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unreliable USB ports

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August 24, 2007 1:12:38 PM

I have been messing with my parents computer trying to troubleshoot a problem they are having with their USB ports and I am out of ideas. hopefully you can help. they have a MSI K7N2 Delta2 Motherboard with an athlon XP 2800+ CPU and 1 GB of RAM. there are 4 USB ports on the back of the computer and 2 front pots - all come from the motherboard. they run Windows XP (with all the latest updates).

the problem they are having is that when they plug a mouse or keyboard into one of the usb ports it almost always works fine, but if they plug in almost any other device (thumb drives, card readers, printers...) it will usually say "unrecognized USB Device - sometimes it works but more often it doesn't.

usually when this happens - i unplug the device, and try another usb port and in most cases i eventually find a port that works.

last night i bought a compusa PCI USB 2.0 card and installed it. windows picked up the drivers and it installed without any issues. but when i plug a thumb drive into one of those ports it takes a good minute before windows makes the "boo boop" sound and then about another 45 seconds later it comes up and says that the hardware could not be successfully installed. but if i plug a keyboard or mouse into those ports it works with no problem (just like on the mobo ports).

since the ports on the PCI card exhibit similar behavior to the mobo ports - i assume the problem is not with the hardware but something in the software, but i really am not sure how to proceed with fixing this. can anyone make any suggestions?

More about : unreliable usb ports

August 24, 2007 1:56:08 PM

Is the machine fully updated? It needs SP2 for proper USB function, if I remember correctly.
August 24, 2007 2:58:02 PM

yea - it has all the latest updates.
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August 24, 2007 3:26:17 PM

if u connect two or three hardwares which are usb, but not the pen drive, then does this happen? if not then there is a prob with the usb drive. this happens to me as well but very rarely. i insert and then take it out and then insert. this mostly helps. hope it helped.
August 24, 2007 3:38:36 PM

no i am pretty sure its nto the pen drive - because i have tried 4 different pen drives, 2 different printers, 2 different cameras, and a usb card reader - and they all give the "usb device not recognizes" most of the time.
August 24, 2007 6:26:44 PM

does this not recoginizing thig happens on the pci usb slots as well?
August 24, 2007 7:16:33 PM

I hate problems like that. The aggravation alone is reason enough to replace the mobo. I'd check your 5v coming out of the usb ports. Make sure it is within spec. (+/- 250mV) Also try swapping out your system power supply cable. Sometimes they are cheap and dont have a ground inside them and strange things can happen...
August 24, 2007 7:52:20 PM

Considering the fact it's a 3-4 year old Nforce2, especially since it's an Msi, It probably actually is related to the board not software. In fact if you open the case up, you might be able to find a swollen cap or 2 on the board. I had an XP 1000 on a via board that behaved just like that and 2 windows reinstalls didn't correct it.
August 24, 2007 10:44:27 PM

lordszone said:
does this not recoginizing thig happens on the pci usb slots as well?

yes this also happens on the PCI slots.
August 24, 2007 10:45:23 PM

shadowmaster625 said:
I hate problems like that. The aggravation alone is reason enough to replace the mobo. I'd check your 5v coming out of the usb ports. Make sure it is within spec. (+/- 250mV) Also try swapping out your system power supply cable. Sometimes they are cheap and dont have a ground inside them and strange things can happen...


how do i go about checking the 5v coming out of my usb ports?
a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2007 12:10:36 AM

I would be very careful checking the 5V from the USB ports. The contacts are recessed and the outer shell is ground, so if you aren't careful inserting your meter probe you may contact both the 5V and the ground. In most cases the computer will just shut off if this happens and no damage will be done, but on some older boards, they lacked short circuit protection (dumb) and you could damage the board. As for how, there are four pins. The outer pins are power and ground, the inner pins are transmit and receive. I forget exactly the arrangement, but if you Gizoogle it you will find the specs.

August 25, 2007 12:53:04 AM

some of these old MoBo's have USB support... however; the hardware just isn't quite up to snuff to handle some kinds of things..

Webcams come to mind.. and other things are rated as USB 2.0+

So.. a solution is is to get a PCI USB 2.0 card (usually have between 4-5 ports; 4 external 1 internal) and use that for some of your devices.
August 25, 2007 5:47:05 AM

then it will be your mobo. change it
August 25, 2007 7:05:39 AM

have you considered it might just be a corrupt windows install?

try reinstalling windows (Maker a image of the hard disk first), or if you don't want to, boot a copy of knoppix or similar, and see if usb devices work under there.
!