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How do I fix USB devices which disconnect all the time?

I have DELL M1330 notebook with USB 2.0 ports in which I plug a Kensington 8-port self-powered USB hub. Since recently, the devices disconnect almost at random. Some events seem to trigger it, but it happens spontaneously as well. For example, when I plug in a device (HD or PDA) then all the lights on the USB hub go out and none of the devices work anymore. An exanple of no trigger causing the same effect: sometimes I leave the computer running at night but when I move the USB mouse in the morning, it has been disconnected and I need to use internal touchpad instead. There is another non-self-powered 4-port USB hub plugged into the other hub btw, but the devices connected to this one are usually off (they're self-powered  external HD's).

The 8-port Hub seems to be listed in Vista as two "Generic USB Hub"s with 500 mA per port available. The other 4-port Hub is listed as such with all ports still available and it "has a single TT" (I'm not sure what that means)

Does anyone know what could be causing this?
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nutkenz
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nutkenz
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2 Solutions
 
LotokCommented:
It sounds like you are drawing too much power from it. Here is a test to see if that is the case. Attach each device one at a time to the HUB. If it only goes flakey after there are many devices then that is almost certainly the problem.

Ofcourse, if not that it could be that :
1)  your HUB has seen better days and has a fault
2)  a faulty device is causing problems
3)  a software/driver issue
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akashjCommented:
So are you saying the onboard USB ports are fine and it's just the hub that is switching off?
If so, I would put it down to the hub that is causing it

The reason being is I have several of those USB memory card a million-in-one readers which are doing exactly the same
It's just cheap mechanics inside and all of them have died overtime in the sense that they work for x amount of hours and then switch off

Just a thought anyway
Can you try and swap the 4 and the 8 port and see how things go?
There is also USB power management options but I doubt this would be causing it if its started suddenly
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nutkenzAuthor Commented:
I have no reason to think the Hub is at fault. How could I check the driver issues?

Swapping the Hubs would be hard because I don't have the power adapter for the other one anymore.
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LotokCommented:
Do you always connect the hub to the same USB port?
USB devices install to specific ports. So if you change the hub to another port, it should install itself again.
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nutkenzAuthor Commented:
Yes, same ports all the time...
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LotokCommented:
Try changing the USB HUB to a differnt port on your laptop then. It will reinstall any driver needed itself assuming its plug and play.
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nutkenzAuthor Commented:
I've tried that before, but it happens on both ports. Usually everything works fine, but there are spontaneous disconnects about once a day or when I am actively swapping USB devices.
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LotokCommented:
Sorry to say it but everything points to your HUB having a problem.
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akashjCommented:
Agreed...which brings me back to my first point...find another one/find the power adaptor and test
otherwise you'll just keep asking the why's and what if's
We need to narrow it down and so far as mentioned, everythings pointing to the hub
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