Broken USB ports on laptop?

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Hello everyone.

I seem to be having a problem with the USB ports on my laptop.  It's a
Compaq Presario 2580us.  Here's the problem:

Intermittently, my USB ports seem to stop working.  For instance, I'll
be using my USB mouse, and suddenly, it stops working, the red LED
light goes out, and I hear the Windows "USB device
unplugged" beep.  Sometimes it comes back on, accompanied by the
Windows "USB device plugged in" beep, on its own after a
second or two, sometimes after some fiddling with the USB plug (which
seems a bit loose).  This also happens with gamepads.  It does NOT,
however, happen with my external USB hard drive, which has its own
power supply, which leads me to believe that it's an issue with the
ports providing power.

I bought this computer refurbed, about a year ago, so it's not under
any warranty.  Any suggestions?  Is this a common problem?  Fixable
by opening it up and getting my hands dirty?  (I've built every
desktop I've ever had, but no experience inside laptops.)  Will a
shop be able to fix this?  Or am I hosed?  

Thanks very much for any replies.


Re: Broken USB ports on laptop?

no@spam.invalid (funfetus) wrote:
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Yeah, sounds like a bad solder joint, you could concievably solder it
back together, if the connector is easy to get to.  If, however, it's
a cracked circuit board or connector wire, it's going to be a lot
harder to repair...

Try pulling the machine apart as much as you can (or as much as you
are comfortable with) and see what it looks like.

Re: Broken USB ports on laptop?

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Meanwhile: as a workaround, you could run your mouse etc. via a powered hub.

Re: Broken USB ports on laptop?

The first thing I would try is another USB mouse. I had an intermittent
mouse problem recently and it was the mouse gone bad. Because your USB drive
works with the port seems to bear out this possibility.

Anyway, USB mice can be very cheap, so if you can borrow or buy one, I'd
start there.

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