The ‘This device is disabled (Code 22)’ error in Windows is one of the most common hardware-related errors you may encounter. It indicates that Windows has disabled a device due to issues with its driver software. This error can prevent you from using the affected hardware device properly. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to resolve this error and get your hardware working again.
What Causes the Code 22 Error?
A Code 22 error occurs when Windows detects an issue with a hardware device’s driver and disables it to prevent damage to the system. Some common causes include:
- Outdated, buggy, or corrupted drivers
- Incorrect driver installation or incomplete setup
- Hardware failure or malfunction
- Conflicts with other devices or drivers
- Incorrect power/resource allocation to the device
- Changes to Windows hardware configuration
The error message will specify which device has been disabled. For example, some typical disabled devices include network cards, video cards, printers, mouse/keyboards, and external USB devices.
How to Fix the Code 22 Error
Here are some steps to troubleshoot and fix the ‘This device is disabled (Code 22)’ error in Windows:
1. Update or Reinstall the Device Driver
The most common solution is to update the driver software for the disabled device. Outdated drivers are a leading cause of Code 22 errors. Follow these steps:
First, open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting it. Next, expand the category for the disabled device. Then, right-click on the device and select ‘Update driver’. If searching automatically for updated driver software online does not work, you can try browsing your computer for the driver software. Finally, reinstall the latest driver for the device.
Updating to the latest driver from the device manufacturer’s website is often necessary to resolve the issue.
2. Uninstall then Reinstall the Driver
If updating the driver does not work, try uninstalling the device driver completely:
- First, in Device Manager, right-click the device and select ‘Uninstall device’
- Then, in the prompt, check ‘Delete the driver software for this device’
- Then, restart your PC
- Finally, windows will redetect the device and reinstall the driver automatically
This will install a fresh copy of the driver, which may fix underlying corruptions.
3. Enable the Disabled Device
In Device Manager, right-click the disabled device and select ‘Enable device’. This will attempt to re-enable the hardware so it can work again in Windows.
4. Update BIOS/Firmware
Outdated motherboard BIOS or firmware versions can sometimes cause conflicts with hardware drivers. Consequently, you should check your motherboard/laptop manufacturer’s website for the latest BIOS/firmware updates. By flashing the BIOS to the new version, you may be able to resolve driver issues.
5. Roll Back or Uninstall Recent Driver Updates
If you updated or installed a new driver before the Code 22 error appeared, try rolling back or uninstalling that driver to the previous version:
- In Device Manager, right-click the device and select ‘Properties’
- Go to the ‘Driver’ tab and select ‘Rollback Driver’ or ‘Uninstall’
- Restart your PC and let Windows reinstall the previous driver automatically
Rolling back can undo any driver updates that may be causing problems.
6. Check Connection and Cables
For external hardware like printers and USB devices, check that all power and data cables are firmly connected at both ends. Try unplugging and reconnecting cables, or using a different USB port if possible. Faulty cables can cause hardware disables.
Also check for issues like loose internal SATA/power connectors on internal hardware like hard drives. Reseat connections firmly.
7. Update Windows
Having the latest Windows updates can often resolve system bugs and hardware conflicts that cause problems. Therefore, in Windows Update settings, you should check for any available updates. Install all important and optional updates that are available. By updating Windows, you may install fixes for driver and hardware problems that are causing the error.
8. Clean Install or Update Drivers
If you have exhausted other solutions, performing a clean reinstall of the drivers using Device Manager is a final option. This fully removes the existing drivers before freshly reinstalling the latest versions.
To do this in Device Manager:
- Right-click the disabled device and select ‘Uninstall device’
- In the prompt, check ‘Delete the driver software for this device’
- Download the latest driver setup file from manufacturer’s website
- Extract the driver files to a folder
- In Device Manager, right-click the device and select ‘Update driver’
- Choose ‘Browse my computer…’ and point to the folder with extracted driver files
- Let Windows install the driver from the folder
Note: Make sure you have the correct 32-bit or 64-bit driver versions for your Windowsarchitecture.
A clean driver reinstall using the correct files can often resolve many Code 22 problems.
Troubleshoot Specific Device Errors
For certain devices like network adapters and video cards, there are additional targeted troubleshooting steps:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt and run
netsh int ip resetto reset the TCP/IP stack
- In PowerShell run
Start-Service Netmanto restart network services
- Test with different Ethernet cables or switch ports if possible
- Use DDU tool to fully uninstall existing GPU drivers
- Reinstall latest video drivers from vendor website
- Try a different graphics card slot on motherboard if available
Make sure to troubleshoot the specific device carefully before using solutions like reinstalling Windows or replacing hardware.
When to Contact Manufacturer Support
If you still receive the Code 22 error after exhausting all applicable troubleshooting, then the disabled device likely has a hardware defect or failure. Contact the manufacturer/vendor for RMA support to replace or repair the malfunctioning hardware.
The ‘This device is disabled (Code 22)’ error in Windows is generally fixable by updating drivers, reinstalling drivers, rolling back recent changes, and checking hardware connections. For problematic devices, specialized troubleshooting steps may help. If all else fails, the hardware itself may need replacement via the vendor RMA process. Also, with the right device-specific troubleshooting and fixes, you can resolve Code 22 errors and regain use of your disabled Windows devices.