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Windows 8 Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device dr


New Member
Nov 16, 2012
I'm having this problem with my flash disks on W8 Pro with Media Center x64:

"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 could not be loaded because a previous version of the driver is still in memory."

After OS installation, the flash disks are still detected and can be seen on "My Computer." But after around 10 times of sticking in/out the flash disk, it can no longer be accessed. And the specific disk drive has the above error code displayed on Device Manager.

Any ideas guys?

BTW, I'm using HP Probook 4445s notebook and the flash disk/s is/are working fine on other notebooks/pc. I also had the latest BIOS update for my notebook. I also did safely disk removal when the drive is still functioning normally.

Once you get the error message have you tried rebooting?
yes.. that's the first aid for such problems, right? I also tried uninstalling all the USB drivers, restarted twice after that, but no good. The problem still persists... I can't use my usb ports for flash drives but my usb mouse is fine...
I checked the software/driver page for your machine and wonder if you have all the updates related to your machine?

Link Removed

Also can you post how you installed windows 8? Upgrade or clean install and if you burnt a disk how fast did you burn it?
thank you for the reply.

yes. i already have those drivers installed right after i installed my OS.

I did a clean install of my OS. I never opted for doing an upgrade from W7 as a feared some settings and driver incompatibilities. I installed via a flash disk.
Have you tried the Trouble shooting wizard? Insert the drive and then (if possible) right click on the drive, choose properties and then look for the trouble shooting tab (usually under 'General properties')
It might also be worth checking on the condition of your install.. Run the system file checker by right clicking on cmd prompt. Run as admin and type:

sfc /scannow

Press enter and then await the results. Please post if anything pops up.
After days of testing, I finally sorted out. It was messed up by the program SHADOW DEFENDER. I guess the program messed up with the drives, that's why. All drives working and stable now after I uninstalled it.

Thanks for the follow up and great to hear your good to go! :)
now my only problem is my software protection, especially my system files. I had a very nice security with Shadow Defender when I was in Windows 7. Can you suggest good anti-virus and anti-spyware/malware software for W8 that doesn't hug much resources?

Thank you. :0