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Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:53 am
by bobasaurus
If you're using Windows 10 with an RTL-SDR, you might run into a connection/unrecognized device issue even after installing the driver in Zadig normally. Most radio programs will report a device connection error, and if they show the full error it is a libusb -12 code.

It turns out that Windows 10 defaults to treating the RTL-SDR as a "composite" device and auto installs its own driver for it. In Zadig You need to check "list all devices", uncheck "ignore hubs or composite parents", and then replace the RTL2832UHIDIR (or similar) composite parent driver with WinUSB. Here are some screenshots of the process:

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I figured this out after a lot of googling and trial and error, thought it would be helpful to someone so I made an account to post this. I have tested this on four separate windows 10 computers, and it works great on all of them. If it's useful, maybe this post could be stickied or the like. The answer is mentioned in the rtl-sdr.com quick start troubleshooting guide, but it is pretty buried and not very well explained.

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:40 am
by rtlsdrblog
Thanks. I use Windows 10 on multiple PCs and have never come across that problem before. But i've added it to the QSG step 8 just in case other people experience the same issue.

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:19 pm
by bobasaurus
rtlsdrblog wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:40 am
Thanks. I use Windows 10 on multiple PCs and have never come across that problem before. But i've added it to the QSG step 8 just in case other people experience the same issue.
So far the issue has cropped up on each win 10 machine I've tried (at work and at home), new installations on all of them. They were all laptops, three dell one lenovo... not sure if that matters, could be related with the USB controller used on laptop motherboards? I'm using NooElec dongles, maybe they're a bit different than the ones sold here? The default settings on Zadig want to install the driver for two separate "bulk in" interfaces, which has worked on older versions of Windows for me, but caused this issue on win 10 until I did the composite parent driver install.

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:05 am
by LukeRen0123
On my lenovo ideapad 330 and my old Ispiron N4010 it says that "a USB Device conected to this computer has malfunctioned" my lenovo goes further and says its a driver error, i tried using zadig but the RTLSDR Doesnt show up

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:58 pm
by lighttech
Wow! Thank you for your solution. I was banging my head against the wall on this for 4 hours, and even did a complete wipe and reinstall of Windows on a brand new PC Laptop with no luck.

What I was getting when running rtl_test.exe was a list of 2 devices and the first one (0) had a bunch of garbage for the device information, followed by an error message.

After finding your fix, this worked!

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:32 am
by impaired-driver
The Zadig driver fix doesn't work for me. It executes, replaces the driver with a WinUSB driver but Win10 still doesn't like the dongle.

Everything works fine under OSX with CubicSDR so it's not the dongle. I am trying to get it working in a Win10 laptop to get some functionality for AIS and ADS-B that isn't where I need it under OSX. That's not the dongle's fault, the 3rd party AIS and ADS-B stuff has issues under OSX so I'm trying to go a little more native for those apps.

Dongle is plugged directly into PC. Tried all USB ports. No joy.

In device manager it appears as a "Universal Serial Bus devices", RTL2832UHDIR. Current driver as fixed by Zadig is libwdi 2/10/2017 6.1.7600.16385.

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

An invalid parameter was passed to a service or function.

Neither SDR# or CubicSDR Win10 native edition can see the dongle but that makes sense since Win10 itself isn't happy with it.

A thousand reboots later and multiple driver/Zadig fixes or uninstall and reinstalls later and the dongle only works under OSX. I'm sure it's a windows issue. It's always a windows issue.

At this point I just want a driver from the manufacturer, not a "use some 4th party software to modify the 3rd party software so the 2nd party software might work under the 1st party software driver.

Is there an actual RTL-SDR driver for this dongle?

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:04 am
by rtlsdrblog
impaired-driver wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:32 am
The Zadig driver fix doesn't work for me. It executes, replaces the driver with a WinUSB driver but Win10 still doesn't like the dongle.

Everything works fine under OSX with CubicSDR so it's not the dongle. I am trying to get it working in a Win10 laptop to get some functionality for AIS and ADS-B that isn't where I need it under OSX. That's not the dongle's fault, the 3rd party AIS and ADS-B stuff has issues under OSX so I'm trying to go a little more native for those apps.

Dongle is plugged directly into PC. Tried all USB ports. No joy.

In device manager it appears as a "Universal Serial Bus devices", RTL2832UHDIR. Current driver as fixed by Zadig is libwdi 2/10/2017 6.1.7600.16385.

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

An invalid parameter was passed to a service or function.

Neither SDR# or CubicSDR Win10 native edition can see the dongle but that makes sense since Win10 itself isn't happy with it.

A thousand reboots later and multiple driver/Zadig fixes or uninstall and reinstalls later and the dongle only works under OSX. I'm sure it's a windows issue. It's always a windows issue.

At this point I just want a driver from the manufacturer, not a "use some 4th party software to modify the 3rd party software so the 2nd party software might work under the 1st party software driver.

Is there an actual RTL-SDR driver for this dongle?
WinUSB is the driver, and that attaches to the rtlsdr.dll file which contains the actual driver code. You need to use Zadig to install the WinUSB driver. Due to the hacked nature of RTL-SDR donglesthis is just the way it is. if Zadig is showing something else on the box to the left of the arrow, the the wrong driver is installed.

Post a screenshot of your Zadig screen with the dongle selected if you're not sure if the correct driver is installed.

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:58 pm
by impaired-driver
Prior to doing anything Zadig appears like this:

win10-sdr-1.jpeg
win10-sdr-1.jpeg (53.87 KiB) Viewed 5052 times

And device manager shows this:

win10-sdr-2.jpeg
win10-sdr-2.jpeg (30.98 KiB) Viewed 5052 times

After updating the driver in Zadig, rebooting and running Zadig again it now shows this:

win10-sdr-3.jpeg
win10-sdr-3.jpeg (54.39 KiB) Viewed 5052 times

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:09 am
by rtlsdrblog
Seems correct after running Zadig. Windows will sometimes perform updated which overwrites the SDR drivers. So each time is updates you just need to run Zadig again.

Re: Fix for Windows 10 unrecognized RTL-SDR

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:18 pm
by impaired-driver
Seems right but it doesn't work under Win10. Device manager nows shows this:

win10-sdr-4.jpeg
win10-sdr-4.jpeg (29.09 KiB) Viewed 4932 times


SDR# nor CubicSDR on Win10 can see the dongle.

Any fix or am I limited to OSX only?