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Many USB devices don't work on USB hub

Posted on 2006-06-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
As my number of USB devices increased, I bought a USB 2.0 hub (with external power). Unfortunately, I find that most of my USB devices won't work when they are connected to this hub, altough they work perfectly when connected directly to the PC's USB ports.

Is this normal that many device types won't work through a hub or could it be that something is wrong with my system (Win XP SP2, USB 2.0 controller onboard)?

Some of the devices not working on the hub are: DYMo LabelWriter, Lexmark X7170 MFP, Logitech Bluetooth controller, GN Netcom headset.

What do you suggest I do?

Can I add a second USB card (PCI) to my PC or is there a risk that two USB controllers get into a conflict?

Walter
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Question by:wbtrans
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14 Comments
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 16870004
Your external hub could be insufficiently powering all those devices, and it is also possible that your USB port doesn't like more than one device connected to it (though it should work).  Adding a PCI USB card is a good idea and won't have a conflict with the existing ones.
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Author Comment

by:wbtrans
ID: 16870095
Thanks for your input.

The problem is that even one single of these critical devices won't work on the hub. I have actually tried two different external hubs (both 2.0 and powered) and I have the same problem with both of them.
For one of the devices (the DYMO LabelWriter), documentation explicitly mentions that the device must be attached directly to the PC's USB port to work correctly. Why this is, I don't know. But now the same seems to be true for other devices. I don't think power is the problem, the Bluetooth AP from Logitech for example surely does not consume much power (it's just a small USB stick).

I may try to install a second USB card in the PC.

Walter
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Expert Comment

by:Purple_Sky
ID: 16870476
The pci usb card would be the most efficient. Does anything work on the hub ?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 16871254
Based on what you describe, it sounds like the problem is with the motherboard port and its interaction with the hub, if even one device won't work on the hub, and I would agree that it isn't a power issue, based on this.  It is definitely not normal that a device works directly but not a hub.

Either a different hub or a PCI USB card should solve your problem.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16872058
Have you tried the HUB on all the USB ports of the PC?
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16875811
try deleting all the usb entries in device manager, reboot and test.
i suggest connecting the dymo directly to a port, it may have locked out the other devices.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16875812
or in device manager, try updating the usb drivers
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Expert Comment

by:ib68alex
ID: 16877045

  Try replace small shielded cable which connect pc with usb hub if you can. if not try a internal usb card
 
some times this problem happens when cable length between pc and usb hub is tall unshielded. rarely happen in usb v1.0 devices

note :
-due to high data rate in usb v2.0 with tall or unshielded usb cable loss a data power signal.
-many usb devices with usb external hub take a too much power  
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:snerkel
ID: 16880098
Some devices require conecting to a root hub (eg the first hub) to work correctly. The first hub is the USB controller on the motherboard or PCI card.

Adding a PCI USB card should give you the additional root USB connections you require.

By the way many items such as printers, scanners, or indeed many items with own power source draw virtually no current from a USB port. Things that do draw power are things like mice and modems that don't have an external power supply.
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Author Comment

by:wbtrans
ID: 16881964
Many thanks to all who contributed with their advice.

I was going to put an additional card into my PC when digging under my desk I discovered the source of the problem. You won't believe it, but it was quite simple. The (powered hub) I used came with a very short cable, so short that it was not even long enough to be able to put the hub on top of my desk (the PC is a tower under the desk). So, I used a USB extension cord to connect it to the PC. I had forgotten about this (keep in mind, that I did not see it because it was under the desk). Today when I realized this, I tried using the hub without that extension and ... wow everything worked fine!

With two exceptions (DYMO label writer and GN headset) all devices work fine on the hub. I did not need to install the additional USB card.

I still don't understand why this USB cord from the hub to the PC does not accept to be extended, but I have learnt that USB is more complex than it seems anyway.

Thanks again to everybody.

Walter
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16883455
it seems there are different USB cables on the market : made for usb 1 - or usb 2
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