ASUS P4PE Mobo + XP Pro SP 3 = No more USB Ports

Guys, I'm hoping somebody here is already familiar with this situation.

I'm still using the PC I built in 2006: Pentium4 2.53MHz, ASUS P4PE mb, 2GB RAM, Win XP Pro. It's been rock solid until recently, and the problem I'm having is apparently wide-spread. I find P4PE users seeking help with this all across the web, beginning as far back as 2005. BUT, I have not found any solution.

In a nutshell: Several weeks ago I attempted to install an updated driver for my digital audio interface, which connects via 1394 Firewire. Instead of the usual smooth install, the Windows XP "Finding New Hardware" dialog appeared and reported, "The hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software."

I tried Googling that string/statement and began to see how this is a well established and longstanding issue.

I have 6 USB ports, but Device Mgr was only displaying 4 controllers, 3 of which appeared to be running at 1.1 speed. So I followed some online instructions that had me enter SAFE MODE and use Device Manager to delete the old USB references - so a reboot of XP would "Find" them and reinstall with new drivers.

It didn't work out that way. XP failed to install them(!)

So now my USB controllers (the 4 that do appear) are in the "happy yellow Other Devices" section along with my dual monitors which now appear by name AND simply as "monitor".

Does anybody recognize this mess, and more importantly, does anybody here know how I can OVERCOME it?


5 answers Last reply
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  1. If you can get online, you can use Microsoft update to find your drivers for you. This sometimes works when I am in a hurry.
  2. I recommend that you PRINT THIS:

    You may need to reinstall Windows. You could try to uninstall and reinstall all the main drivers.

    Reinstalling Windows:
    1) Backup e-mail, documents, files, write down passwords etc. (preferably also get a new hard drive and keep the old one handy. an old drive may even be your problem if it's causing errors)

    2) Reinstall Windows from disc

    3) Install the drivers for your MOTHERBOARD (download from the website. make sure they're for 32-bit XP and your exact motherboard)
    - main chipset driver
    - SATA drivers
    - onboard audio? (Realtek can often get from the main Realtek site)
    - other drivers...

    4) Install VIDEO DRIVERS and any other remaining drivers

    5) Microsoft Updates (will take a long time)

    6) Activate Windows

    7) create an image BACKUP with Acronis or similar (on a different hard drive)

    8) reinstall other programs and tweak...

    9) create another BACKUP IMAGE

    *It's good to create an IMAGE of your C-drive so you can RESTORE in the future if you have problems. Keep in mind everything past that is lost so if you need to restore you should first try a System Restore (rollback) first. For a majore RESTORE (Acronis) backup any important files that have changed.

    For this reason I keep most files on a second hard drive and just keep Windows and the programs on the main drive. If I restore I just replace my programs not my downloads etc. (I only need to copy my e-mail and Internet Favourites).

    Thanks to you both for your replies. I will REinstall XP Pro (repair existing OS) as a last resort, and will make use of your excellent suggestions when/if I do. BUT, I am dealing with a very SPECIFIC issue that needs to be resolved.

    I have spent about 15 hours Googling and at least 10 hours tweaking (and basically damaging) my system. Here's what I think I know so far:

    There seems to be a wide-ranging ISSUE appearing across the internet. People are finding it impossible to install typical USB devices (and FireWire devices). I have tried searching on various information strings, but the one that turns up what appears to be the key or common thread is this: [b]"the hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software"

    When I attempt to install any USB device, the XP Pro "Found New Hardware" dialog window appears, and whether I attempt to find the driver automatically (online) or search my own disks, it ultimately tells me, "the hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software". In the course of all this, I tried using XP Device Manager to UNinstall my USB Controllers (some don't seem to be operating at 2.0 speed). The idea is for you to UNinstall and THEN REBOOT. Win XP should "find" them and then reinstall them with the latest/best drivers.

    But it didn't work out that way. Upon reboot, I GOT THE SAME OLD "FOUND NEW HARDWARE" RUNAROUND, and XP FAILED to install the USB all ! ! ! (Thank God for System Restore - I restored to an earlier system point and am running again).

    My motherboard is an ASUS P4PE, and I am finding lots of P4PE users having this problem, some as far back as 5 years ago. I have all the latest motherboard drivers installed and have initiated a service inquiry to ASUS in China (waiting for reply). Most of the issues reported online seem to involve XP / XP Pro SP3 (Service Pack 3). So maybe Microsoft's SP3 and/or constant Updates are causing all this...

    Based on my limited experience/awareness, I think the problem has to be one of the following:
    1. a conflict between XP SP3 (or newer Updates) and certain motherboards+drivers (mine is ASUS P4PE), or
    2. a problem related to .INF files, or
    3. missing/corrupted system file(s)
    4. registry issues caused by overzealous Registry Cleaner/Fixer utilities
    5. a virus, but I ran a full scan and found nothing. Googled the Found New Hardware statement above, combined with "virus" and "trojan". Found nothing useful.

    The one and only SOLUTION (maybe) that I found online was someone who claimed to have corrected his system by performing an XP REinstall (he repaired his existing OS).

    The following Microsoft "support" thread describes EXACTLY what has happened in my case, right down to uninstalling USB Controllers... It's a short thread. Read the user's excellent, concise description and his workaround (same as mine). Then notice how the MS "support rep" gaslights the whole issue by saying, "I'm glad your issue has been resolved". I SMELL A MICROSOFT COVERUP.
  4. REPAIR may be problematic.

    It MAY solve your existing problem, but I recommend any time attempting something potentially dangerous (could prevent computer starting) that you backup all your software with the assumption that your hard drive will be unusable.

    I've dealt with many computers and often seen a "simple repair" job wiping out everyone's data.

    (do YOU know what to do if you reboot after a repair and Windows does not boot?)
  5. Funny you should ask. Over the years I've taken "the necessary precautions" but one way or another, when disaster strikes the methods I've prepared have NOT worked.

    If you know of an absolutely FOOL PROOF set of online instructions for how to prepare for SHTF, PLEASE point me in that direction.

    I agree with you that a REPAIR Installation of XP Pro might not end well.

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