I'm a musician and have a laptop, a HP Pavilion G6 running Windows 7 Home Premium which I use for home recording. The laptop is connected to a Lexicon Alpha audio interface. This allows me to play and record bass guitar into the laptop while monitoring sound using external audio monitors or headphones.
One by one each of the three USB ports on my machine have stopped working properly with the Lexicon, at least parlially stopped working. To explain further, when I connect the Lexicon the laptop makes the usual noise it makes when a new peripheral is connected, the Lexicon apperars in the list of devices on the laptop, Windows reports it to be working properly and the blue light on the front lights up to show it is at least recieving power. When I play bass through the Lexicon my DAW gets a signal which I can see moving the gain indicator but no sound comes out either through the headphone socket or the phono outputs. I get the same with Windows Media Player, youTube, Foobar, in fact any sound that comes from the laptop, until I disconnect the Lexicon from the USB port. Then I can hear the sound throught the laptop speakers, so I know there is sound being produced. It's just not getting to the Lexicon.
At first it was only one USB port on which I was having this issue and I was able to connect to one of the other two ports and use the Lexicon as normal but each of the other ports has now gone the same way. The funny thing is all the ports appear to work properly in every other way, that is if I plug in a flash drive I can move files to and from it in the usual way, mobile phones appear, can be charged and I can move files to and from them. The Lexicon works fine on my old desktop but that doesn't have the resources to run the projects I have on my DAW. I tried getting a new cable to but that didn't work. I also installed the correct drivers from Lexicons website. I was fairly certain that wouldn't make any difference seeing as the problem not appeared on all the ports at the same time. I was right.
So what's happening here? Can my ports be half dead? Can they all have stopped working more or less at the same time (bearing in mind I have made a point of always trying to use the same port to connect devices and so minimise wear and tear. It was the most used port that went first but the other two, relatively un used ports have followed in quick succession)?
I'm at a loss as to what to do now. It does look as though the ports are half dead. Is there any way of confirming this before I consider getting the laptop repaired, or replacing it?