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Old 05-12-2008, 21:18   #1
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usb problem

all of a sudden when i plug a device (flashdrives, mouse dongle, c-map dongle, camera) into a usb port on my laptop i get an error message saying: one of the usb devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognise it"

since it's happening with all the devices i suspect it's actually windows that has malfunctioned (Windows XP) or the laptop.

i've tried a "system restore" and updating drivers but problem remains

anyone got any ideas for a fix?? all help gratefully received.
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Old 05-12-2008, 21:33   #2
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try this

Follow directions in the MS article, see if that helps:
Advanced troubleshooting tips for general USB problems in Windows XP
If not, Try this, often helps:
  • Shutdown and unplug all USB devices.
  • Boot to BIOS Setup and load defaults (F5 or F9 usually).
  • Boot XP and create a new Environment variable called devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices and set it's value to 1 as follows:
    • Right click on My Computer and select Properties
    • Click on the Advanced tab
    • Click on the Environmental Variables button
    • Click the New button under the "User variables for xxxxx" area.
    • Set the Variable name as: devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices
    • Set the Variable value to: 1
    • Click OK as needed to close all the windows you opened.
  • Open Device Manager (Control Panel, System, Hardware Tab, Device Manager)
  • Click on View then Show hidden devices.
  • Scroll down to USB and click on the plus to expand it.
  • Uninstall them one at a time. DO NOT uninstall your mouse if you are using a USB mouse.
  • Shutdown and reboot, let XP rediscover everything and load necessary drivers. This can take a few minutes, be patient.
Now try the USB device, see what happens

I am not responsible for any issues to the computer as a result, but it has worked for me.
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Old 06-12-2008, 21:52   #3
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chuck: thanks for the advice. if i do this and mess it up will "system restore" at least put me back to where i was?
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:43   #4
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USB Devices

I discovered that USB plugs are particularly susceptible to corrosion and shorting and I got the same warning as you have on my computer. Had lots of trouble with the interface with Skymate and GPS to my computer. These connectors never got doused--they corroded from the salt air environment. Suggest you get a new cable with connectors (and buy spares, they are cheap). Bet this will resolve the issue.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:00   #5
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Another try: go to My Computer. Right click, then click "Properties" Click on "Hardware" Then click on "Device Manager". Go down the tree to "Universal Bus Controlers". Click on the "+" and you should expand the tree to show many devices. Right click on each and uninstall it. Then restart and plug in your device. BE PATIENT, the device will reinstall like its the first time.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:18   #6
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Many devices are powered thru their USB connectors. You may be overloading the computer, and the last device installed will suffer. I use a powered usb hub.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsadler View Post
chuck: thanks for the advice. if i do this and mess it up will "system restore" at least put me back to where i was?

Bob, It "should" restore it and I say should because I have found system restore does not work more times than it does. Good luck and just print out the directions and follow them closely and you should be OK. Take your time but by all means try the fix from the Microsoft web site first.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:30   #8
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Before doing surgery on the OS, try cleaning the connectors first. It's unlikely that all of the USB drivers went ...ah... tango uniform at the same time. Use something like CRC's contact cleaner on the USB devices' connectors and the laptop's ports. If all of the devices, or at least things like portable memory, keyboard, mouse, work on other machines but tank on your machine, it may also be... hate to say this... that the USB controller itself has gone tango uniform. Depending on the situation, you might get help with warranty support or... um, er, wellllll... you may be in the market for a new laptop.

As to the drivers, a simple repair session (start from Device Manager's USB section) should restore them but I doubt that's the problem (i.e., drivers corrupted) since it appears all devices have the problem and, you infer, they are failed at the same time. Sorry, but that all says "bad USB controller".

But... that's all based on sketchy information - please, more detail about what went wrong, when did it go wrong, and what was happening at the time.
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