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Windows 7: Desktop computer USB ports failing

17 Jul 2012   #1
RknRusty

Windows 7 Home Premium - always up to date
 
 
Desktop computer USB ports failing

I don't know if my PC is dying a slow natural death or if an outside insult caused it.
During a recent thunderstorm, a power flicker turned off my computer. After rebooting, I had no Internet access. That problem seems to have been simply a bad cable between the router and the cable modem, however I did have to fiddle with the tcpip settings. But while checking cables, my wireless Logitech mouse quit working. I plugged the mouse receiver into an empty USB port next to the one it had been plugged into on the rear of the machine, and it worked again. The other port is still dead.

Later I found that one of the two USB ports in front of the machine no longer works. I can still use it to charge my phone, but it pops up a "Device not recognized" message if I plug a drive/camera/phone/etc into it. No conflicts are shown in the device manager. I would feel safe in assuming a power surge from lightening had popped something on the MB causing the failure, but there's another possibility. The day before all this happened I purchased a cheap 4-socket USB expansion hub and used it in one of the front sockets to plug in several devices, a scanner and my phone and camera cables. Has anyone ever heard of one of these hubs causing a blown circuit? Maybe too much current draw for the cheap motherboard? Strange that the failing sockets are in two different physical locations.

I really don't want to need a new computer, but my printer and backup drive are USB and I can't stand to lose those functions if more ports die. Any thoughts on this will be appreciated.
Thanks,
Rusty


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jul 2012   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

One never knows what all happened to a computer and its pieces parts after a thunderstorm. If you don't use a surge protector I highly recommend doing so.
Those USB spreaders to me are useless. One USB port has only so much current.
I would not use it. Unplug all unnecessary things from the computer. Printers,phones,card readers, hair curlers, coffee pots ect. Reboot.
Take a read here.
USB Driver - General Fix for Problems
------------------------------------------------------------------------
USB Storage Device - Enable or Disable Connecting
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2012   #3
RknRusty

Windows 7 Home Premium - always up to date
 
 

Thanks Bear. I do have a 3 year old CyberPower surge protector, but I should probably scrap it and get a new one. It's been through lots of storms. My house unfortunately has an old 2 wire electrical system. I've thought about hammering a 4' copper stake into the ground and tying my third prong on the computer outlet to it, but never got around to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jul 2012   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thats a though. I would confer with a electrician on such maters. You wouldn't have to rewire the whole house that way.
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17 Jul 2012   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Did you take a look at the two sites in my last post?
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17 Jul 2012   #6
RknRusty

Windows 7 Home Premium - always up to date
 
 

No, sorry, I forgot to. I'll run through that tonight. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #7
westom

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RknRusty View Post
Thanks Bear. I do have a 3 year old CyberPower surge protector, but I should probably scrap it and get a new one.
That CyberPower did exactly what its manufacturer specs said it would do. Replace it to simply have the exact same thing.

Now, learn from the damage. You had a damaged cable. That means an electric current from cloud to distant (miles away) earthborne charges used that cable as a conductor. If current was incoming to that cable, then current was also outgoing. What else was conducting that current? USB port. Computer motherboard. AC wires?

You had damage because you all but invited that current to find earth viad appliances. Either that current must be earthed BEFORE entering a building. Or that current blows through inferior power strip protectors and the superior protection inside your computer. That is correct. Anything the CyberPower or other adjacent protector would do was already done better inside the computer.

You had damage because that current found a best path to earth destructively. Had you earthed that current where wires enter the building, then superior protection inside the computer would not have been overwhelmed. That means spending less money for one 'whole house' protector from more responsible companies. A surge current earthed before entering the building does no electronics damage. Therefore all facilities that can never have damage also spend less money for that superior solution.

Now, if a CyberPower replacement claims to make hundreds of thousands of joules just magically disappear, then post the manufacturer spec number that says so. And good luck.

Or you can do nothing. Destructive surges occur typically once every seven years. Due to superior protection already inside appliances, lesser transients are routinely made irrelevant. You can wait six years. Or better is to install the one device that actually claims to protect everything from a typically destructive surge. As well as the lesser surges made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance. The superior solution typically costs about $1 per protected appliance. Due to knowledge only from advertising, most have never heard of it.
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18 Jul 2012   #8
RknRusty

Windows 7 Home Premium - always up to date
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Did you take a look at the two sites in my last post?
Bear, thanks for the tutorial. The first time, I saw two items in device manager that said unknown device, so just to see what happened I only uninstalled those and deleted infcache.1. I rebooted and watched it rebuild the inf file, but the same two ports were still dead. So I did the procedure again, following the instructions to the letter and deleted all of the grayed out USB drivers(a bunch of them). After deleting and rebuilding the inf file, the same two ports are still dead. They have power(I can charge my phone), but no data recognition. All the others work fine with external drives, camera, etc. One in the back and one in the front are the dead ones.

If you recall in my original post, my Internet was out after the storm and I've been running with my router disconnected since then. I bought a new cable for the router yesterday and the router still doesn't recognize the WAN. So maybe I really did get popped by that lightening strike. I guess I better start looking at new computer equipment soon.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out,
Rusty
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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