How to Reinstall USB Drivers in Windows XP

by David Somerset
usb 3 image by Bosko Martinovic from

USB is a standard type of connector on most Windows XP computers. It can be used to attach peripheral devices like keyboards, printers and external hard drives. If you are having problems with your USB controllers in Windows XP, you can reinstall all of the USB controller drivers as a last resort. While device drivers are a fairly advanced concept, Microsoft has made it easy for even beginning computer users to reinstall their USB drivers using the Control Panel.

Step 1

Click "Start" and choose the "Run" button. Type in the command "sysdm.cpl" (no quotes) and press Enter.

Step 2

Select the "Hardware" tab. Click the "Device Manager" button on this tab.

Step 3

Choose the plus sign next to "Universal Serial Bus controllers" to expand this option.

Step 4

Right click on the devices located under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and choose "Uninstall." Uninstall the devices one at a time.

Step 5

Reboot the computer. Windows will automatically reinstall the system drivers for the USB controllers at startup.

Plug a USB device into one of your computer's USB ports. Make sure that the device is working correctly.


  • You can also select "Update Driver" rather than "Uninstall" if you want to try only updating the driver before fully reinstalling the USB controllers.


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About the Author

David Somerset has been a writer intermittently for 11 years. He attended New Mexico Tech and earned a Bachelor of Science in technical communication in 2007. From being published in the "Bucksworth Community News" to writing how-to articles for eHow, his experience is quite diverse.

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