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USB Losing Functionality and BIOS freezing

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
April 3, 2010 9:14:00 PM

Hello, I've been stumped by this for the entire day now. Here are the details of the problems I'm having:

Laptop specs:
MSI Wind U100
Intel Atom N270 (1.60GHz)
BIOS version 1.0B
Windows XP

Started all of a sudden yesterday (was working fine ever since I got it). I was trying to transfer some files to my USB stick, and kept getting this message: 'USB Device Not Recognized: One of the USB devices attatched to this computer has malfunctions, and Windows does not recognize it.' I restarted the computer, thinking that would solve the problem. The BIOS screen came up and froze. Nothing happened for minutes, so I turned it off and removed the hard drive, extra gig of memory, and what looked to be the Wi-fi card. Still nothing, no complaints about a missing HD, just the big 'MSI' logo on the screen. So I put all that stuff back, and turned it on again. After 5 minutes, it came to life again, and Windows loaded without a problem. However, here's what I noticed next:
- iPod did not work (USB Device Not Recognized error) and does not charge being plugged in
- ANY other kind of USB storage device did not work
- My XBox controller DID get recognized
- USB keyboard/mouse works fine (as did another set of keyboard/mouse combo)
- The built-in webcam was NOT recognized when I turned it on
- All 3 USB ports on the laptop behaved the same with regards to the above
- BIOS screen freezes 5 minutes upon restart every time
- BIOS itself is accessible, but not during the freeze (you have to either keep pressing DEL or press it just as the second it comes back to life)
- Unable to boot off of bootable USB stick containing Live Ubuntu, even with USB boot priority at #1. Using the boot manager also did not work, as the USB drive option wasn't even there (i.e., it wasn't detected)
- Flashing the BIOS from v1.09 to 1.0B (a newer version, but not the newest) did not help
- The USB drive NEVER lights up even for a split second, which it always used to do upon immediate connection
- The mouse receiver ALWAYS lights up
- Everything else works without a hitch
- I'm unsure if the BIOS freezing and the USB problem is connected, but they both happened at the same time, making a strong case for some kind of correlation

Is this a motherboard issue? I don't mind the 5 minute wait to start up, since I rarely shut down my laptop anyway, but losing the ability to sync my iPod/USB drive is going to be a major concern.

And why are the USB ports recognizing some things but not others? If an XBox controller works why not the webcam, or the iPod?

Here's a screenshot of what the connected iPod looks like in Device Manager:

Best solution

a b D Laptop
April 4, 2010 1:01:19 AM

To begin with, it is a good idea to rule out that the USB controllers aren't the problem. Go to MSI's support sight and download the latest/same chipset and install it. Reinstalling the chipset will help to kick start the USB controllers. If that works, we now know that it was USB related. If that is a no go, I suspect that it is something with the motherboard, i.e. perhaps a heat related issue. If it is still under warranty, I'd send it in.
April 4, 2010 5:21:59 PM

Thanks for the response, but I installed the chipset drivers and it didn't seem to work.

It could be heat related, since I've noticed the fan has been running pretty hard (air coming out is relatively cool, however). SpeedFan reported Temp1 (don't know what that is), Core 0 and Core 1 to be in the mid-50s to 70 Celsius. I don't think it's anything to be concerned about, right?

And do you know why the non-storage USB devices work? At first I thought it's because the power's been sapped from the ports, but then realized that an XBox controller would undoubtedly require more power to function than a USB stick (it even has motors!).

Anyway from the looks of it I'll have to bite the bullet and start using file hosting sites to save and transfer files now. Also won't be able to sync my iPod on the fly now :( .
April 10, 2010 11:57:43 PM

Best answer selected by dark2025.