If you receive this error message A device attached to the system is not functioning, here are a few things you may try. It is quite possible that the attached device is not working for one of these reasons. The device could be your iPhone or Android phone too and the error can occur while copying or moving files too.

A device attached to the system is not functioning

The error message is straight forward. Something was plugged into the system, but it’s not available anymore. It usually occurs with plug and play devices like USB drives, external storage, Printers, and more. When you try to connect, it results in this type of error.

If you open Device Manager, check for any yellow exclamation mark against any device. If that’s the case, then one of the solutions will definitely fix the issue.

  1. Check Device Status
  2. The external device and drive types are incompatible
  3. The external device is not properly inserted in the drive or connected to the port
  4. The external device is not properly formatted.

1] Check Device Status

If it is a plug and play device, make sure to check if it turned on or it is connected properly. When computer boots, it doesn’t detect if its turn on or off, only when you request for the device, it tries to connect.

2] External device & drive types are incompatible

When you connect an external device, Windows installs drivers to communicate with the device. It is similar to any hardware you connected to the motherboard. If the driver is corrupt or not compatible, then we need to update the device driver.

It is also possible that two devices have a conflict on the same port or hardware address or IP address. If that’s the case, you need to remove all the devices and connect them one after the other. Make sure to restart the computer once you have plugged out all the device.

This method will make sure that the devices release their port or hardware address or IP address. When you connect the second device, it will get a new one.

3] External device is not properly inserted in the drive or connected to the port

If you are sure, that the device is connected, and turned on, you can turn it off and then on again. You should also plug it out, and then reconnect.

4] The external device is not properly formatted

It is possible that you formatted the device, and it was not done properly. When that happens, and you connect, it is not recognized. Since Windows Explorer is not able to find the device, I would suggest using Disk Management software.

Disk Management can find the devices connected but not visible to the end-user. If you are admin, you can format, create new partitions using the interface. Once you do that, it will be available on the computer.

We hope one of these tips was able to solve your problems, and you were able to access the device again.