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Windows 7: Win7 USB Problems

02 Sep 2010   #1

windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
Win7 USB Problems

Okay, brace yourselves for a rambling post, I'll try to include all the relevant details and steps.

I've been using a computer as a PVR for years running WinXP Pro and Beyond TV, which I was perfectly happy with until my cable company went to digital cable only that needs a decryption box. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to install Windows 7, specifically for the Media Center Edition feature, and get to know it a little bit better. The computer is pretty old hardware, but has worked well for the last five years:

P4 2.4Ghz, 2.5Gb dual channel ram, Radeon 9800 video card, Promise PCI RAID Controller for RAID 0 storage, Hercules 7.1 sound card, wireless network card, Hauppage PVR-250 video capture card, HDHomerun Duo Networked Capture Card, SOYO Dragon 2 with PI865PE chipset, Antec 550W power supply.

Installing Windows 7 worked just fine and I didn't have any problems getting drivers to work until I tried to install a windows MCE remote. When I plugged the remote receiver into the USB port it wouldn't recognize that anything was plugged in . . . not even give a message about error installing usb device . . . it just didn't see it. I thought this was remote specific and looked into drivers etc. I didn't find anything. So I decided to try another USB device, keyboard and mouse are PS2 so until I tried the remote I did not have any other USB devices hooked up. I took a standard USB mouse, plugged it in . . . and nothing. Didn't recognize, didn't even try. Of course at this point I thought that it was a hardware problem, especially since the motherboard is old. However, when I installed Win7 I partitioned the drive to dual boot to the WinXP install. So I reboot the system to WinXP and the usb mouse works like a charm, regardless of the port I plug it into. Now I know that the hardware is okay, so it must be a software issue.

Going back to Windows 7 I start looking into chipset drivers, download the Intel chipset installer and install the recommended drivers . . . no difference.
At this point I decided that it might have been caused by a Windows update. So I ran a windows 7 repair using my installation disk. When the repair is done I hook up the USB mouse . . . and nothing. So I go to the device manager and select each USB Root Hub and uninstall it. Then I select the "scan for hardware changes", the computer goes through and reinstalls all the USB ports and reports that it "cannot install all devices", I go to the summary and find that it sees the USB/PS2 mouse and reports that it is "unplugged or disconnected". What this tells me is that in certain conditions the operating system sees that there is a mouse connected, but it can't/won't install drivers for it.

Just to try it I hook up the remote . . . AND IT WORKS! Great, I thought I was out of the woods . . . still not sure why the mouse doesn't work, but who cares I don't need a USB mouse, just the remote. Determining that a windows update had caused the problem I went back to windows update and selectively installed only those updates that appeared to be safe from messing with the USB and only install 4 updates. Of course, when I restart the computer after the updates . . . the remote no longer works. So I restore the computer to the restore point before the windows updates . . . and the remote still does not work.

At this point I have drawn the following conclusions:
1. Some windows update or driver issue on a different PCI card or device is keeping windows from automatically installing USB devices
2. The chipset drivers appear to be working correctly and the USB ports have drivers installed

The next thing that I am going to try:
1. Remove PCI cards one at a time and see if that allows the USB to function correctly
2. If that does not work, I am going to remove all unnecessary PCI cards, do a clean install of windows 7 and see if the bare computer will recognize USB devices correctly, and then install the PCI cards one at a time, checking USB as I go.
I've read a lot of posts about USB problems and some have mentioned permissions on the user accounts, but at this point I'm not sure where else to go on the software side except to start removing hardware and see if there is a driver conflict somewhere.

Does anyone out there have any better ideas about how to fix this issue?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Sep 2010   #2

windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

I have an update.

I removed all the PCI cards and it had absolutely no effect.

Then I reinstalled Windows 7 from the DVD . . . no change.

After doing this and not seeing any change in behavior I just left the computer on and went about my day.

When I came back the computer was asleep, so I hit the keyboard to wake it up. When it woke up both the USB mouse and the USB remote control receiver worked.

When I restart the computer and windows starts again . . . they don't work. When I tell the computer to sleep, then wake it up . . . they work.

Does anyone out there know why the USB devices would be recognized by the computer, and work, only after the computer goes to sleep and then is awakened?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 USB Problems

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