Malfunctioning USB Port

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Malfunctioning USB Port

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After having only used my new computer for a few weeks, i powered on my computer one day to find that my mouse was unresponsive. I checked to see if the laser on the bottom of the mouse was still lit up, and it was. I tried plugging the mouse into another USB port and it started working. I also tried plugging my keyboard into the same USB port that was preventing the mouse from working, and that, too, became unresponsive. That is how i noticed that one of the USB ports on the back of my PC was no longer working properly.

When i would try to plug the mouse or keyboard back into the malfunctioning USB port, i started getting these error messages:

USB Unknown Device Error

Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)

-

USB Device Not Recognized

One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.


Here are some further trobleshooting steps i've tried.

Plugged a flash drive into the USB port and it worked. The keyboard and mouse still won't work in that same port. I'm guessing any self-powered device would work in this port and that is why the keyboard and mouse aren't working with it properly, because they're not self-powered. Though this shouldn't matter because it worked fine before, and it should work even without the device being powered.

Looked in the device manager for any errors, and there was one initially showing the USB device was malfunctioning/stopped/unrecognized, but for some reason i'm only getting those errors in other Windows user profiles now. Tried updating the driver, but kept getting a message saying it was already up-to-date.

Tried unchecking the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option for the affected USB root hub. Made no difference.

Shut down the computer, unplugged the PC, pressed and held the power button for 30 seconds, plugged the PC back in and powered it on (worked the first time, but the USB port became unresponsive again and the fix would no longer work when repeated).

Powered down the computer, unplugged all USB connections and power cord to the PC, pressed and held the power button for 30 seconds, reconnected the power, restarted the computer (got a message at startup saying that the keyboard is undetected and had to plug it back in to press F1 to contunue startup, but unplugged it again before windows started), plugged the USB connections back in once windows started back up. This worked for about a second after i plugged the keyboard into the malfunctioning USB port, but then became unresponsive again. I left my computer for a while and it went into sleep mode. When i got back, the keyboard that i had plugged into the USB port to test it was responding for no apparent reason, so i kept testing it by restarting, logging off and signing into my other Windows profiles and completely shutting down and restarting the computer and it was still responsive. Then i let the computer again go into sleep mode, came back, and, again, the keyboard was unresponsive. So troubleshooting hasn't done much good at isolating the problem or a solution so far.

I also looked into the USB ports to see if anything was physically wrong with the one, and i noticed that all of the USB ports are physically different to one another, just slightly, but the one that isn't working right is the only one that doesn't have a metal strip down the center of the port. It's not something that broke or fell off, it's just the way the port was made. I don't know if this could have anything to do with the problem or not.

I'm out of ideas of what else to do, so if anyone else has any other troubleshooting steps i could try, please let me know.

My worry is that the other USB ports will start having the same problems. It's likely that they will, especially considering there have been at least several other people having similar problems with malfunctioning USB ports on their new Dell computers. So far i'm lucky that it's only one port that is affected, and that it still works as long as the device is self-powered, but i still find it unacceptable for a brand new computer.

All Replies
  • You should always include the model of your system adn the OS in use in all of your posts. This is a user to user forum so the first thing I would do with a system that is "a few weeks old" is to get on Live Chat with Dell!! (save the logs! So that you have in writing what transpired.)

    A USB drive isn't "self powered"  and if the laser was still on the mouse is still getting some power. Were the keyboard lights lit?

    You said that the port looked as though it was "made differently." They should all look the same. Unless you have a USB 3.0 port which I didn't think were available on Dells yet.

    Have you uninstalled the offending port, reboot to allow Windows to reinstall? Do you have another keyboard that you know is functional to try on the new system?

    Jeff Beer

    XPS 8100 i7-860(8MB Cache, 2.8GHz), 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz, 750GB SATA 3.0GB/s 16MB Cache, nVidia GeForce GTS2401GB GDDR3, Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, AverMedia G2 Combo hybrid TV Tuner, dual 16x DVD+/- RW dbl layer, Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD, Running Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit. 

    If your question is answered here on the forums; PLEASE post back! It may help another user.              

  • Thanks for your response.

    I didn't include the model of my PC and OS because i guess i thought it was a generic problem because it's happening on different Dell models. It's an Inspiron 560 with Windows 7 Premium 64-bit.

    My computer isn't just a few weeks old, it's a few months old. I waited a few weeks to set my computer up and then a few weeks after that the problem started, and then i just couldn't be bothered with it until now. Silly of me to wait, i know, but i've been busy and just really tired of dealing with these little never-ending computer problems. I decided to try the forums first to troubleshoot and possibly fix the problem myself before contacting Dell.

    What i was saying is that the flash drive was self-powered, not the USB port itself...meaning, the flash drive has a battery in it, and so does a digital camera, etc, so i was assuming other self-powered devices would work too; however, i just tried connecting a digital camera to the USB port and it doesn't work, but the flash drive still does! Any ideas why the flash drive would work flawlessly with this port every time but nothing else i've tried will?

    The keyboard light wasn't on when i plugged it into the port, but the mouse light was, although still unresponsive. I do have another keyboard i could try but haven't bothered because it's a new keyboard that came with the computer and the mouse is having the same exact problem with the same port, but i'll give it a try anyway.

    The port doesn't look as though it was made differently, just that all of the ports are very slightly different to the eye, and especially the one not working, because it's the only one missing a metal strip down the center of the port. There's nothing different about them, they're 2.0 ports, they just look slightly different from each other, not from other 2.0 ports. The difference is mainly just how they're situated in the case, besides the one missing the "metal strip" (for lack of a proper term).

    I just tried uninstalling the USB port after reading your post. After rebooting, there was an error message saying the device didn't install properly and when i tried to update the driver again, i got the same message saying that the driver was already up-to-date. When looking under the USB root hub properties it also says that "This device is working properly". It may also be worth mentioning that there are 7 USB root hubs listed in device manager and i only have 6 ports.

     

  • I tried plugging a different keyboard and mouse into the affected USB port. They both worked sporadically. I did notice for the first time, though, that the dell laser mouse that came with the pc wasn't lit up when i had it plugged in, but when i plugged it in later on, the mouse was lit up again. The same thing happened with the keyboard before...sometimes it was lit, sometimes it wasn't. The whole functioning of the USB port is sporadic.

    I also tried plugging in a digital camera again, and this time the camera was recognized, and the files on the camera were recognized, but the pictures couldn't actually be viewed.

    The BIOS and drivers were all updated with the latest updates, and that also seemed to help at first, but no more than anything else i've tried. The port is still functioning sporadically.

  • If there are no problems reported in Device Manager it may just be a bad port. I would contact Dell tonight to start a case! You paid for a new system it ought to perform like one. I have had ports go bad over time but it was where I was plugging/unplugging/plugging............... for years before they quit.

    Let us know what happens.

    Jeff Beer

    XPS 8100 i7-860(8MB Cache, 2.8GHz), 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz, 750GB SATA 3.0GB/s 16MB Cache, nVidia GeForce GTS2401GB GDDR3, Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, AverMedia G2 Combo hybrid TV Tuner, dual 16x DVD+/- RW dbl layer, Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD, Running Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit. 

    If your question is answered here on the forums; PLEASE post back! It may help another user.              

  • Thanks for the quick reply... It does seem inevitable that it's just a bad USB port, but it's an on-board port, so replacing it would mean replacing the whole system board.