Windows 7 / Getting Started

Using Device Manager Error Codes

Device Manager error codes are the codes that accompany icons displayed with exclamation points (also known as bangs) in the Device Manager console (Devmgmt.msc). To view these error codes, open the properties of the problem device in Device Manager and look under Device Status on the General tab. You can view the hardware ID of the problem device by selecting Hardware Ids from the Property list box on the Details tab. When you parse SetupAPI logs, this ID can be useful for gaining further understanding of why the device did not install or is not working properly.

Windows 7 reports the same Device Manager error codes as previous versions of Windows. Knowledge Base article 245386, found at, documents these codes, explaining the meaning of each and the kinds of scenarios that can cause them to be reported.

Note During a device installation, if a user is prompted to install the device in the future and responds by choosing No, a driver must still be installed. Otherwise, the PnP service will continue to redetect the driver and prompt for installation. In this scenario, the Null driver (which actually means that the device is configured not to use a driver) is installed and Device Manager displays error code 28. If the user later wants to install the device, the user must select the Update Driver option in Device Manager because the device previously was assigned an error code because it could not be installed with any driver.

Device Manager error codes are reported only during device installation; they are never reported during driver staging. This means that if a Device Manager error code is reported, the problem occurred during device installation and not driver staging. A good place to start troubleshooting is looking at how physical installation of the device occurred and whether it was done properly. Device Manager error codes are also reported in the file. See the section titled "Using the SetupAPI Log File" earlier in this tutorial for more information.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Devices and Services
  2. Understanding Device Installation and Management
  3. Device Enhancements in Windows 7
  4. Display Enhancements in Windows 7
  5. Understanding Device Installation
  6. Driver Store and Driver Packaging
  7. Driver Staging vs Installation
  8. Driver Staging and Installation Process
  9. Detailed Installation Process
  10. Managing Driver Packages
  11. Using PnPutil.exe
  12. Using Dism.exe
  13. Driver Signing
  14. Driver Ranking
  15. Installing and Using Devices
  16. Enhancements to the Device Installation Experience in Windows 7
  17. Scenario 1: Driver found in Driver Store
  18. Scenario 2: Driver found on Windows Update
  19. Scenario 3: Driver in Driver Store, But Better Driver on Windows Update
  20. Scenario 5: No Driver Can Be Found for the device
  21. Scenario 6: Vendor -supplied media is available
  22. Scenario 7: Additional Device Software is Available For Download from vendor
  23. Configuring Device Installation Settings
  24. Using the Devices And Printers Folder
  25. Understanding Device Stage
  26. Understanding the Device Experience Architecture
  27. Device Containers
  28. Device display object
  29. Device Metadata System
  30. Managing Device Installation Using Group Policy
  31. Managing Device Installation Behavior
  32. Managing Driver Installation Behavior
  33. Blocking Installation of Removable Devices
  34. Managing Device Redirection Behavior
  35. Troubleshooting Device Installation
  36. Using Windows Error Reporting
  37. Using the SetupAPI Log File
  38. Using Driver INF Files
  39. Using Device Manager Error Codes
  40. Using Driver Verifier
  41. Repairing Driver Store Corruption
  42. Repairing Index File Corruption
  43. Understanding Power Management
  44. Power Management Enhancements in Windows 7
  45. New Power Policies in Windows 7
  46. Configuring Power Management Settings
  47. Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Power Options Utility in Control Panel
  48. Configuring Power Management Settings Using Group Policy
  49. Configuring Power Management Settings Using the Powercfg Utility
  50. Understanding Services
  51. Service Enhancements in Windows 7
  52. Managing Services
  53. Managing Services Using Task Manager
  54. Managing Services Using the Sc.exe Command