A bit of a problem with a USB port

Discussion in 'hardware' started by bgoodman4, Apr 24, 2010.

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  1. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I recently was given a large collection of video files (apx 700 gigs) and I purchased a terabyte drive (Seagate) to which I copied them. I used Teracopy as the program by which the copying was done. I had to run the process a number of times as during the first attempt Windows Update decided to do its thing and installed the updates and rebooted the PC (I now have selected to notify me of updates but not to automatically install them). I started the copy again and Teracopy got about a 3rd of the way through and then the process failed. I tried again but the drive was not visible. I rebooted and the drive became visible again and off I went copying the files that had not made it over to the new drive. Again the process failed part way though. This happened a number of times each time I would have to reboot (sometimes multiple times) in order to have the PC recognize the drive. I ran DiskCheck etc and found no problems with either drive.

    Now when I plug any drive into the USB port it sometimes will be recognized and sometimes not. If I plug the original external drive into any port on the PC is will sometimes be recognized and other not but if I plug it into the port I was using during the above copy process it is never recognized. However if I plug the drive into a different PC it is working fine.

    Any ideas or suggestions as to whats going on and what I can do about it?
     
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    any errors in event viewer logs? If you plug some other device are there similar issues. It sounds like your usb hardware is failing
     
  3. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    As noted the problem is intermittent with other devices plugged into the same port (but only with larger external drives, thumb drives all work OK) but the other ports are fine with these other devices. The problem drive can be a problem (intermittently) with any port on the PC but is fine when plugged into a diff PC.

    The PC is under a year old but of course thats not any assurance that the hardware is not failing.

    Would the volume of data being copied be a factor? Or more likely the reboot in the middle of the copy job? Could that damage the hardware? I would have thought that sort of thing could corrupt software but not the hardware. Or is it possible that the reboot acted as if I had failed to un-mount the drive before un-plugging it?

    I also should add that I had sort of similar issues with this drive on a previous PC but it has worked well on the current one for the last 8 or 9 months (and worked fine with my lap-top for as long as I have had the drive).
     
  4. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    No, the amount of data copied shouldn't cause any issues.
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    USB is a funny thing. Each is its own port. You plug joystick into port 0, you need drivers. You plug joystick into port 1, you need drivers again.. and so on. Since USB first came out en masse, it is at times finicky. It loses track of what was installed where. Most often it is best to view un-connected devices in the device manager and remove them. Then when you plug USB item into port X, it is like being inserted the first time.

    USB works great when it works, and it a real pain when it does not. I still have mixed feeling about it after many years. It is convenient, but so fickle.

    Sul.
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thank you very much, I will give that a try.
     
  7. robertoa81

    robertoa81 Registered Member

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    try going into the device manager and removing all your usb host controllers. pretty much anything USB then reboot. This happens to me on occaision. Removing and rebooting always does the trick for me.
     
  8. axial

    axial Registered Member

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  9. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thank you robertoa81 and axial I will try both this weekend.
     
  10. robertoa81

    robertoa81 Registered Member

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    Cool let us know how it works out.
     
  11. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Wouldn't the user at some point in this process be locked off the computer? As he/she knocks out the controllers, wouldn't he/she eventually lose keyboard and mouse control?
     
  12. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Assuming the user had only USB keyboard/mouse, then yes and no is the answer. As you remove a device like that, it will disappear and you will not have access. However, you simply need to unplug the device, then reattach.

    As I stated earlier, what you do is look for unattached devices. Simply unplug every usb device except for the keyboard/mouse, then filter device manager to show only unattached USB devices. Now you can remove all those if you wish. It will not affect the keyboard/mouse because they will not be in that area, normally.

    I forget now just how, but I used to be able to type in a command in command prompt that would let me see the name of the USB items that are not currently attached. This way you could know which item you were removing.

    Sul.
     
  13. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    devcon

    Sieber has an explanation in the above link, and also points to this:

    http://www.robvanderwoude.com/devcon.php
     
  14. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    How do I filter to show unattached USB devices? I've been tinkering with device manager - don't see a setting to accomplish this.
     
  15. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I have the hidden and non-present devices settings enabled as shown here, which is a pretty good read on the topic
    http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5054212.html?tag=mantle_skin

    All I need to do is use the "show hidden devices" menu item, available in the "view" menu to see everything. Viewing them by type is the easiest, although sometimes connection can be useful.

    It is the grayed out items in the "disks" tree that you normally look for. It will show every usb flash drive you have ever attached. Here you can "uninstall" them.

    One nice thing about this as well is the drivers it shows you. Items such as firewall drivers or antivirus drivers etc, are all listed here. It is pretty nice way to learn stuff you didn't know.

    My wording was perhaps incorrect, there is not a "filter" really, just a way to view the objects that denotes which are attached and unattached. Sorry bout that confusion.

    Sul.
     
  16. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Thank you Sully - good reading. I really appreciate the help.
     
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