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Unknown USB Devices

I have a Dell Inspiron 9300 with 6 USB ports running XP Media Center Edition version 2002 with SP2.  When at home I have several devices connected and when on the road I disconnect them and connect others.  My problem is that often when I come home I can no longer connect to the things that worked before I left home.  If I remember the exact port that a device was using it might connect but not always.  In device manager I now get 3 unknown devices that show up but I don't know what they are.  I connect things that worked in the past and if asked for the driver I point to the CD where the driver is but is says it can't load because it doesn't have the correct software.  If I delete the unknow devices with the yellow question mark they will re-appear when I scan for new hardware.

If I reload the machine and add the devices and drivers it will work until the next time I leave home.  Is there a way to tell what the devices are that it thinks are connected?  I am not very good at stoping USB devices before I disconnecting them, could this cause this?

I have been fighting this for months and have reloaded the OS on the machine several times

Any help would be appreciated.

Barry
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smithbl47
Asked:
smithbl47
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1 Solution
 
smiffy13Commented:
I reckon the easiest solution would be to buy a couple of external USB hubs, then you could plug all your devices into the hub. You should reserve 1 usb port for your "home hub" and a different usb port for your "on the road hub".
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smithbl47Author Commented:
If I plug an external hub into the port and then the card reader it works without loading any drivers.  If I try to plug the card reader in directly it doesn't work.  Is this because there isn't enough power to the port?  I can't use the power hub on the road, is there any way to get more power to the port?

Barry
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phototropicCommented:
To identify "unknown devices" in Device Manager:

start - programs - accessories - system tools - system information ;
click on "components"; click on "problem devices" ;
Each driverless device will be listed there. In the first line of each entry will be a Device number and a Vendor number (DEV....   VEN....) . Look those numbers up here:

http://www.pcidatabase.com/

This will identify the manufacturer of the chip, and hopefully the device.  Download drivers from the manufacturer's website, or use a driver database such as DriverGuide:

http://www.driverguide.com/

Good luck!

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smiffy13Commented:
Ah.. that's going to be a problem! USB ports have about 1/2 watt of power each, and no there's no way to increase that power. An unpowered external hub often cannot provide enough power to USB devices that are relying on the USB port for their power. A powered hub restores the power to each of it's USB ports. Is it feasible to use a powered USB hub just at home? Assuming that you'll only have a couple of devices that you use on the road you can plug these in directly.  
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smithbl47Author Commented:
Phototopic - I never knew about that utility, this is great but nothing shows up under problem devices.  

This shows up under USB
Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network)      BTH\MS_BTHPAN\6&4BC75B1&0&2
Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol TDI)      BTH\MS_RFCOMM\6&4BC75B1&0&0
Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Module      USB\VID_413C&PID_8103\5&137625EF&0&1
FUJITSU MHV2100AT USB Device      USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_FUJITSU&PROD_MHV2100AT&REV_0811\6&21446F10&0
Generic USB Hub      USB\VID_050D&PID_0218\5&5CAEDCA&0&5
Generic USB Hub      USB\VID_04B4&PID_6560\5&5CAEDCA&0&7
HID Keyboard Device      HID\VID_0D62&PID_001D&MI_00\8&1BB0FF38&0&0000
HID-compliant consumer control device      HID\VID_0D62&PID_001D&MI_01&COL02\8&3ED72F3&0&0001
HID-compliant device      HID\VID_0D62&PID_001D&MI_01&COL01\8&3ED72F3&0&0000
Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2658      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2658&SUBSYS_01891028&REV_03\3&61AAA01&0&E8
Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2659      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2659&SUBSYS_01891028&REV_03\3&61AAA01&0&E9
Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265A      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_265A&SUBSYS_01891028&REV_03\3&61AAA01&0&EA
Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265B      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_265B&SUBSYS_01891028&REV_03\3&61AAA01&0&EB
Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 265C      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_265C&SUBSYS_01891028&REV_03\3&61AAA01&0&EF
Logitech USB TrackMan Marble Wheel      USB\VID_046D&PID_C401\6&17DB1A15&0&2
Logitech USB TrackMan Marble Wheel      HID\VID_046D&PID_C401\7&2CDC1E78&0&0000
Maxtor OneTouch II USB Device      USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_MAXTOR&PROD_ONETOUCH_II&REV_023G\B208VQ0H____&0
Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator      BTH\MS_BTHBRB\6&4BC75B1&0&1
USB Composite Device      USB\VID_0D62&PID_001D\6&17DB1A15&0&1
USB Human Interface Device      USB\VID_0D62&PID_001D&MI_00\7&23346D83&0&0000
USB Human Interface Device      USB\VID_0D62&PID_001D&MI_01\7&23346D83&0&0001
USB Mass Storage Device      USB\VID_05E3&PID_0702\5&5CAEDCA&0&2
USB Mass Storage Device      USB\VID_0D49&PID_7110\B208VQ0H____
USB Root Hub      USB\ROOT_HUB\4&35F12FBB&0
USB Root Hub      USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&1DC5575B&0

It seems like I have dups but it is hard to tell.  I don't have all these things connected.  Can they be deleted?

Smiffy13 - I understand that there can be power issues but these devices will work if I reload the OS and reconnect them.  This leads me to believe that there is a conflict or the system thinks these are there or can't relate the unknowns to them.

Barry
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phototropicCommented:
If there are no "problem devices" in System Information, then it is not a driver issue...

It is possible that the "unknown devices" in Device Manager are USB components which are connected but not recognised. There are many views on why this happens and how to resolve it:

http://www.everythingusb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=5360e237d08ca390a79c0db611ebb031&threadid=795&perpage=30&pagenumber=1

http://www.hellgateguru.com/forum/showthread.php?p=43943

etc.

Here is a free download which claims to identify "unknown devices":

http://3d2f.com/programs/1-153-unknown-device-identifier-download.shtml

I should stress that I have not used this myself, but was directed to it by a friend when discussing your issue...
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nobusCommented:
try this :
Open regedit and navigate to :  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
Delete All of the \DosDevices\ ... values corresponding to external usb drives/keys/thumbdrives etc
and reboot and test
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smithbl47Author Commented:
Phototropic - I looked at the links and realized that this is really a dark area for most people.  I tried the tool and while the tool seems like it could be useful, the name is misleading.  It finds all devices and I couldn't see where it pointed to the unknown ones.

nobus - I looked at regedit but all the \dosDevices were valid drives on the system.  There were 5 that began with \??\volume{.... with a lot of numbers and letters.  Any idea if I can delete them?

Barry
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nobusCommented:
it is harmless, you can delete all. after a reboot, when you reconnect them, they should install
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smithbl47Author Commented:
I found the solution.  If I tried to use the automatic driver find it would fail.  If I said not to the internet search and pointed to the \windows\inf directory it would find any and all of the drivers I needed.  For some reason it would not recognize the manufacturers drivers from the install disks but would from this directory.  If I move devices all I have to do is point to this directory and they will reload.  It might be something to do with the Dell chip set.

Problem is now solved, thanks for the ideas and help - Barry
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Computer101Commented:
PAQed with points refunded (250)

Computer101
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