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I plugged in an external USB hard drive and now NO USB DEVICES WORK ON THE WHOLE COMPUTER.


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#1 thesand4

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:51 PM

I plugged in an external USB hard drive and now NO USB DEVICES WORK ON THE WHOLE COMPUTER. I bought a new Fantom 1 terabyte external hard drive to back up a rotten seagate internal 1 terabyte hard drive's contents, or whatever is recoverable from it, and plugged it in. I ran an error check, because I didn't want to make things worse by assuming IT was good, and it was good. I then tried to plug in my USB 8 gigabyte flash drive at the same time. It said "USB device not recognized". So I tried unplugging the fantom drive and replugging the 8 gigabyte flash drive. And it STILL said "USB device not recognized". I then plugged back the fantom drive. And guess what it said? You betcha! I turned off the computer and started it again, this time plugging in the 8 gig flash drive FIRST. It said "USB device not recognized". I took it out and put in the fantom drive. Not recognized. I plugged them both in and opened device manager and uninstalled them both and told it to scan for new hardware. It still reports two "Unknown Device"s in the hardware. I uninstalled 2 of the 3 USB root hubs and told it to scan for hardware changes. I didn't know what they were, I just saw what appeared to be 3 of the same thing. It reinstalled the two USB root hubs, whatever that is, and it still said unrecognized USB devices. So, what's the deal? The fantom drive has a virus on it right from the start or something? By the way, under device status for Unknown Device Properties it says "No drivers are installed for this device".

As per a thread I found from years ago, I tried disconnecting the battery in my motherboard for 30 minutes and putting it back in and starting up the computer and that didn't work. Maybe I should have shorted out the terminals on the motherboard connecting to the battery as well (not the terminals on the battery mind you).

All the OTHER USB devices I had used 'til now were USB 1 devices but the Fantom HD is a USB 2.0 device. Still, it worked briefly. I'd have never disconnected it if I had known I'd only get it to work ONCE! I was just trying to also connect the flash drive in the other port in the front. I also tried the ports in the back by the way. They also say unrecognized device.

One last thing I'll mention. I have another hard drive with windows XP installed on it. It was damaged by a virus - something called "WPA" in the system registry was damaged and now whenever it starts up in normal mode, it insists I haven't registered windows yet and insists I connect with microsoft to validate my copy of windows. It doesn't do this in safe mode. I bring this up so you know I can't try using this in anything but safe mode. So I started it up with THIS hard drive as the master and the 1 terabyte one as a slave and ran it in safe mode. And guess what. The SAME THING HAPPENED. I shouldn't have started off with the fantom drive in the USB port from the very beginning so I could tell whether it WOULD have worked before I plugged it in or not. So it's one of two possibilities. One is that the fantom drive destroys any XP machine's ability to connect to any USB device. The other is that the damage it did, while running the Seagate 1 TB hard drive, was done NOT to the operating system stored on that hard drive but to some other part of the computer which was still there when I put my old 40 gig HD as the master and the 1 TB drive as slave. For instance, maybe the BIOS settings were screwed up. Maybe something else. But unplugging the battery from the motherboard for 30 minutes did nothing. If I had only not started it up with the fantom drive connected I could see if any of my other USB devices worked with the old hard drive but it's too late now.

When I plug in a USB flash drive or my OTHER USB hard drive into my OTHER computer (a completely separate computer, a laptop but it's still windows xp home), it says that the driver installed for the device is windows\system32\drivers\USBSTOR.SYS

In the computer that is not functioning correctly, when I plug in anything and it says unknown device, it says there is NO driver loaded. But USBSTOR.SYS is THERE in the same place. I try to force it to look at it and use that driver but when I tell it that I have the driver and tell it where it is, it insists on looking not for a .SYS file but an .INF file. I can't make it load the driver that is there. I then found out there is a windows\inf directory with a usbstor.inf file. I told it to load that. It says it liked the file. But then under driver details it still says "No driver files are required or have been loaded for this device".

So like I said, there are two possibilities. One is this is hell's external hard drive which screws over computers' ability to use their USB ports, and the other is that that moment when I first connected the fantom drive was just when a problem manifested itself - a problem that is NOT of the drivers or windows xp at all - because it carried over when I ran windows from the other hard drive - but a problem with my motherboard or USB bus or something like that - something which is in common to the 2 systems regardless of which hard drive it is run from.

So I wonder if it might work to:

A> Update my chipset
B> Update my BIOS

(are they the same thing?)

Belarc advisor tells me my main circuit board is Microstar international CO, LTD MS-6540 and bios is Phoenix technologies LTD 6.00 PG 9/21/2004The processor is a 2.5 GHz Celeron.

Bus adaptors: SIS 7001 PCI to USB open host controller (2x)
SIS PCI to USB Enhanced host controller

hopefully this all is ample information for someone who actually knows what he's doing to tell me what to do since I don't.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:24 PM

To restore functionality to your USB ports...try going into Device Manager and uninstalling/deleting all USB controllers listed under Universal Serial Bus Controllers...then rebooting. The controllers will restore automatically and with them...your functionality.

The USB root hubs should be the ports, I would not uninstall them (I don't think they contribute/detract from a solution).

Worth reading: General USB Problems in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310575

Louis

#3 thesand4

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:16 AM

Oh yeah, I guess I should have mentioned that I also did try that after uninstalling just 2 out of 3 USB hubs. The thing from the forum I found a few years ago said I should disconnect the battery to the motherboard and uninstall all the drivers in safe mode, not just to remove the battery. It didn't work either. So no, it's not good enough.

Remember, it does the same thing with BOTH hard drives' versions of windows when I put them in that system. So whatever the problem, it is either

A. NOT anything stored on the internal hard drive (namely windows drivers) - e.g. it could be chipset, USB port, motherboard, BIOS.

B. If it is something that is actually on windows, then the fantom drive itself has the power to ruin computers' abilities to use their USB ports.

#4 groovicus

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:54 PM

Or it could be something as simple as your motherbord's usb hardware failing coincidental to plugging in the external USB. Does the device manager indicate any problem at all?

Disconnecting the BIOS battery simply reselts the BIOS to a default state.

#5 thesand4

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:41 PM

In the device manager, under universal serial bus controllers, there are right now 7 entries. Sis 7001 PCI to USB Open Host Controller is listed twice, SiS PCI to USB Enhanced Host controller is listed once, and USB Root Hub is listed thrice. The 7th is of course one "unknown device". Not a one of them except the unknown device says anything BUT "device is working properly" when I right click on them and look at information. The unknown device says "no drivers are installed for this device. If you are having problems with this device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter."

So no, it doesn't report any problem with the USB hardware comprising the computer. It just won't read any device plugged into it. That of course doesn't mean there isn't a problem with that hardware, just that it isn't setting off whatever flags it uses to detect problems.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:31 AM

My experience is that onboard USB controllers/ports don't shout the news to the world...when they die or need to be replaced.

That's why I always make sure that I have a USB 2.0 PCI card around to plug in as necessary, at least for test purposes.

So looking Device Manager may not necessarily be informative.

Did you note that I previously suggested uninstalling all USB controllers (not hubs) listed in Device Manager...and then rebooting? All of your responses talk about the hubs. The hubs depend on the controllers.

Louis

#7 thesand4

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 12:45 PM

There were two completely separate things I tried you're getting confused between. I tried taking out 2 of the 3 hubs one time, and then I tried taking out the battery AND uninstalling EVERYTHING under USB controllers. 6 things there. The 3 USB hubs and two instances of Sis 7001 PCI to USB Open Host Controller and one of SiS PCI to USB Enhanced Host controller. So no, that didn't work.

So what's this USB 2.0 PCI card I can possibly get and how do I use it?

Edited by thesand4, 04 November 2009 - 12:46 PM.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:56 PM

Example at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16815123010.

Louis

#9 thesand4

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:46 AM

Ok, at that price I'd be willing to spring for it even if it's a fairly unlikely gamble that it would make it any worse.

If anyone else has any ideas, by all means, please say something!

One thing I WOULD like to try is to replace the chipset and BIOS but I don't know how to do that. You can see what the types of each I have are from the earlier post of mine. I don't know where to find these things or how to do it. If someone could tell me that much, I'd appreciate it - at the very worst, it shouldn't do any harm if I update the bios correctly, for instance, after all.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 09:13 AM

FWIW: Updating the BIOS...is only effective if doing so corrects a known defect in that system...or provides additional capability.

If you know of a known USB problem that is corrected by a BIOS update for that system...by all means, consider it.

But a BIOS update is not a panacea for any normal troublesome situation that occurs routinely on any computer.

As for changing the chipset...AFAIK, that means changing the motherboard.

Others may have different perceptions.

Louis

#11 garmanma

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 11:28 AM

I WOULD like to try is to replace the chipset and BIOS but I don't know how to do that

Most newer boards have removable BIOS chips
I have not seen a removable chipset and where would you buy one anyways?
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#12 thesand4

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:14 PM

Now wait a minute. One of the forum pages I had found (geez I can't find it now) had someone with a similar problem and a different computer and someone asked him what type of motherboard he had and he said it and then he gave him a download location for some stuff to "replace the chipset" but of course it's not the same motherboard as mine so it's not useful to me. So it can't just be synonymous with replacing the motherboard. There is some firmware in there that can be replaced.

At any rate, I proudly say PROBLEM SOLVED (with no help from any of you). The solution? A different forum page told me not merely to disconnect the battery from the motherboard but the POWER as well. Don't just have the battery out. But disconnect the power. Not just have the computer off, but you see, there is of course a capacitor on the output of the power supply which is there to smooth the ripple, but it of course remains charged even after the power is turned off, and short of leaving the computer off for YEARS, you need to disconnect all semblance of power to the motherboard. I have a feeling it would accomplish the same thing to just hold the power button in with the power cord to the back of the computer disconnected, but I left the power inside the computer disconnected from the motherboard for 30 minutes and that's it. It worked again. When the computer started up it said "checksum error, the cpu has been changed, please verify CMOS settings and save" and the USB ports worked again.

So it wasn't drivers, it wasn't failing hardware, it was fixed just with that.

The only problem now is that damn fantom drive may be bad as well. I had it connected to my other computer (oddly enough it worked on it on the second try) and after a few minutes of NOT using it after doing an error check - which mysteriously took 20 times LONGER than it did the first time on the first computer, suddenly a message appeared on my screen telling me the RECYCLE BIN on drive g: (fantom) was corrupted. And the fantom drive was being suspiciously loud. But it passes windows error checker. But my other computer, the laptop, keeps passing windows error checker even though half of it is bad, so I know windows error checker doesn't do a very thorough job.... So do you suppose the fantom drive is bad? I see it takes a damn long time on the desktop computer as well to do the error checker now that USB works again (there isn't even one bar of progress and it should be up to 2 or 3 if it's as fast as that first time).

Edited by thesand4, 06 November 2009 - 01:14 PM.


#13 hamluis

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:22 PM

I believe that...you believe what you are stating.

Louis

There are hard drive diagnostic tests available that users can employ to test the status of a hard drive...no need to guess/wonder, etc.

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

Edited by hamluis, 06 November 2009 - 01:24 PM.


#14 edwinmccainmessenger

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 02:43 PM

Hi! I've searched far and wide for a driver for my two terabyte Fantom external drives. Neither one will come up, and I'm dying! Says there is no driver. Can you share your driver? I don't see anything in the forum rules about asking for this kind of help. I can't "SEE" either drive anymore.
Thanks soooo much,
angie :thumbsup:




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