Thousands of people are having troubles with those Huawei USB modems (assumption based in search engine results and forum posts). Below I present a list of steps to try out or hints to consider if you run into issues installing the drivers and/or software such as the error “the device has been disconnected or is unavailable”. I was using the Huawei E220 model but I guess the software/firmware related issue apply with other models, too.
How to fix “the device has been disconnected or is unavailable”
1. Always log in with a user account that has local admin permissions.
2. Once you’ve found an USB plug that works, always hook up the modem to the same plug.
If you see an error that “the device has been disconnected or is unavailable” when you try to connect, the following might help. The problem was that during installation Windows didn’t recognize the modem’s data interface. Hence, no modem was installed as far as Windows is concerned:
- Go to My Computer → Properties → Hardware → Device Manager
- Disconnect the USB modem.
- Right-click on each entry in Universal Serial Bus controllers and choose “uninstall”.
- Restart the PC.
- Re-connect the USB modem to the first USB plug. Windows will initialize the device, pay attention to all the messages it displays at the lower right bottom of your screen. It will most likely initialize the device as an USB mass storage device, a CD-ROM, etc. AND hopefully as a “Data Interface”. If it never shows the mesage for data interface you have to try the device on the next USB plug.
- If Windows brings up an installation dialog for the data interface, allow it to get the drivers from the internet, but tell it to also check in
<folder-where-you-installed-dongle-software>\Driver\<your-operating-system>for suitable drivers (it might not find them otherwise).
- If the Device Manager doesn’t list Huawei in the Modems and Ports section, you won’t be able to open a connection. Start all over with this guide 🙁