Dealing with Device Driver Error Code 1 and Error Code 3

In this article, we will learn how to troubleshoot the following common device driver error codes:

  • Error Code 1
  • Error Code 3

Before taking up the specific error codes, let’s take a look on how to view the device driver error codes. Windows computers come with a built in utility called the Device Manager that is used to view and troubleshoot device error codes.  

To view the device driver error codes in Windows XP, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the My Computer icon and click Properties.
  2. Next, click the Hardware tab and then Device Manager.
  3. Next, expand the device type that is giving the error. For instance, if you have problems with your network adapters, expand Network Adapters to see its attached devices.

    The device that has a problem will have a red exclamation mark next to it. A Yellow exclamation mark next to a device means the device is unknown, which usually happens when the drivers of a device are missing.

  1. Right-click the problematic device and then click the Properties menu. The error code will appear in the Device Status section, on the General tab in the device Properties dialog box.

Causes of Device Driver Error Code 1

Error code 1 occurs due to the following reasons:

  • A driver is missing
  • A driver is not correctly configured


To fix this issue, update the driver. To achieve this, perform the following steps in the Device Manager:

  1. Click the Driver tab on the device properties dialog box.
  2. Next, click the Update Driver button and follow the onscreen instructions to update the driver for your device.

Note: If you have the driver installed but Windows is not able to locate it, provide the path to the driver files. If the driver is missing, download the latest driver from the vendor’s website.

Causes of Device Driver Error Code 3

The error code 3 occurs due to the following reasons:

  • A corrupt driver
  • Insufficient RAM or other system resources


To rectify the error, use one of the following methods:

Uninstall and reinstall the driver

If Error Code 3 is occurring due to a corrupt driver, uninstall the driver and reinstall it. To achieve this in the Device Manager perform the steps mentioned below:

  1. On the device properties dialog box of the problem device, click the Driver tab.
  2. Next, click the Uninstall button and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  3. Next, restart your computer.
  4. Next, in the Device Manager window, right-click the device type of the device you uninstalled and click Scan for hardware changes to launch Add Hardware wizard and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the driver.

Upgrade your RAM

If the above error is occurring due to insufficient Random Access Memory (RAM), install additional RAM on your computer to fix the error.

To prevent driver error codes, it is essential that you regularly update the drivers installed on your computer. Although you can update your drivers manually, using the Device Manager utility it is a complicated and time-consuming process. This is why it is best that you opt for a reliable driver scanner tool, such as Driver Finder to automate the process of locating, downloading and installing appropriate driver updates.

Many driver errors also occur due to problems in the Windows registry. As a vigilant user, you must maintain a clean and compact registry by performing regular registry scans, using advanced registry cleaning software, such as RegServe.