If you're having problems with USB ports, read on...

mike315

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Like Jedi_Jos in this thread, I found that an UNinstall of ALL USB Controllers followed by letting WindowsXP "find" the USB controllers again on a cold, re-Start solved all my USB problems.

I built two 975X PUEs for two different people, finished them about 10 days apart.  They both ran fine for about a week and then on the same day, in two different houses over 25 miles apart they both "lost" all USB devices.  Yes, the USB Controllers still showed just fine in Device Manager but every USB port was dead.

I went to both locations, UNinstalled ALL USB Controllers, let WindowsXP COLD START re-boot and re-find all controllers, which it did.  All USB ports went immediately active and have been fine for about two weeks since.  By the way, I didn't unplug or re-plug anything.

I can't prove my theory, but both PCs were set to download WindowsXP updates AUTOMATICALLY and INSTALL them, and both PCs were using Broadband, i.e., "always on".  Tell me I'm crazy, but I think a WindowsXP update knocked out the USB ports.

OK, I'm crazy, but answer me this:  What are the odds that two PCs - in different locations - would experience the SAME exact HARDWARE problem - and no others before or since - at the exact same time? 

And, if you Google for USB problems IN GENERAL, you'll find other people experiencing the same thing about the same time, especially if they use WindowsXP BUT do not have Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) installed . . . which was exactly the situation with my two 975x builds.  Also, many of these people identify their recent problems as USB wireless mice problems, which is how both my build PCs were being run.  By the way, IE7 has already been identified as causing driver problems with some hardware, e.g., older model scanners.

One more question (to ask yourself): 

In all the time you've been using/building PCs, whether it be years, weeks, or days . . . when you've encountered trouble, what percentage of the time could you conclusively trace your problem to hardware? . . . to software, including drivers?  . . . I rest my case.
 

Frankenputer

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Yes, uninstalling the USB in Windoze and Window$' reinstallation can solve issues, but if you have a USB cluster from you case to the MOBO and this case unit uses an OC connector(9th wire to the #10 pin) it has been shown to cause the problems with USB.  This thread is a post of this discovery and a means to fix the issue if you have THIS situation(a case USB unit connected to the MOBO). 

We often ask if people have a case USB connected and make the reccommendation in this thread as well as uninstalling USB in windows and letting XP rediscover and reinstall the drivers.  Additionally users should check the power management tab for each of the USB root hubs(in properties) to ensure that "Turn off this device to save power" option is unticked. 
 
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stahlwird

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mike315 said:
I can't prove my theory, but both PCs were set to download WindowsXP updates AUTOMATICALLY and INSTALL them, and both PCs were using Broadband, i.e., "always on".  Tell me I'm crazy, but I think a WindowsXP update knocked out the USB ports.

OK, I'm crazy, but answer me this:  What are the odds that two PCs - in different locations - would experience the SAME exact HARDWARE problem - and no others before or since - at the exact same time? 
Mike315,

Good points, all.  But, I'm running XP Pro SP1 on DSL, with NO updates allowed (no, I don't use either IE or OE, and I've never had a virus, worm, trojan, or what have you). 

First time I tried my flash drive in the front connector, I got a message something to the effect that I "must install SP2".  Well, I did that, and it screwed up my system terribly.  Even after uninstalling SP2, the system was still flaky.  So, I did a Repair install (NOT a Recovery).  That straightened out most problems, but I still have problems with my flash drive in a front port--no problems in any of the rear ports.  Interestingly, Linux has no problem in those ports--just have to define the file system for it.

I will try yours, and the other poster's, suggestion of uninstalling the USB ports and powering down, then let Windoze discover them anew.  Hope that works for me.

Incidentally, after my previous post about my Lian Li case, I put it on the workbench and discovered that there is NO wire to the pin 10 location on the plugs from the case front connectors.  So, I don't have to cut or pull out anything.  Of course, I don't know about the actual connectors themselve at the case front--they are in a molded rubber housing and totally inaccesible.  So, I'm hoping the uninstall/cold reinstall will fix things.

Stahlwird
 

mike315

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Stahlwird,

Thanks for the additional information, especially with regard to my WindowsXP auto updates theory.  Your experiences pretty well shoots down my theory . . . that's why I called it a "theory".  d:-}) 

It is interesting to hear about your particular situation, and it does make me think that at least Windows might still be THE culprit behind our USB experience with dead USB connectors.

I hope the UNinstall - cold-start RE-install (find) works for you.  Both my 975Xs that experienced the problem are still showing all USB connectors working, including the two on the front panel of both cases.

Thanks again for posting.
 
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stahlwird

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Well, it's back to the old drawing board, guys.

I tried the suggestion of uninstalling the Standard and Enhanced USB, powering down, then letting XP "rediscover" the USB ports and load drivers.  No joy!  Plug my flash drive into the front ports and get "Unknown device....".  Still works fine in rear ports.

I even took a spare, clean hard drive and did a fresh install of XP Pro SP1, including only those drivers to support my K9N Diamond, sound, LAN, and the 3DFuzion video card.  Still same result; so, it's not a corrupted copy of Windoze.

I tried plugging a generic USB hub into the front panel.  Windoze sees it and tells me, but no complaints or problems.  Then, I plug my flash drive into the hub, and it starts with that "Unknown device" stuff again.  I removed the hub, and plugged my USB printer into one of the front ports.  No complaints, but it starts flashing the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon on and off about every second.  Tried to print, and it says the printer is off line.

The wire bundle from the front ports of my Lian Li PC7B case to the mobo headers DO NOT have anything going to pin 10.  Now, I'm wondering if inside that molded plastic/rubber housing on the front of the case that contains the USB jacks, if one of the ground wires might be attached to what WOULD have been wired to the USBOC pin on the header.

Oh well, just spinning my wheels.  I may send Lian Li a message, copying the pertinent parts of this thread, and see if they have any insight on the problem.

Stahlwird

 
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stahlwird

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Follow up on my last post.

I posed the question that there might be some extra wiring at the front-port side of my USB plugs on my Lian Li PC7B case.  Well, after closer examination of the USB ports, I don't see how that would be possible.  There are only 4 contacts within the female USB port, so theres no place for an extra connection---UNLESS that extra connection might be to the surrounding metal, kind of as a ground.  But, since one of the four connections to the plug is already a ground, it doesn't seem reasonable that the surrounding metal have a connection, again, unless it is common to the ground connector.

Looked at the wiring diagram that came with my case, and it shows only 4 connections, one of which is Ground.  And, as mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the wires that go to the plug intended for the mobo header has NOTHING going to pin 10.  But, still got that same old problem.

Now, got another question: even though there are only 4 connections at the USP port end, there are 8 pins on the mobo header, and 8 wires from the plug to the USB port.  Why is that?  Is that kind of like the 80 wires used in some IDE cables, to 40-pin plugs--to be sure there is a good, solid data path?
 
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stahlwird

Guest
Final desparate gasp!!!

I've tried all the suggestions in this forum.  Tried having Windows reload the USB ports and drivers.  Checked my wiring several times.  Even managed to get SP2 installed on the spare hard drive I mentioned in a previous post.  But, still no joy on my front USB ports.  Even tried moving the D-bracket USB connector from JUSB1 to JUSB2, and one of the front panel connectors to JUSB1  The flash drive still works in the USB ports on the D-bracket but will not work on the front panel.

Now, I'm beginning to suspect there is something radically wrong with the Lian-Li case front port wiring; but, it is encased in rubber so I have no access to it.

Lian-Li's tech support is virtually non-existant.  2 E-mail messages to them brought automated "We heard from you" reponses, but still no contact. 

Also, I've noticed that this phenomena seems to be isolated to MSI motherboards.  I have Google'd for several different wordings of "front USB problems" and "Lian-Li", and found nothing  Yeah, I know---this thread is in the MSI forum.  But, if others were having similar problems with other mobo's, you'd think there would be posts SOMEWHERE..

Now, I'm considering changing cases to one of the Antec or Thermaltake on which other posters have successfully clipped that mysterious wire and solved the problem

Anyone interested in a 4-month old Lian Li  PC7B Plus II, only used 4 months.

Stahlwird
 
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stahlwird

Guest
Well, guys, got my front port problem solved!!!!  And, is my face red!!

The Lian Li case comes with two different types of connectors for the front panel USB ports: one is an integral 10-pin female socket, and the other consists of two 3-pin females and 2 ground females--for those motherboards that don't have the integral 10-pin male header.  Well, ole dumb me--I though both sets of connectors had to be wired to 2 mobo headers, one for each of the 2 USB ports on the front panel.

Got to thinking: there's already 8 wires going into the integral connector, and those separate little danglies make that another 8 wires.  Surely, you don't need 16 wires just for 2 USB ports!  So, I got an idea--I'll just unplug one set of wires from a mobo header.
Did that, powered back up, and tested my flash drive.  Works like a champ!  So does my little USB hub, and so does my digital camera!  Problem solved: I just had too many connections fighting with each other.  No wonder Windows was confused!

So, my faith in Lian Li has been re-established--they really do put out a quality product.  Perhaps the only criticism might be that their documentation (yes, there really was a manual of sorts with the case!) could be a bit more wordy for us dumbells!

Won't be needing that new case.  Thanks to all of you for your patience.

Stahlwird
 

Frankenputer

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Stahlwird,

So glad you have it sorted out.  I was wondering as Lian Li cases are top notch.
 

mike315

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Awesome reporting of your problem, tests, and ultimate solution. 

I really appreciate your effort in reporting back to us, and you've got me wondering if my Day #1 problem (since about year 2000) with my personal PC Thermaltake case's top USB, firewire and audio connectors might be somehow related to your discovery.  After much trial, error & testing in the past, I finally wrote the problem off to a faulty circuit board - since all three different types of connectors are dead, were dead, and never were anything but dead.

You might be interested to know that Thermaltake - I thought a reputable company - totally ignored my numerous emails . . . I never got the first response . . . and I never bought another Thermaltake case either!

Thanks again for your good reporting.
 
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stahlwird

Guest
Mike,

Thank you for the compliments.  I'm an analyst by career, so I try to get to the bottom of things.  Not the swiftest, mind you, but determined.  No one ever said I was clever; plodding and stubborn, yes, but never clever!

I think your analysis of a faulty circuit board sounds correct, since ALL your ports appeared dead.

In my case, I confused Windows by essentially hooking the same two USB ports up to 2 different motherboard headers, presenting Windows with a dilemma--trying to add drivers for the very same device on 2 ports.  After thinking about Windows actions, it makes sense.  The little "Safe to dismount" icon would flash on and off, as Windows obviously shuttled back and forth to the two headers.  NOW, I understand it--why didn't I then?

As for vendor support and response, let me tell you a bit more about my experience with Lian Li's web site.  They DO have a tech support link, and they invite you to fill out a form requesting help.  When you click the link to "Submit", you do indeed get a response that the request was submitted.  But, then, you are taken to an apparently dead link, getting a "404 Page not found" error, or something similar.  I submitted my question twice, and I did get two E-mail messages, correctly addressed, but with NO content, and no ready indication of the message source.  Only by examining the headers did I determine it came from Lian Li.  Subsequently, there were no follow-up messages.  Because they have no American office, and the wording on their web site indicates that English is not their first language, I chalk their non-response and errant web pages up to language difficulties.  Their case is quality through and through, it had everything I wanted, AND it came with a nice double-sided, one-page diagram for installation of various components, INCLUDING a wiring diagram of the front-port connectors.  (I just can't read! :bonk:

Best of luck with your system.  Oh, are you still using the Thermaltake case (can't remember from your sig)?

Best regards,

Stahlwird
 
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stahlwird

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Mike,

One other thing.  For USB ports, perhaps something like these two thingies might help:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=29628

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820176825

Some guys in a news group I read passed them along to me.  The Newegg link might also lead to other devices that would handle your audio ports.  I confess I didn't look for that.

Stahlwird
 

marcovtje

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Same here ( P965 NEO-F).  Cardreader with 9 pins connected.

Symptoms: One core permanently used (50%). Under Linux visible that irqdevd was using it. reader was not functioning also/

Disconnect 9th pin, no problems anymore.
 

Frankenputer

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Guys, you should start your own thread and reference these posts rather than hijacking a thread.
 

tommypeters

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mike315 said:
I can't prove my theory, but both PCs were set to download WindowsXP updates AUTOMATICALLY and INSTALL them, and both PCs were using Broadband, i.e., "always on".  Tell me I'm crazy, but I think a WindowsXP update knocked out the USB ports.
The automatic Window Update is extremely buggy and has caused numerous problems for people, including crashes at startup. M$ has searched for the cause of the problem since October, but not found it. But manually installing exactly the same updates causes no problem, so it has to do with the automatic install.
 
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stoobie-doo

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I am having a slightly different spin on the problem

945P Neo3 mobo with firmware 3.2
Ultra Aluminus case
Win XP Pro SP 2

My rear USB ports work, on my front case, the bottom port works, the top port reports "Unknown Device" at all time, even when nothing is attached to it. No blue screeens, no freezes, just the annoying popup from Windows. Removing the root hub and controller have not helped.

This doesn't sound like the same problem that everyone else has seen with USBOC. Any ideas?
 

Grayone

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Sounds like you have a bad USB port.  Check to see if something inside the port shorted it out.
 
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rommy

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i have a problem with usb controller on my msi 482m4-ild. when i enable it no OS boots ups and i cant even run windows installer. it gets stucks on welcome to windows setup screen in windows installer. i dont even have any usb ports connected. not the front ones or the backone and no extra devices attached to system other than cd rom and Hd. all the extras like sata and sound are disables in bios.

but no matter what the system wont boot up if i have usb controller enabled in bios.
 
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stoobie-doo

Guest
More info... don't think it's the port. I added a new USB PCI card (QStor) and an internal hub (Belkin) which connects to the PCI card; the external ports on the card work, the new hub does not - same error. I connected an old hub that I had successfully used with the computer. That does work. Something is wrong with recognizing plug and play devices.
 

Stu

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guys,

if you have a problem, please start your own new topic in the correct area of this forum, but reference this topic. it is difficult to help multiple users in the same topic, besides this is a Good Article now, and not really for individual troubleshooting purposes
 
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