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Code 38: Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory

Published: August 31, 2007

Updated: June 3, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista

Device Manager displays the following message in the Device Properties dialog box, on the General tab, in the Device Status text box:

Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory. (Code 38)

The driver cannot load because a previous instance is still loaded.

Try the following:

  • Restart the computer.

  • Try searching for “code 38” and your hardware type, name, model number, or technology on the Microsoft support site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=538). For example, for code 38 issues with standby mode, search for “code 38” standby.

  • Contact your device manufacturer for the latest information about using the device with the Windows operating system version that you have.

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