(Yet Another) USB related problem

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My boss has a WinXP Home based PC.
He has been using several/many USB devices, and swapping them as
needed (too few ports).
He installed a hub so all the devices could be connected at once.

Everything was FINE for at least 2 weeks.

The other day, several devices stopped working.
Specifically, one of 3 printers, *any* flash drive, and the new hub
itself. The remaining devices work (keyboard, mouse, and 2 printers)
in any of the motherboard ports.

When the problem items are plugged in, he gets a "bonk" sound instead
of the usual tones, and a USB icon appears in the systray. this icon
opens a window that supposedly lists the set of devices, but even when
there are working devices attached, this list doesn't show them. As
for any *non-working* devices, it ALWAYS has one entry, even when no
USB devices are attached, but it never shows another entry for the
device that was just not recognized.

Device manager does have an "unknown device" entry in the USB section,
but it has supposedly ALWAYS shown that, even when all the devices
were working.

The devices that no longer work on this machine all work properly on

I have tried removing/re-detecting the USB devices in Device manager,
I have tried looking for updates, but they don't seem to exist?? and
I've deleted temp files and cleaned the registry.

My next thought was to reattach PS2 keyboard/mouse and then disabling
USB support in the BIOS in order to possibly get a fresh install of
the XP USB drivers ... ?

Anyone have any insight to a possible solution?
Wiping the drive and doing a clean XP install isn't out of the
question, but it's a last resort.



Re: (Yet Another) USB related problem

noneofyourbusiness wrote:
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Couple of thoughts:

 Is Service pack 2 installed? It matters for USB2 devices. And it may
be the "unknown device".

Another thought is that with an unpowered hub and many devices, he may
have been drawing too much current through his laptop usb port, and
damaged it in some way.

Re: (Yet Another) USB related problem

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Sorry, left out those details.
Yes, SP2 is installed, and all updates are current.
And he did use the power supply with the hub.


Re: (Yet Another) USB related problem

noneofyourbusiness wrote:
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Huh.... Well I had to give it a chance to be easy.....

Try alternate ports on the USB hub, or bypass it altogether, and retest
the devices.

I don't like that "unknown device" in the USB area. What is the make
and model of the machine? I would pay a visit to the manufacturer's
website, and see what drivers are available. If you don't see drivers
for usb, then possibly there are chipset drivers that will cover this.

Firmware is a possibility, though a remote one....

A way to separate hardware from software, without nuking the machine is
to try one of those Linux live CDs such as Knoppix. It's kind of cool
browsing the net from a machine with no hard drive...

http://www.knoppix.org /

Re: (Yet Another) USB related problem

Here's a trick: boot into Safe Mode and delete all the USB devices in
the hardware tree. Unplug the hub from the computer, then reboot
normally and plug it back in again.  Let everything get redetected.
See if that helps.

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