What is the problem code 43?

Error code 43 is a common issue that Windows users may encounter when trying to use external hardware devices like printers, scanners, cameras, and more. This error indicates that the device is not correctly installed or failing to communicate properly with the operating system.

What causes error code 43?

There are a few potential causes for the error code 43 on Windows devices:

  • Missing or corrupted drivers – External devices require specific drivers to function properly on a Windows machine. If these drivers are outdated, missing, or corrupted, it can lead to the error code 43 appearing.
  • Hardware failure – The error can also stem from a problem with the physical external device itself, such as connection issues or a hardware malfunction.
  • Power issues – Insufficient power supply to the external device may also trigger the error.
  • USB port problems – Damaged or disabled USB ports that the device is connected to can show the error code 43 message.
  • Windows registry issues – Corrupted registry files associated with external hardware devices may be the culprit.

How to fix error code 43

If you encounter error code 43 on your Windows PC, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can take to try and resolve the problem:

Update or reinstall drivers

One of the first things to try is updating the drivers associated with the external device. You can do this by:

  • Going to the manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest driver version for the device.
  • Using a free driver update utility to scan for and install updated drivers.
  • Uninstalling the current drivers through Device Manager, restarting the PC, and reinstalling the drivers.

This will ensure the drivers are not damaged or outdated, which could be preventing the device from connecting properly.

Check power supply

Check that the external device is getting sufficient, consistent power. Try connecting it to another USB port, into a wall power outlet (if available), or using a different USB cable to rule out any power delivery issues.

Change USB port

Try connecting the external device into a different USB port on your computer. There may be an issue with the specific port it is currently using. Plug into another port, preferably directly on the motherboard, if possible.

Disable/re-enable device in Device Manager

In Windows Device Manager, locate the external device and right-click it to choose “Disable device”. Then right-click it again and select “Enable device” to reestablish the connection. This can fix detection and communication errors with the device and the system.

Uninstall device in Device Manager

Uninstalling the device drivers entirely in Device Manager may also help resolve the issue. After uninstalling, restart the computer and let the operating system automatically reinstall default drivers for the device when it’s connected again.

System file checker

Using the system file checker tool can scan for and replace corrupted Windows system files that may be contributing to the error 43 issue. To run this, open the Command Prompt as administrator and use the command “sfc /scannow”.

Update Windows

Ensure your version of Windows is entirely up to date by checking for the latest updates. Install all available patches, fixes, and enhancements, which can contain improvements for external hardware connectivity issues.

Disable USB selective suspend

The USB selective suspend setting in Windows power options can sometimes interfere with devices staying connected while in sleep/low-power mode. Disabling this setting may help resolve code 43 errors.

Remove or reinstall device in Device Manager

If the above steps don’t work, removing the device entirely in Device Manager, restarting your PC, and letting Windows reinstall when reconnected can reset the connection. Or try uninstalling/reinstalling the drivers manually in Device Manager.

System restore

Performing a system restore to an earlier date before the error appeared may be able to resolve software-related causes of the issue. Just be aware this will revert other system changes too.

External hardware that may show error code 43

Some common external hardware devices that could be impacted by error 43 on a Windows PC include:

  • Printers – External USB printers, both wired and wireless.
  • Scanners – Flatbed photo and document scanners.
  • Webcams – USB webcams and video camera devices.
  • Drawing tablets – Digital drawing pads and tablets.
  • Microphones – External USB microphones.
  • Speakers – USB powered computer speaker systems.
  • External hard drives – Portable USB external hard drives and SSDs.
  • USB hubs – USB hubs used for connecting multiple devices.
  • Card readers – Memory card readers for SD cards, CompactFlash, etc.
  • Barcode scanners – Barcode readers and scanners.
  • Mice – USB mice, both wired and wireless.
  • Keyboards – External USB keyboards.

So if you use any external USB devices for peripherals, storage, multimedia, input devices, etc., a code 43 can appear and prevent proper functionality.

When does error 43 occur?

The error 43 message can pop up at a number of different times when using an external hardware device, such as:

  • During new device installation – When first connecting and installing drivers for a new peripheral.
  • While the device is in use – After a period of working normally, the device suddenly stops and shows code 43.
  • Restarting the computer – Following a reboot of the PC with the device still connected.
  • Waking from sleep/hibernation – If the computer goes into a low-power state with the hardware attached.
  • Plugging device into new USB port – Moving the device to a different USB port can trigger the error.
  • Installing Windows updates – After system updates like service packs, patches, etc.

So the error 43 can start happening seemingly at random, but usually follows one of those common scenarios.

Error code 43 on specific devices

Certain external devices are more prone to encountering error 43 than others. Some examples:

External hard drives

External portable hard drives are a common source of error code 43, especially following improper ejection. Disconnecting without properly ejecting the drive can lead to corruption that prevents reconnection.


Webcams and video capture devices frequently report error 43, often due to compatibility issues with HD camera sources on newer systems. Video drivers must be up to date for proper operation.

Drawing tablets

Graphics tablets and similar input devices like Wacom drawing pads commonly see error 43 if drivers are not fully compatible with the Windows version. Driver updates or reinstallation usually resolves these issues.

Card readers

Memory card readers can display error 43 if the drivers do not support the specific card inserted, like SD, CompactFlash, Sony Memory Stick formats, etc. Updating the drivers to add support for additional card types will fix this.

Keyboards and mice

Wireless USB keyboards and mice are prone to intermittent error 43 if using the generic Windows drivers. Manufacturer drivers are required for reliable connectivity.


Error code 43 indicates an external hardware device is having connectivity issues in Windows. Updating drivers, changing USB ports, reinstalling, and disabling selective suspend are potential fixes. The problem typically arises due to missing, outdated or corrupted drivers but can also be caused by hardware faults. External hard drives, webcams, drawing tablets, card readers and wireless input devices are common culprits. Solving the issue requires identifying and addressing the specific incompatibility or fault at the root of the problem.