Hi, this is my first post here so I hope it's in the correct forum. Apologies in advance if it should be somewhere else.
I'm having a minor problem with the USB wireless adapter on this computer. Nothing major - just an annoyance really. Basically, when I switch the computer on it doesn't activate (no power LED), even though it's plugged into a USB port (on the PC, not a hub).
If I then pull the USB cable out and plug it back in it switches on immediately and is up and running in a few seconds. Afterwards it works fine even if I soft-reboot the computer. It doesn't need to be unplugged-and-plugged again til next time I start the machine from cold.
I also have a USB scanner and a USB printer attached and they both start just fine.
Anyway, here's the tech specs:
Adapter is an Edimax EW-7711UAn USB
Computer is running Windows XP Home SP3
If you need any further details or have any ideas then please let me know. All help greatly appreciated.
In my experience, USB can be mighty flakey, and in many different ways. I've seen all kinds of USB problems I could never explain. I have a Toshiba laptop that for some reason will only recognize any USB flash drive the first time it's inserted. Do a clean (as in “safely remove hardware”) removal, reinsert, and it's no go, returns an error of unidentified device. Only a reboot will fix it. Same USB flash drives, different computer, work flawlessly.
So nothing surprises me when it comes to USB.
I would stay away from either the front USB ports of your case, or any PCI/PCIe add-on USB adapters, at least for this device. Only use the USB ports on the back of the case attached directly to the motherboard. These tend to be a bit more reliable.
What you might also try is using USB hub (a powered one even better). Maybe having some distance between it and the PC might actually help.
Thanks for your reply. I'm afraid I know quite well how tempermental USB can be but I went ahead and bought a USB wifi adapter anyway... My other USB niggle just now is a Dell Inspirion 1501 laptop which only detects USB devices literally a minute after they've been inserted. God knows what's wrong with that but I'll deal with it another time.
Getting back to the wifi adapter - I'm afraid it's already plugged directly into a motherboard USB port and is already positioned a couple of feet away from the computer (using an extension cable + base that came with the USB adapter and yes, I have tried it without the extension - same problem).
I think the moral of the story is if you know what you're doing to the extent that you can fit a PCI card then don't be a lazy bugger and buy a USB one! *sigh*