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Computer locks up when USB devices are connected

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Whenever I connect my USB devices, the computer either locks up or diplays an error message that says device not recognized.  This happens regardless of which device I use - web cam, mouse, passport, etc....  I have already reinstalled the drivers for the USB ports and it didn't help. Everything had been working fine until recently when this problem appeared.  Every so often the USB ports will work, however they usually quit after 20 minutes or less with the message "device not recognized".  Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Question by:BJC1982
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Expert Comment

by:WilkinsIT
ID: 22629614
-  I would highly recommend that you upgrade your motherboard chipset drivers (they include USB drivers).
-  Sometimes a wiring short or a bad USB device will cause this but if you've used multiple devices on multiple USB ports that's probably not it.
-  Make sure if you are XP you are running Service Pack 2 or 3 and Vista SP 1.
-  Make sure not to be using devices that draw a lot of power as it can cause damage to your motherboard :  ie scanners, printers (UNLESS they have independant power supplies).
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 22631710
any errors in device manager?
did it work before? if recent, a system restore can help you out
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 22633139
Make sure the power management settings for the USB ports in device manager do not try to conserve power.
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Author Comment

by:BJC1982
ID: 22633823
Thanks for the answers.  Everything was working fine till it quit on me one day. I've tried numerous restores to no avail.  There are no errors listed in device manager.  The power management for the USB ports are not restricted.  I am running XP SP2 on this laptop if that helps. Also, I purchased a Cardbus USB expansion card and tried that yesterday with the same effects - the computer locked up ONLY when I plug a USB device into the card.  Any help would be greatly appreciated
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WilkinsIT earned 1000 total points
ID: 22634325
You might have damaged USB drivers in your OS.  While a "restore" might help, I would suggest doing a Windows Repair with the XP CD at startup to resolve this.
This will NOT delete your personal files or tamper with your installed applications.  It will however repair your OS core files.  You may need to install SP2 again if the CD does not currently have it.
Here is a great step-by-step guide.  If you decide to do this, be VERY careful and just follow the directions screen-by-screen.
http://www.windowsxpprofessional.windowsreinstall.com/installxpcdrepair/indexfullpage.htm 
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Author Closing Comment

by:BJC1982
ID: 31502596
Thanks for your help.  Everything is working like a charm now!
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