When installing a new hardware device, you may encounter an error code within device manager; such errors, however, are not exclusive to new devices but also old ones, already present in your computer. Error codes ranging from 45 to 49 are the most common. The majority of these error codes originate from the same set of issues. Each error code refers to a specific problem, but in this case, you’ll find that the same solutions can be deployed to tackle a multitude of issues.

Error Causes

The error is caused usually by a Windows registry issue or a system file malfunction. In most cases, the registry is at fault.

To identify the error code; you will need to access device manager. You can do that, by doing the following:

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  1. First, ensure you have booted into your computer with full administrative rights.
  2. Then press the Windows Key + R, and type sysdm.cpl into the Run Command box that appears. Once you’ve done that, click on the OK button.

  1. Once the System Properties applet appears, click on the Hardware Tab, and then click on Device Manager.

  1. This will bring up Device Manager, from here; you can double-click on a specific Device and check Device Status under the default General Tab in order to find out the error code.

There are several error messages that this particular article covers, and that you may see in the Device Status area. These are as follows:

Error Code 45

Currently, this hardware device is not connected to the computer. (Code 45)

This error occurs when the device that was one attached to your computer has been disconnected.

Error Code 46

Windows cannot gain access to this hardware device because the operating system is in the process of shutting down. (Code 46)

This error occurs when the end user attempts to use a hardware device while the operating system is shutting down.

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Error Code 47

Windows cannot use this hardware device because it has been prepared for safe removal, but it has not been removed from the computer. (Code 47)

End users will encounter this error message when they have ejected a device from their system or are in the process of doing it.

Error Code 48

The software for this device has been blocked from starting because it is known to have problems with Windows. Contact the hardware vendor for a new driver. (Code 48)

This error message occurs when the hardware device attached to your computer is incompatibles with your version of Windows.

Error Code 49

Windows cannot start new hardware devices because the system hive is too large (exceeds the Registry Size Limit). (Code 49)

This error occurs when the drivers for the device are incorrectly registered within the Windows registry.

How to Fix It

All these error codes, from 45 to 49 can be rectified, either by removing the unused device in question or by cleaning out the registry of redundant references to system hardware.

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Locate and Uninstall Devices

If the drivers for particular devices, attached to your computer is either corrupted or improperly installed, then the operating system will not be able to communicate with the device. This can result in a number of issues, including the error codes I’ve listed above. In order to rectify this situation, you will need to remove all the unused devices that are found in device manager.

You can do that, by doing the following:

  1. Boot into your computer with administrative access.
  2. Then press Windows Key + R, type cmd into Run Command and click on the OK button.

  1. When Command Prompt loads up, type set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 and press Enter.

  1. Then type cd \%SystemRoot%\System32 and hit Enter.

Once you’ve completed that, open device manager (using the instructions outlined above).

The command above will display all of the devices that have been installed on your computer throughout its duration. You can then start to remove devices that are no longer applicable to your system. Doing this will free up the system hive, effectively eliminating any issues!

Note: Once you have finished cleaning out your device drivers, it’s also recommended that you use some kind of maintenance tool to remove all unwanted data from your registry. The tool I recommend for this process is Ccleaner, which is FREE to use.

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If after carrying out the solutions above, you’re still receiving an error message, you may want to consider reinstalling your operating system.

In order to prevent driver issues from occurring in the future, it’s best practice for you to regularly clean your computer, using antivirus software, anti-malware software and system maintenance suites (like Ccleaner). You should also keep your operating system up-to-date with the latest security patches.