Weird USB port behaviour

I have 2 front USB2 ports on my PC & one of them is exhibiting a strange behaviour with a single Toshiba 4GB USB memory stick.

If I stick the Toshiba memory stick in any other USB port (the other 7) in my PC it behaves fine, it is also fine on any other PC's I try it on. However if I stick it in the bottom USB port on the front of my machine windows locks up. If I use any other USB2 memory sticks in the same port they work fine. If I reboot with the stick plugged in everything is fine until I try & access that USB/drive, then explorer locks up & the whole PC seems to freeze - unplug the stick & everything start running again????

Ok, your thinking its windows... well I was using XP64 but I recently changed (full format) to Vista Business X64 & it does the same thing!!!

It is only this one USB2 stick in this one USB2 port combination that locks up (explorer just freezes on the whole machine), any other USB stick/port combo has no problem.

It's not a big issue, but I'd like to know why? (Trying to solve one of life’s mysteries).
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  1. Odd USB behaviour like this is often down to the port being underpowered. Try sticking a powered USB hub in the port (if you have one) and putting your USB key in that, if it works it's a power issue.

  2. As mentioned, it's most likely a power issue.

    But the simplest solution here is to NOT use that particular USB port and USB stick combination; especially if you have 7 other ports you can use that do not have this problem.
  3. I only have 2 FRONT ports & it's one of then, so unless I pay attention I sometimes plug it into the wrong one & have the issue.

    If it is a power issue, I might split the internal cables feeding the front USB ports & swap the offending port wires to a new header pair on the motherboard. That way each port on the front would be using a different USB pair. I think each port pair shares the same power bus & there's more unused USB headers on the mobo? (Correct me if I'm wrong...)
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