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View Full Version : Computer question - compy suddenly and without warning stops reading USB


Chojin
May 17th, 2008, 11:43 PM
My mom is legendary for destroying computers. I just made her a new one, and one day, according to her, she could no longer connect her digital camera. Soon after, the internet died (her modem is connected through USB) and the next day her mouse wouldn't work (USB mouse).

USB devices will power on when plugged in, but will not show any signs in Windows that the computer knows something was just connected.

Looking in the BIOS, USB keyboard and mouse are set to 'enabled'.

The USB keyboard and mouse do not work outside of windows at all, though I don't remember if they ever did.

I have tried several mice.

I have tried all 4 of the onboard USB ports in the back and both of the USB ports connected through the front.

The mobo uses forceware drivers, which include an 'smbus' driver, which I have uninstalled and reinstalled repeatedly to no effect. I've also reinstalled ALL nvidia drivers.

I have deleted the USB entries in the device manager to force them to reinstall with no effect.

I have tried the devices in safe mode to no effect.

I have tried disabling all extra programs and services in msconfig to no effect.

Finally, I have used my Windows XP CD to 'repair' the installation to no effect.

My last option is ANOTHER reformat, but I'm not convinced this will fix the problem. It also doesn't explain how this happened in the first place.
So, help me out, please.


*Dell optical mouse will power on when plugged in, Microsoft optical mouse will not.

Fathom Zero
May 17th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Is it a front panel or the mobo that you're having trouble with?

If it's the front panel, open it up and see if any connectors are outta place. It can still be getting power, but the data ports may be screwed up. But I'm sure you'd have already thought of that.

The ports may just be screwed up. If she pushed the connector in too hard, that'd fuck it up. In which case, a little port re-situating may be in order.

Tadao
May 18th, 2008, 12:35 AM
It does sound more hardware related rather than software.

MetalMilitia
May 18th, 2008, 07:41 AM
Might be worth stuffing in an Ubuntu live CD and checking if it detects any USB devices when they're plugged in. If not your USB controller may have crapped out.

Chojin
May 18th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Is it a front panel or the mobo that you're having trouble with?

I have tried all 4 of the onboard USB ports in the back and both of the USB ports connected through the front.

MM, where can I get an Ubuntu live CD? I'm terrible with linux.

Also, this computer is not even 6 months old and I built it from brand new parts from Newegg. I just don't understand why the USB controller would suddenly get ganon'd out of nowhere.

If I were to stick a PCI card full of USB slots in there, would that work? Or does the USB controller control those ports, too?

And here's the advice an electrical engineering friend sent me on aim:

SMbus isn't related to USB... it's another internal bus, usually used for temperature sensors and such on motherboards.

Might be worth trying an external USB card... it's not 100% impossible that all the USB ports got hosed somehow, though I'd love to know how.

Since the power supply is generally handled by external chips, that might explain why most devices still power on.

The liveCD option is probably a good one, too, though you'd probably need to be used to Linux to know what you're looking for.

Tadao
May 18th, 2008, 01:25 PM
If you think it is a software issue, I would restore to a previous date before you wipe the hard drive and start over.

Chojin
May 18th, 2008, 01:43 PM
I always turn off system restore because it's such a terrible idea to ever use it - even if that did fix the problem, I'd have to reformat it in the next week or so anyway.

MetalMilitia
May 18th, 2008, 02:24 PM
MM, where can I get an Ubuntu live CD? I'm terrible with linux.


Yeah I'm not that great either, but I've used Ubuntu for troubleshooting before and it's pretty straight forward. Download the Live CD here (http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/breezy/ubuntu-5.10-live-i386.iso).

One of the big features of Ubuntu is that it's supposed to behave more-or-less like Windows for common tasks like plug and play. At least that's what I'm told.
You should just be able to plug something in (flash drive etc.) and wait for the OS to begin installing it. :\

Tadao
May 18th, 2008, 09:09 PM
I always turn off system restore because it's such a terrible idea to ever use it - even if that did fix the problem, I'd have to reformat it in the next week or so anyway.

I am calling you Ka-razy on this.

Fathom Zero
May 18th, 2008, 09:16 PM
It's extremely straight-forward and idiot proof.

It'll usually detect a myriad of USB devices, given that a lot of drivers are built into Ubuntu. I have it on my non-gaming machine. Sometimes it seems a bit faster as well.

Chojin
May 22nd, 2008, 12:34 PM
Just tried that ubuntu live disc twice, both times it eventually goes BRZZT CAN NOT LOAD GUI ROBOT SOUL SHUTTING DOWN BRRZZZZT and then it dumps me at an alien command prompt. I'm sure if I spend the next few years of my life learning how to tweak the flux capacitor and shit of that OS I can eventually deduce that the USB controllers are fucked, but I'm thinking there's a more sensible way to figure this out.

The computer can load windows. Is there really no windows app that can tell me if the USB controllers are functioning?

Fathom Zero
May 22nd, 2008, 03:50 PM
Try typing
# Xorg -configureUbuntu may not have properly detected the video hardware. That's to get you out of the prompt and properly into the GUI. When in the GUI open the terminal. If you didn't get the GUI to work in the first place, you're already in the terminal.

Type
lsusbwith all of the stuff plugged into your USB ports. Paste the output in a post, if you please.

Guitar Woman
May 23rd, 2008, 01:38 PM
I had this same problem, but my solution was to get a new computer.

try that mabye!

Tadao
May 23rd, 2008, 01:47 PM
This wasn't a tablet issue right?

Chojin
May 24th, 2008, 12:58 PM
no

Chojin
May 26th, 2008, 05:13 PM
So I put in a USB 2.0 expansion slot with two ports and the computer will read THOSE but none of the original slots.

So the only remedy I can think of is to buy a USB hub and jack it in to that.

Still doesn't explain how or why the original ports simultaneously BROKE, though.

Tadao
May 26th, 2008, 05:15 PM
Power surge?

Chojin
May 28th, 2008, 02:21 PM
that's what I thought the first time my mom killed her computer, so I bought her a surge protector before this happened.