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USB issue

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Theprof, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hello,

    I am having some really strange USB issues and I've must of spent a good day and a half trying to troubleshoot it.

    I have a laptop with USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports, or at least that's what it looks like, I will explain later as to how I got to that conclusion.

    So USB peripheral devices such as mice, keyboards, blackberry, etc work well. My blackberry gets recognized as an external flash drive, I guess it's due the microSD card I have in it, non the less it works. So I decided to go ahead and plug in my external hard and copy the contents of the drive to my laptop. The external hard drive is a maxtor L6000S (sometimg like that, I don't remember exactly) in a NexStar 3 eSata and USB enclosure. Windows detects the hard drive and then successfuly installs the necessary storage driver and I can see the drive in disk management and my computer and I can even access with no issues. The minute I start copying a 5 meg file, it all of a sudden disconnects and I get an error saying that the drive has malfunctioned and needs to be closed. If I try to reconnect the drive I get an unkown device installed successfuly and I don't see it in my computer or disk management.

    Here's what I've done to troubleshoot the problem.

    First the specs of my system:

    Dell Studio 1535 Laptop
    Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit
    3GB of ram
    Dual Core intel T3200 2.0Ghz
    250gb Hard drive

    Troubleshooting:

    - Reinstalled chipset drivers
    - Tried generic windows USB drivers
    - Tried older version Chipset drivers
    - Tried many updates from MS site to address this USB issue, non worked. I get an error saying the update does not support the current OS even though it's for the right OS, I tripple checked. (There's a way around it and I will try it later).
    - Uninstalled SP1
    - Reinstalled SP1
    - Did a dell recovery to go back to factory defaults
    - Verified the IRQ-no conflicts
    - Tried a bunch of "delete this file, copy it from this location, etc." Mostly pointed to the c:\windows\system32 \drivers\DriverManifest, didn't work.
    - Updated the BIOS

    Then last resort:

    - Reinstalled window vista from scratch using the Dell Recovery CD
    - Reinstalled using vista permium I bought for my other PC.
    - Installed Windows XP Home Edition SP1, I haven't done the update to sp2 which I know address USB functionality. But I have a feeling that's not going to work.


    The only way I got one USB port to work is to disable all the USB ports except for one and then it works. However it only works with USB 1.1, 2.0 will not work, I get the same message about uknown device. All the USB devices are fully on and no settings are enabled to disable the USB to preserve power.

    Both battery and power plug are connected, I tried removing the batter and using just the power plug, no avail. I am honestly stomped with the issue.

    The only thing I could think of is either it's not compatible with the external enclosure or the USB is defective. I mean it could also be the faulty drivers but I've all the possible drivers around.

    The real test would be for me to get another external drive and see if that works.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
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  2. Sparky
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    I take it the drive works ok on another PC\Laptop?
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    could it be a power issue?

    If the disk is reading the file being copied then sudennly stops then to my mind either there is no power to the USB port or the power coming from the USB to the drive isn't getting there i.e cable.
     
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  4. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Yes it works on my desktop PC.

    Well the laptop is plugged into the power outlet at all times. The USB drive is plugged the power outlet at all times. I tried both the USB and laptop in different outlets and it was doing the same thing. It could be that there's an issue with the power to the USB ports. This means that the USB is defective and I need to exchange the laptop.
     
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  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I'm taking it is still under warranty?

    As it does sound like a USB power issue, I would have said to check it but if it's under warranty return it to the place where you got it.
     
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  6. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Yes it is still under warranty. I purchased three years warranty from dell for the laptop and I just received it two weeks ago.
     
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  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Is there anything in the BIOS that relates to power going to the USB ports.

    I dont suppose you have any powered USB hubs you could try? If so connect one to the laptop and then the drive to the hub, might eliminate any power issues from the USB side of things.
     
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  8. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Well, clearly you have eliminated the operating system as the culprit. To me, i would say you have a fault in the 'hardware'. i would push for a warranty replacement while you still can.
     
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  9. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Well I've looked in the BIOS and I don't think I saw anything related to the USB power other then the USB emulation and disable or enable USB ports, which in my case were enabled. I guess I would have to look again to know for sure.

    I am leaning towards that my self. I will try the hub like sparky mentioned and another external drive tonight to see if that changes anything. But I am really thinking it's defective USB.
     
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  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Here's another thing I've discovered today. When I got my laptop it came with a diagnostics cd, which you basically boot with and it does the diagnostics of your laptop. While it was booting it loads a bunch of generic drivers,or maybe dell specific drivers, I am not 100% sure as to what it does but anyways I had my external hard drive, blackberry, mouse all plugged into my USB ports. As suspected the while the drivers were being loaded I got an error message saying could not read the USB2 port 2 which is where the hard drive was plugged into. Right after this I plugged the hard drive into my desktop computer and it worked flawlessly.

    Right now everything is pointing to bad usb but I am not 100% sure as I still haven't tried other external hd devices. I will bring my laptop to work tomorrow to test this and I will know once and for all what this weird USB issue is all about. It could be that for some odd reason this perticular hard drive with this perticular external enclusre is not compatible with the laptop.
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Whenever I have used the Dell diagnostic utility to try & fix problems on friends PCs I have found it very good at determining the problem or problems.

    If it is saying the USB port is faulty then it most likely is.

    The last time I used this tool it actually gave me a trouble ticket number that I was to either tell a Dell rep about or put into the tech support section on their site.

    I'd go for a replacement if I were you.
     
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  12. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I see. Well today I will do one last test and then I will send it off for a replacement.
     
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  13. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Last night I purchased an 8gb SanDisk Cruzer U3 USB drive, plugged it in filled it up and then tried copying from it and had no issues what so ever. I even setup VMware pocket ACE and ran a vm off of it and no issues.
     
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  14. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    weird, so you think it's a compatability issue then?
     
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  15. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    Can you go to Device Manager and expand USB listed and usb roots, right click properties and click on the power tabs. Here the point if connecting a mouse and keyboard it only needs 100mA but everything else, the external disk drive, printers you will need 500mA. Can you tell you which port you connecting the hard drive to please? My other suggestion would maybe to get a self powerd hub.
     
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  16. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    Did you connect the USB hub 2.0 from the external hard drive into the the USB 1.1 port of the laptop because I believe the port only powered up to 100mA I could be wrong and the USB 2.0 hubs powered up to 500mA what it needs for the hard drive. You might have overblown the usb 1.1 ports if you have used.
     
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  17. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I am plugging the external hard drive to USB2 port. I have two of them on the left side of the laptop. My mouse is plugged into USB 1.1 port on the right side.

    In the screen shot that I attached it looks like the USB drive is using only 2mA. Now I don't know if that's normal or not since it's idle but the mouse is using 10mA so to me that doesn't look right. Also there's an unknown device. Everytime I try to reinstall the drivers under the USB root hub, it says I have the latest drivers. The current drivers are the Microsoft OEM drivers for the hub portion of the USB, however the other USB devices are showing the Intel driver installed.
     

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  18. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I did plug the external hard drive to usb 1.1 but all the USB ports are 500mA self powered hubs. At least that's what is stated in the device manager so I don't think that I've overblown the USB as other prepherals work fine in all the USB ports.
     
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  19. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    The one thing that I am going to try and do is copy all the data I have on this hard drive to my other computer, format it and then try it again on the laptop.
     
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  20. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    So coincidentally, after a few months I've discovered what the issue was a defective hard drive, nothing wrong with he USB ports on the laptop.

    Here's what happen. When I ran a hard drive test to test the hard drive, it all came back positive so I copied over all the data and used the hard drive as my OS hard drive instead of backup hard drive. The week after I installed the hard drive, I got read disk error. This was back in November. I turned off the computer unplugged the sata cable, plugged it back in and it never did it again.

    Then two days ago I got the same error. Tried unplugging, replugging the hard drive and nothing. So I went out, bought another one and this new hard drive works great. Then I took a regular external 500GB drive from my friend tried on my laptop and it worked. The thing is, it also worked when I did this test 2 months ago, I ruled it out as incompatibility, when in reality it was a defective drive all along. Go figure, glad I finally got that out of the way.
     
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