USB - unreliable?

Discussion in 'Windows XP Hardware' started by msnews.microsoft.com, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external soundcard
    hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and I have an
    external DVD drive on USB as well.

    I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.

    What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently (occasionally) is
    the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but sometimes the mouse or
    keyboard.

    Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device up
    again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.

    This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB drivers are
    not all they are cracked up to be.

    Anyone got any ideas on this?

    Jeremy Poynton ()
     
    msnews.microsoft.com, Sep 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. msnews.microsoft.com

    RalfG Guest

    In the case of a USB connected external harddrive I get the same thing. It
    is hit and miss whether the port that the drive is connected to will
    enumerate properly on boot or reboot. When it doesn't, the port goes into
    error state and Windows installs an Unknown device on the port. These are
    dual ports, both USB1 and 2 and in this scenario the attached port tries to
    enumerate as USB1 but fails.

    In order to avoid rebooting what I do is to turn off the harddrive, go into
    Windows Device Manager and uninstall the Unknown USB device. You might have
    several of these unknown devices on your various USB ports by now. When I
    subsequently turn on the harddrive it functions normally again, showing as
    being attached to a USB2 port. My boot configuration does have a line added
    to always enable showing non-connected devices, so when I select "show
    hidden" devices in Device Manager all of the hidden Unknown device and other
    entries show up.

    The only way I've found to avoid the error completely is to have the USB
    harddrive turned off whenever booting the computer.

    "msnews.microsoft.com" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    >I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    >external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external soundcard
    >hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and I have an
    >external DVD drive on USB as well.
    >
    > I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.
    >
    > What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently (occasionally)
    > is the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but sometimes the mouse
    > or keyboard.
    >
    > Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device up
    > again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.
    >
    > This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB drivers
    > are not all they are cracked up to be.
    >
    > Anyone got any ideas on this?
    >
    > Jeremy Poynton ()
    >
     
    RalfG, Sep 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. msnews.microsoft.com

    smlunatick Guest

    On Sep 14, 3:45 am, "msnews.microsoft.com"
    <> wrote:
    > I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    > external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external soundcard
    > hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and I have an
    > external DVD drive on USB as well.
    >
    > I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.
    >
    > What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently (occasionally) is
    > the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but sometimes the mouse or
    > keyboard.
    >
    > Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device up
    > again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.
    >
    > This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB drivers are
    > not all they are cracked up to be.
    >
    > Anyone got any ideas on this?
    >
    > Jeremy Poynton ()


    Most USB "power" problems can be rectified with:

    1) Installing / updating the motherboard chipset drivers.

    2) Checking and disabling the XP "power down" options on the
    motherboard USB ports.

    3) Add powered USB hubs in between PC's USB ports and USB devices.
    Motherboard USB ports can sometimes not get enough power over the USB
    ports for all the devices you have connected to the ports. Most
    motherboard ports are "paired" (two ports are powered by same ICs.)
    Powered USB hubs will provide additional power to these devices.

    4) Increase the power supply "output" capacity. If you can locate a
    "compatible" power supply which can boost the "output" wattage, this
    can help. However, Dell PCs are known to be very unique.
     
    smlunatick, Sep 14, 2007
    #3
  4. Hmmm. Trouble is, when this happens I often find the PC freezes; couple of
    times when I've had to hard shut it down, or switch off an external drive,
    it's suffered files system damage. So I then spend 2 days putting the disk
    back together again, only for it to happen again. Have to say I am getting
    majorly pissed off with it - they were fine for ages.

    I thought maybe I have malware on the machine. Spybot S&D detected
    "win32.ranky.gn", claims to get rid of it, but when I reboot it's there
    again. Can't find anything about how to get rid of it anywhere. Then I ran
    Spybot with system restore OFF, and it seemed to go, then reappeared the
    same day - know not when, got no warning.

    Spybot claims it's not there any more, so maybe the hanging and loss of
    drives was not related to whatever that was, but I have to say I'm thinking
    of reinstalling XP so 'effed off with this am I

    Thanks, anyway

    Jeremy


    "RalfG" <> wrote in message
    news:%23D%...
    > In the case of a USB connected external harddrive I get the same thing. It
    > is hit and miss whether the port that the drive is connected to will
    > enumerate properly on boot or reboot. When it doesn't, the port goes into
    > error state and Windows installs an Unknown device on the port. These are
    > dual ports, both USB1 and 2 and in this scenario the attached port tries
    > to enumerate as USB1 but fails.
    >
    > In order to avoid rebooting what I do is to turn off the harddrive, go
    > into Windows Device Manager and uninstall the Unknown USB device. You
    > might have several of these unknown devices on your various USB ports by
    > now. When I subsequently turn on the harddrive it functions normally
    > again, showing as being attached to a USB2 port. My boot configuration
    > does have a line added to always enable showing non-connected devices, so
    > when I select "show hidden" devices in Device Manager all of the hidden
    > Unknown device and other entries show up.
    >
    > The only way I've found to avoid the error completely is to have the USB
    > harddrive turned off whenever booting the computer.
    >
    > "msnews.microsoft.com" <> wrote in
    > message news:...
    >>I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    >>external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external
    >>soundcard hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and I
    >>have an external DVD drive on USB as well.
    >>
    >> I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.
    >>
    >> What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently (occasionally)
    >> is the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but sometimes the mouse
    >> or keyboard.
    >>
    >> Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device
    >> up again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.
    >>
    >> This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB drivers
    >> are not all they are cracked up to be.
    >>
    >> Anyone got any ideas on this?
    >>
    >> Jeremy Poynton ()
    >>

    >
    >
     
    msnews.microsoft.com, Sep 18, 2007
    #4
  5. "smlunatick" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sep 14, 3:45 am, "msnews.microsoft.com"
    > <> wrote:
    >> I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    >> external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external
    >> soundcard
    >> hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and I have an
    >> external DVD drive on USB as well.
    >>
    >> I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.
    >>
    >> What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently (occasionally)
    >> is
    >> the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but sometimes the mouse or
    >> keyboard.
    >>
    >> Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device
    >> up
    >> again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.
    >>
    >> This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB drivers
    >> are
    >> not all they are cracked up to be.
    >>
    >> Anyone got any ideas on this?
    >>
    >> Jeremy Poynton ()

    >
    > Most USB "power" problems can be rectified with:
    >
    > 1) Installing / updating the motherboard chipset drivers.


    I'm reasonably good on hardware installation, and have updated the Bios -
    last year; I don't know how to do this, however,


    >
    > 2) Checking and disabling the XP "power down" options on the
    > motherboard USB ports.


    I did this, in device manager, and it has made no difference.

    >
    > 3) Add powered USB hubs in between PC's USB ports and USB devices.
    > Motherboard USB ports can sometimes not get enough power over the USB
    > ports for all the devices you have connected to the ports. Most
    > motherboard ports are "paired" (two ports are powered by same ICs.)
    > Powered USB hubs will provide additional power to these devices.


    Ahah. Have one of these, but removed it thinking maybe THAT was the problem.
    Didn't have the HDs on it, as I thought that might slow them down, but will
    try that.


    >
    > 4) Increase the power supply "output" capacity. If you can locate a
    > "compatible" power supply which can boost the "output" wattage, this
    > can help. However, Dell PCs are known to be very unique.


    Last resort then!

    Thanks for your help - I'll try the hub

    Cheers
    Jeremy

    >
     
    msnews.microsoft.com, Sep 18, 2007
    #5
  6. msnews.microsoft.com

    RalfG Guest

    I only shut off the drive after the PC has unloaded Windows and not yet at
    the point of reloading it. Any lockups I've experienced after disconnecting
    or turning off a USB device were all related to a driver for a USB WiFi
    adapter. More likely to happen when unplugging USB devices. I haven't lost
    any data on my drives though. If they aren't already I'd suggest you turn of
    caching on the external drives. That's a likely cause of your data loss...
    ie. data that has not been written to the drive yet and is still in RAM when
    the lockup/disconnection occurs.

    You might be using the wrong tool to get rid of the trojan infection.
    According to Symantec and Counter Spy, win32.ranky is a backdoor trojan
    that opens a proxy server on your computer... ie someone is using your PC
    over the web. There may be more than one version of the trojan, but
    according to the link below it does the following:

    Allows remote user connection
    Sends out logs by FTP or email
    Logs keystrokes
    Connects itself to the internet
    Hides from the user
    Stays resident in background

    Nasty stuff. There is a remover for the trojan at this link:

    http://www.2-spyware.com/remove-trojanspy-win32-ranky.html

    You also might want to scan the PC with an online virus scanner in case
    yours has been compromised already and is not working as it should. Trend
    Micro is a good one:

    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/




    "msnews.microsoft.com" <> wrote in
    message news:%23dwBXVd%...
    > Hmmm. Trouble is, when this happens I often find the PC freezes; couple of
    > times when I've had to hard shut it down, or switch off an external drive,
    > it's suffered files system damage. So I then spend 2 days putting the disk
    > back together again, only for it to happen again. Have to say I am getting
    > majorly pissed off with it - they were fine for ages.
    >
    > I thought maybe I have malware on the machine. Spybot S&D detected
    > "win32.ranky.gn", claims to get rid of it, but when I reboot it's there
    > again. Can't find anything about how to get rid of it anywhere. Then I ran
    > Spybot with system restore OFF, and it seemed to go, then reappeared the
    > same day - know not when, got no warning.
    >
    > Spybot claims it's not there any more, so maybe the hanging and loss of
    > drives was not related to whatever that was, but I have to say I'm
    > thinking of reinstalling XP so 'effed off with this am I
    >
    > Thanks, anyway
    >
    > Jeremy
    >
    >
    > "RalfG" <> wrote in message
    > news:%23D%...
    >> In the case of a USB connected external harddrive I get the same thing.
    >> It is hit and miss whether the port that the drive is connected to will
    >> enumerate properly on boot or reboot. When it doesn't, the port goes into
    >> error state and Windows installs an Unknown device on the port. These are
    >> dual ports, both USB1 and 2 and in this scenario the attached port tries
    >> to enumerate as USB1 but fails.
    >>
    >> In order to avoid rebooting what I do is to turn off the harddrive, go
    >> into Windows Device Manager and uninstall the Unknown USB device. You
    >> might have several of these unknown devices on your various USB ports by
    >> now. When I subsequently turn on the harddrive it functions normally
    >> again, showing as being attached to a USB2 port. My boot configuration
    >> does have a line added to always enable showing non-connected devices, so
    >> when I select "show hidden" devices in Device Manager all of the hidden
    >> Unknown device and other entries show up.
    >>
    >> The only way I've found to avoid the error completely is to have the USB
    >> harddrive turned off whenever booting the computer.
    >>
    >> "msnews.microsoft.com" <> wrote in
    >> message news:...
    >>>I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    >>>external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external
    >>>soundcard hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and
    >>>I have an external DVD drive on USB as well.
    >>>
    >>> I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.
    >>>
    >>> What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently (occasionally)
    >>> is the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but sometimes the
    >>> mouse or keyboard.
    >>>
    >>> Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device
    >>> up again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.
    >>>
    >>> This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB drivers
    >>> are not all they are cracked up to be.
    >>>
    >>> Anyone got any ideas on this?
    >>>
    >>> Jeremy Poynton ()
    >>>

    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    RalfG, Sep 18, 2007
    #6
  7. msnews.microsoft.com

    w_tom Guest

    On Sep 18, 5:24 am, "msnews.microsoft.com"
    <> wrote:
    >> 4) Increase thepower supply"output" capacity. If you can locate a
    >> "compatible"power supplywhich can boost the "output" wattage, this
    >> can help. However, Dell PCs are known to be very unique.

    >
    > Last resort then!
    >
    > Thanks for your help - I'll try the hub


    There is nothing wrong with the drivers or options. Either some
    devices are drawing too much power from the USB port and would be more
    stable with their own 'wall wart' supply (not likely) or the Dell
    power supply is now 100% defective and slowly getting worse. Yes a
    100% defective power supply can still operate a computer. But as the
    load gets larger, the power supply defect becomes more apparent.

    Don't waste time (and possibly cause more damage) by swapping power
    supplies. The new power supply may only have the same weakness
    anyway. Get a tool sold with screwdrivers. In less than two minutes,
    you should know whether the supply is defective. If not, then you
    know that 'usual suspect' is clearly not the problem and move on (and
    get more useful replies here).

    Two minute procedure to completely verify power supply and rest of
    the power supply 'system' is "When your computer dies without
    warning....." starting 6 Feb 2007 in the newsgroup alt.windows-xp
    at:
    http://tinyurl.com/yvf9vh
    In your case, the most important number is voltage from red wire
    especially when everything is being accessed. No matter how many
    programs are accessing all hardware simultaneously, still, that red
    wire voltage must remain above 4.87 V DC.

    The most likely suspect is the power supply is defective and slowly
    getting worse. If you replace the power supply, you still must
    confirm new supply voltages with the meter. Again, it is normal for a
    defective supply (or one with one voltage too low) to still boot a
    computer and than cause USB peripherals to appear defective. Get the
    meter.

    The ambitious or curious may also learn how well the USB card is
    providing 5 volts to peripheral. Of the four pins on a USB cable, the
    outside two are the +5 volts. Measuring these voltages where USB
    socket connects to USB interface might also show a voltage too low
    when USB peripheral is operating - drawing power. IOW you might
    identify a USB port that is weak - not providing sufficient power.
    But this would only confirm why that peripheral such as a disk drive
    might cause problems or why which peripherals need their own power
    supply. Disk drives typically consume 10 watts. USB ports are
    typically maxed out at 10 watts. Sometimes a disk drive draws more
    than 10 watts. This combined with a power supply that is marginal
    causes strange crashes. Another does not turn on disk drive until
    after computer has booted. He too may be working around a power
    supply system defect in his computer. Again, the computer boots even
    though the power system is defective. Without a meter, he would never
    know; so he cures symptoms.
     
    w_tom, Sep 18, 2007
    #7
  8. msnews.microsoft.com

    RalfG Guest

    Or maybe never mind that download for the trojan and stick with the online
    scanner. Should have checked more closely, it's a full download of
    SpywareDoctor.

    "RalfG" <> wrote in message
    news:uRoRJgg%...
    >I only shut off the drive after the PC has unloaded Windows and not yet at
    >the point of reloading it. Any lockups I've experienced after disconnecting
    >or turning off a USB device were all related to a driver for a USB WiFi
    >adapter. More likely to happen when unplugging USB devices. I haven't lost
    >any data on my drives though. If they aren't already I'd suggest you turn
    >of caching on the external drives. That's a likely cause of your data
    >loss... ie. data that has not been written to the drive yet and is still in
    >RAM when the lockup/disconnection occurs.
    >
    > You might be using the wrong tool to get rid of the trojan infection.
    > According to Symantec and Counter Spy, win32.ranky is a backdoor trojan
    > that opens a proxy server on your computer... ie someone is using your PC
    > over the web. There may be more than one version of the trojan, but
    > according to the link below it does the following:
    >
    > Allows remote user connection
    > Sends out logs by FTP or email
    > Logs keystrokes
    > Connects itself to the internet
    > Hides from the user
    > Stays resident in background
    >
    > Nasty stuff. There is a remover for the trojan at this link:
    >
    > http://www.2-spyware.com/remove-trojanspy-win32-ranky.html
    >
    > You also might want to scan the PC with an online virus scanner in case
    > yours has been compromised already and is not working as it should. Trend
    > Micro is a good one:
    >
    > http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "msnews.microsoft.com" <> wrote in
    > message news:%23dwBXVd%...
    >> Hmmm. Trouble is, when this happens I often find the PC freezes; couple
    >> of times when I've had to hard shut it down, or switch off an external
    >> drive, it's suffered files system damage. So I then spend 2 days putting
    >> the disk back together again, only for it to happen again. Have to say I
    >> am getting majorly pissed off with it - they were fine for ages.
    >>
    >> I thought maybe I have malware on the machine. Spybot S&D detected
    >> "win32.ranky.gn", claims to get rid of it, but when I reboot it's there
    >> again. Can't find anything about how to get rid of it anywhere. Then I
    >> ran Spybot with system restore OFF, and it seemed to go, then reappeared
    >> the same day - know not when, got no warning.
    >>
    >> Spybot claims it's not there any more, so maybe the hanging and loss of
    >> drives was not related to whatever that was, but I have to say I'm
    >> thinking of reinstalling XP so 'effed off with this am I
    >>
    >> Thanks, anyway
    >>
    >> Jeremy
    >>
    >>
    >> "RalfG" <> wrote in message
    >> news:%23D%...
    >>> In the case of a USB connected external harddrive I get the same thing.
    >>> It is hit and miss whether the port that the drive is connected to will
    >>> enumerate properly on boot or reboot. When it doesn't, the port goes
    >>> into error state and Windows installs an Unknown device on the port.
    >>> These are dual ports, both USB1 and 2 and in this scenario the attached
    >>> port tries to enumerate as USB1 but fails.
    >>>
    >>> In order to avoid rebooting what I do is to turn off the harddrive, go
    >>> into Windows Device Manager and uninstall the Unknown USB device. You
    >>> might have several of these unknown devices on your various USB ports by
    >>> now. When I subsequently turn on the harddrive it functions normally
    >>> again, showing as being attached to a USB2 port. My boot configuration
    >>> does have a line added to always enable showing non-connected devices,
    >>> so when I select "show hidden" devices in Device Manager all of the
    >>> hidden Unknown device and other entries show up.
    >>>
    >>> The only way I've found to avoid the error completely is to have the USB
    >>> harddrive turned off whenever booting the computer.
    >>>
    >>> "msnews.microsoft.com" <> wrote in
    >>> message news:...
    >>>>I have a Dell Precision 370; 4 gb memory, 3 fixed SATA hard drives, four
    >>>>external IDE and one external SATA. As well, my Creative external
    >>>>soundcard hangs off a USB connection, as does my mouse and keyboard, and
    >>>>I have an external DVD drive on USB as well.
    >>>>
    >>>> I have 7 on board USB ports, and 2 x 4 port PCI cards.
    >>>>
    >>>> What I experience intermittently (sometimes) & frequently
    >>>> (occasionally) is the loss of a USB device. Mostly a hard drive, but
    >>>> sometimes the mouse or keyboard.
    >>>>
    >>>> Usually, swapping the connection to a different socket wakes the device
    >>>> up again. Sometimes however, I have to reboot.
    >>>>
    >>>> This is extremely frustrating, and my conclusion is that the USB
    >>>> drivers are not all they are cracked up to be.
    >>>>
    >>>> Anyone got any ideas on this?
    >>>>
    >>>> Jeremy Poynton ()
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    RalfG, Sep 18, 2007
    #8
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