Thursday, March 07, 2013

Fixing the Nexus 4 Windows 7 MTP USB Device Failed Error

Sorry. This will be extra geeky. But a tricky digital devil had Ol Jon pulling at his graying hairs for hours. And the world must learn the solution that took Ye Old Geek hours to unravel!

The problem was that my Windows 7 system would not load the drivers necessary to connect my Nexus 4 to my PC via USB. (So that I could pull off my pictures and videos.) Removing the existing driver did not work. Installing developer tools did not work. A dozen other tricks and reboots did not work. 

What worked? A simple little shell command: 
     net localgroup Administrators local service /add

It apparently has something to do with the phone and USB and driver software all going too quickly and not negotiating properly. So Humpty Dumpty has a great fall and it takes an obscure command line to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Four hundred bucks worth of ultra modern  phone hardware tweaked with six words. And I don't really know why. Here comes the singularity. 


Unknown said...

cool!! it worked :)
though it is really hard to understand why, but in the end it worked ;)

Unknown said...


Glad I could help. It completely baffles me WHY it works, but it does. I beat on that thing for hours before finding the right solution. Happy to help at least one other person end their suffering!

Unknown said...

hey Jon,

I'm stuck again :(
In my N4 I set my profile pic.
Now m unable to change it. whenever i click it, it says "the contact doesn't exist".

Creative Edge Music said...

I ran this command successfully in the command prompt, but I'm still not seeing my phone. Do I need to uninstall drivers before running this command, do I need to restart, or what other steps do I need to take before/after running this command to see my phone files? Like you, I've invested a ton of time in this and haven't gotten anywhere. Thanks!

Creative Edge Music said...

Just to clarify, after running this command I switched to Debug mode on my phone, and I'm still getting the MTP failed screen.

Unknown said...


You might be using the wrong driver (Android ADB) instead of the MTP driver. This happened to me the other day!

If you're in Debug Mode, you've already done the first step I was going to suggest.

Here's the second step that worked for me: Open Device Manager -> Click Android Device (top of my list) which exposes "Android Composite ADB Interface" -> Right click that device -> Update Driver Software -> Browse My computer for driver software -> Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer -> then choose "MTP USB Device" -> Next

Mine installed the MTP driver and then the N4 opened normally.