit while doing so.

One of the most common reason is incorrect drivers ! There are hundreds and hundreds of links available, where one can check for USB drivers..but which one is the correct one, could one tell? The steps which i am going to perform will cleanup all old USB Mass Storage device drivers, to be later installed again.

Please note that USB Mass Storage devices are not limited to USB drives only, they include all those devices , which were used to get connected on the PC namely:
* External hard drives and optical drives, including CD and DVD drives
* Portable flash memory devices
* Digital cameras/ audio players/ portable media players
* Card readers
* Mobile phones

You probably might be wondering why i have included all the devices, that you used decades ago! In Windows, Device Manager displays drivers of only connected devices by default. So the drivers you see in Device Manager aren't the only USB storage drivers that are really there! You would still have drivers installed for of those devices you once connected then disconnected long time ago!
Basically Windows installs drivers for a USB Mass Storage device when you first plug it in to a port.
You might also have notices that Windows sometimes installs the same driver for the same device each time you connect it to a different port!

So over years of usage, these drivers keep piling up. The area of concern is that these drivers aren't uninstalled when you simply unplug the device but only when you uninstall the device.
Another issue is that Driver data also associates devices with drive letters and ports. So Port and drive letter conflicts may occur as you start unplugging/ re-plugging devices!! Despite even me telling you all these, you may still be surprised at just how many old USB drivers are actually still installed on your machine!

This can be one of the most main cause of USB Mass Storage Device problems. Because over time, Windows get "confused" by all the old and sometimes conflicting USB storage driver data that gets collected and remain installed on a PC over the years.

So lets proceed with the resolution steps. Below is a screenshot of the issue, where you find that PC is unable to detect the Phone via USB.
Issue with PC connectivity


Step 1: Download the tool DriveCleanup and install it.
Step 2: From Command prompt, run the executable. Once done take a reboot of your PC.
You can see the error log reported, due to interruption/ deletion of the driver.
Deleting drivers
Error log
Step 3: Plug in your device and wait for clean driver to be installed.
Step 4: Go to My Computer, right click and go to Device Manager. You will be able to see the device.
Step 5: Scroll down to the device, expand it and right click on it. Select Update Driver Software.

Update driver
Select to search drivers automatically

Step 6: Select option to search and update driver automatically and wait for the update to finish.
Update in progress

Upgrade completed.

Step 7: System will prompt to take a reboot. In the notification bar, you would see that the drivers has been updated.
Prompt to reboot.

Confirmation of driver update

Step 8: You will notice that the driver is properly updated and device is detected.

Step 9: Take a reboot of the PC.

Should you have any concerns, please comment below.


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