How to Troubleshoot Device Driver Error Codes 40 and 41 in Windows XP

Published: 18th July 2010
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When you encounter device driver error codes 40 and 41, you begin the troubleshooting process through Windows' Device Manager. As a refresher, below find step-by-step instructions on how you can access the Device Manager:

1. Click on the Windows Start button, locate the Run option, click the button, and then type "sysdm.cpl" into the box. Once you have finished this step, click OK.

2. Next, in the dialog box that appears for System Properties, click the Hardware tab.

3. Inside the Hardware tab, you will see an icon for Device Manager. You should then locate the right device type and then double-click the icon, which will open the Properties dialog box.

4. The final step is to find the Device Status box. Inside this box, you should click on the tab labeled General, which will then present any error codes associated for your specific device drivers.

Troubleshooting for Device Driver Error Code 40

Error code 40 is appears as:

"Windows cannot access this hardware because its service key information in the registry is missing or recorded incorrectly. (Code 40)"

This error occurs when there are invalid driver service subkeys in the registry. To fix this error, you'll need to perform one of the following.

Use a PC driver updating utility to find the appropriate drivers.
Uninstall the driver. To do this locate the Device's properties box and then click on the Drivers tab. Once you find the right device type, right click the icon and click Scan for hardware changes. This will bring up the Add Hardware wizard, which will reinstall the driver.
Click the General tab in the device's properties box (in the Device Manager), then select Troubleshoot to launch the troubleshooting wizard. Follow the troubleshooting wizards' instructions to resolve the issue.

Troubleshooting for Device Driver Error Code 41

Error code 41 appears as:

"Windows successfully loaded the device driver for this hardware but cannot find the hardware device. (Code 41)"

This error is generated if Windows is unable to locate the device, and it usually triggered by devices which are non-Plug and Play compliant, and therefore, difficult for Windows to locate. To resolve this issue choose one of the methods below.

In the Device Manager, open the device's properties box and then open the General tab. Select Troubleshoot. This will open the troubleshooting wizard. Follow the instructions given by the troubleshooting wizard.
If the device is a non-Plug and Play device, you might need to install a more recent version of the driver. To do this, go to Windows Control Panel, click on Printers and Hardware and then select Add Hardware from the See Also pane.
If you find that the device is not properly connected to the PC, then you'll need to uninstall the driver, re-connect the device properly, and then select Scan for hardware changes.
If the hardware is still intact, then you may be facing driver files that are obsolete. If this is the case, you may use the Device Manager or device driver's own update utility to update the files.
You may need to upgrade the driver. This can be done in the Device tab located in the device's properties dialog box ( in the Device Manager).

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