USB Problems - OK to Uninstall USB Controller?


B

Boris

My machine is a Dell Dimension 4550, running XPHome, kept fully updated.
It has 6 USB ports, 4 in back, and 2 in front. It's been running fine
until a week ago or so. Don't know if this is coincidental with my
renaming a first time used front port in Disk Management, or not. I'm
thinking of uninstalling the USB controller drivers, and restarting the
machine, but I don't know if this is a good idea.

It's only the one port in front that's causing problems, and when it acts
up, the other ports (except for keyboard and mouse), become unreachable.
That is, when you navigate to them, file explorer hangs, and when you try
to Safely Remove Hardware, you get Windows delayed write failed. Then, if
you unplug and replug back in (mechanically), you get USB device not
recognized. Only a reboot will work.

But, the strangest occurence is that sometimes file explorer will list the
same external drive twice, but with different drive letters, AND they both
work and access that same drive when you navigate to either drive letter.
Right now, I'm looking at LANTEC USB (H) and LANTEC USB (I) drives in file
explorer. They are physically the same drive. I can access both in file
explorer.

Back ports are:
1) A Canon MP760 printer that has a media card reader, which shows up in
file explorer as MP760 Reader (P). This is normal.
2) A Seagate USB drive
3) A WD USB drive
4) A USB keyboard

Front ports are:
1) A wireless optical mouse receiver
2) A USB cable to which I swap out frequently used media/memory cards; this
is the port that causes the problems with the whole USB setup

Can I uninstall the USB controllers in device manager? They are listed as:
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB 2.0 Enchanced Host Controller - 24CD
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C2
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C4
Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C7
 
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B

Byte

Yes, you can. Disconnect (unplug) all peripherals connected to USB
ports on PC. Run devmgmt.msc and at the bottom you'll see the USB controllers
listed. Rightclick and click Uninstall, do check if any ports are disabled.
If disabled, they'll stay that way. Reboot your PC and all USB ports will
be auto reinstalled, this will also show if you have any driver problems.
You can then connect your devices one at a time to check if any give you a
problem. Good luck. :~)
 
B

Boris

Yes, you can. Disconnect (unplug) all peripherals connected to USB
ports on PC. Run devmgmt.msc and at the bottom you'll see the USB
controllers listed. Rightclick and click Uninstall, do check if any
ports are disabled. If disabled, they'll stay that way. Reboot your
PC and all USB ports will be auto reinstalled, this will also show if
you have any driver problems. You can then connect your devices one
at a time to check if any give you a problem. Good luck. :~)

Thanks for that information/instructions.

By the way, if I set a restore point before doing this, will this save
the USB controller drivers/settings in case I need to go back? I'm not
sure what restore points do and don't restore.
 
B

Boris

Yes, you can. Disconnect (unplug) all peripherals connected to USB
ports on PC. Run devmgmt.msc and at the bottom you'll see the USB
controllers listed. Rightclick and click Uninstall, do check if any
ports are disabled. If disabled, they'll stay that way. Reboot your
PC and all USB ports will be auto reinstalled, this will also show if
you have any driver problems. You can then connect your devices one
at a time to check if any give you a problem. Good luck. :~)

I was reluctant to do this, because my keyboard and mouse are usb
devices, but I was so frustrated with the situation that I uninstalled
all usb controllers and drivers anyway, against my better judgement.

Well, when I rebooted all usb ports, except the keyboard and mouse came
back up. I had go get my old ps2 keyboard and mouse and use them to get
the system back up. Once I got that far, I plugged in my usb keyboard
and mouse, and both were recognized. I had two of each working at the
same time.

I umplugged the ps2 devices, and rebooted, and all was well with the usb
keyboard and mouse, but I still had the same problems with the front usb
port, that is, when a non-U3 SanDisk flash drive was plugged in, it
disabled all other non human interface devices (keyboard and mouse).
Darn. Any other brand name flash drive was fine. By the way, the
SanDisk brand used to work in this situation, but no longer did, even
though the SanDisk flash drive was fine, and worked on other machines.

Just for kicks, I decided to swap out the usb cable that I'd been using
in the front port, which worked fine with all devices but the non-U3
Sandisk flash drive, and now it worked fine with everything, including in
the situation where it used to not work.

I have no idea why this is, but simply swaping a usb cable (not the port,
just the cable) cleared this up.

I'll probably never know, but I'm done troubleshooting.
 
B

Bill

Boris said:
I was reluctant to do this, because my keyboard and mouse are usb
devices, but I was so frustrated with the situation that I uninstalled
all usb controllers and drivers anyway, against my better judgement.

Well, when I rebooted all usb ports, except the keyboard and mouse came
back up. I had go get my old ps2 keyboard and mouse and use them to get
the system back up. Once I got that far, I plugged in my usb keyboard
and mouse, and both were recognized. I had two of each working at the
same time.

I umplugged the ps2 devices, and rebooted, and all was well with the usb
keyboard and mouse, but I still had the same problems with the front usb
port, that is, when a non-U3 SanDisk flash drive was plugged in, it
disabled all other non human interface devices (keyboard and mouse).
Darn. Any other brand name flash drive was fine. By the way, the
SanDisk brand used to work in this situation, but no longer did, even
though the SanDisk flash drive was fine, and worked on other machines.

Just for kicks, I decided to swap out the usb cable that I'd been using
in the front port, which worked fine with all devices but the non-U3
Sandisk flash drive, and now it worked fine with everything, including in
the situation where it used to not work.

I have no idea why this is, but simply swaping a usb cable (not the port,
just the cable) cleared this up.

I'll probably never know, but I'm done troubleshooting.

Hi,

I have several USB Thumbdrives, several computers, one laptop. I am trouble
shooting a weird anomolie. The SanDisk Cruzer 2GByte I just plugged in
froze my laptop, I'll have to reboot. It seems the SanDisk Cruzer does
something to mess up the USB port drivers. When I uninstall and reinstall
all the USB drivers, a non-SanDisk USB Thumbdrive works fine. Now I plug
in the SanDisk Cruzer and it shows as two drive letters,not one? Then I do
a safe eject of the SanDisk, I plug in the normal USB thumbdrive and I get a
AppServices has encountered a problem message. Eventually the laptop will
not recognize or detect a USB drive has been connected. At this point I
reinstall the drivers and do the whole process over again. Could it be the
mother board as I've reinstalled the drivers several times and it always
degrades to the point where I have to reinstall the drivers again.
Frustrating. Think I'll get a new mother board now as the computer is
still under warranty.
 
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T

Terry

i HAVE 4 usb PORTS AND i CANT GET ANY OF THEM TO WORK---I have unistalled and
re-installed several times and after re-installing I plug my printer in as a
usb and NOTHING---I plug anything else in the USB Ports and NOTHING......what
is going on??????????
 
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P

Paul

Terry said:
i HAVE 4 usb PORTS AND i CANT GET ANY OF THEM TO WORK---I have unistalled and
re-installed several times and after re-installing I plug my printer in as a
usb and NOTHING---I plug anything else in the USB Ports and NOTHING......what
is going on??????????

If your motherboard Southbridge chip is ICH5, you could
have blown USB ports. The root cause in some cases, seems
to correlate with static electricity discharge into the
port. But that only applies to a limited set of motherboards.

When the ICH5 USB ports fail, the failure is at the
physical level (D+/D- signal pads on the chip). You
can look in Device Manager all you want, and all "status"
indications are good. But the ports are effectively
no longer functional electrically, at the interface
level.

When I want to test a hardware versus a software failure,
I boot a Linux LiveCD. Such a CD does not require installing
any software. You boot the CD, and instantly are in a Linux
environment.

In Linux, programs like "dmesg", "lspci", and "lsusb" allow
listing all the hardware in the system. You should be able
to do some testing that way, and see if a different OS can
detect hardware activity or not.

For Linux LiveCDs, there is Knoppix from knopper.net or
Ubuntu from ubuntu.com . Either of those are a 700MB download.
The file is an ISO9660 file, and you need a CD burning program
that knows how to convert the ISO9660, into a finished CD.

If you name your motherboard make and model, or in the case of
a Dell/HP/Gateway, the make and model number of the computer,
I can help identify the chipset. Of course, there are also
utilities that can do the identification, such as CPUZ from
cpuid.com .

Paul
 

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