I found a way to get debugging back for my Galaxy Nexus while running Eclipse on Windows 8. It was very annoying to go without using ADB for my Galaxy Nexus. I had about 3-4 months where Eclipse ADB would not detect my device. I would turn debugging on and off, reset ADB with kill-server, reinstall device drives, but got nowhere. This was only for Windows. Everything was fine at home, where I use a Macbook.
What led me to the answer was the upgrade of my Nexus 7 tablet to Android 4.4. As soon as that happened, ADB would no longer detect the tablet. So there I was — two devices and neither could be used with Eclipse. I definitely had to find a fix. Fortunately, Google searches related to Nexus 7 and ADB got me to a Stack Overflow page that had the information I needed.
What I needed was buried in one of the comments: “how to activate USB debugging for the NEW Nexus 7 on Windows 8“. The answer was to configure USB to connect as “Camera (PTP) rather than a “Media device (MTP)”. Getting to that screen was a bit hard to find. It is on the context menu of the Settings-Storage screen. That was about the last place I would look for configuring something related to USB. Anyway, it worked for Nexus 7.
Since it worked for Nexus 7, I decided to try it for my Galaxy Nexus also. Sure enough, it worked and I am back to debugging and looking at Logcat windows in Eclipse.
I am sharing this with readers of this blog in case others have the same problem on Windows 8 and, like me, do not immediately recognize the answer on StackOverflow.