Windows 8 Code 38 Error. Window Driver USBSTOR.sys


Active Member
May 22, 2013
My Win 8 x64 desktop suddenly stopped recognizing USB storage devices (Thumb Drives & 2 External HDD). When working through Device manager, all show yellow exclamation marks and working through properties, all say "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory. (Code 38)". The driver in question is USBSTOR.exe. I think this is a generic windows Driver, so Win 8 is likely broken in this regard. I've rebooted many times, removed the devices using the control panel and swapped USB ports with no fix. The driver rollback option is not available & Control Panel says the driver is up to date. Not sure where to turn. Would like to avoid Reset and Refresh due to the time demands of setting up programs again. May try System Restore if no direct fix works. Thanks MBO - ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 I purchased this desktop in December with Win8 pre-installed & it worked fine until today Thanks


sounds like the driver has become corrupted perhaps.. If your seeing yellow in the device manager then try un-installing and then re-installing the drivers. You can find downloads here:

ASRock > Z77 Extreme4

Don't rely on Windows update for drivers as it doesn't always get the best possible version for your device.

Thanks a ton, Kemical.

Using your link, looks like several drivers have newer versions. I was called away from home & didn't have the hours needed to update all, so just did a system restore, crossing my fingers, to get things limping along again. Will work on driver updates as time allows.

Sorry about the delay in responding.

Not a problem.. :) Hope all goes well but if not we are here as always. :)

If it happens again, some of the entries under the USB controllers in Device Manager, have an Advanced tab which will allow it to be reset. Check the USB Hubs and try the reset to see if it clears problems like you were having.