Just recently, I visited a client that was having trouble connecting to his wi-fi. The USB dongle being used, had reached the end of it’s lifespan. Luckily, a new one was readily available and I figured it would take me no more than 15 minutes to install the drivers and get him back up and surfing the internet again. I was wrong, the USB dongle refused to install and I kept getting the Error Code 37 message “Windows cannot initialize the device driver for this hardware. (Code 37).” Mind you, I tried both a TP-Link and a D-Link dongle.
Anyway, it led to me taking his PC away to diagnose and rectify. After much research and no joy, I decided on running a malware scan using Malware Bytes, which you can download for free, HERE. It came up with a bunch of infections. Oh the joy! Did a clean up, restarted, and lo and behold, the PC wouldn’t boot back into Windows. Consequently, a startup repair was initiated. The first attempt failed. Restarted and it began the startup repair again. After a little while, it came up with the message that Windows could not be repaired. I decided to take a look at the log and came across a possible root cause:
Boot critical file d:\windows\system32\drivers\cd8648b427e71fd6.sys is corrupt.
I pulled out the hard drive, connected it to a working PC, located the corrupt file, set the security permissions to “Everyone” with Full Permissions and deleted the file.
Once that was done, I inserted the hard drive back into it’s PC and started up the machine. The heaven’s had spoken… it booted! I tried, with fingers crossed, to install the wireless dongle again and it went through without a hitch.
Anyway, I hope this helps someone. If you think I can improve on this article in anyway, please contact me and I would love to hear from you!