USB Devices not recognized

Another odd one here.

I have a client that is now experiencing this problem on a total of three laptops. The issue is that all of the sudden the user can no longer use USB devices - unless they're plugged in at the time off boot, but if they remove the device after Windows has loaded and plug it back in the laptops do not recognize the device. Along with this issue comes Microsoft Office products tend to hang and not respond.

The issues are occurring on two Lenovo ThinkPad T500 laptop and an HP Compaq nx9420. All of the laptops are running Microsoft Windows Vista Business 32-bit. The common software between the devices are Microsoft Office 2007, Symantec EndPoint Protection (now removed from all three systems, and the issue still remains). This issue initially was only on the Compaq laptop. We formatted the system and reinstalled everything from scratch and the system worked for about a month before the issues returned. As I mentioned this is now affecting two other laptops, and seems to be limited to the laptop systems as none of the 50+ desktops have displayed any symptoms.

If anyone could provide me with any suggestions it would be appreciated. I can answer any questions you might have about this issue as well.

Thanks!
AdamMcQuAsked:
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gikkelCommented:
Enable non-present devices and uninstall all usb devices from device manager...
http://www.hat.net/geeky/node/221
Does this happen with new USB devices as well?
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
Does this article still apply even if the users are not receiving the message USB device not recognized? This happens with all USB devices. With Device Manager open, plugging in a USB device does not even cause the Device Manager window to reflect that it found hareware - only by telling it to scan for new hardware does it attempt to find new devices
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nobusCommented:
when you plug in the device, do you get the notification sound? no message?
check for errors in device manager.
you can also delete all usb entries there, reboot and test
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
nobus,
There is no notification of any sorts when a USB device is plugged in. No sound notification, no device installation icon in the system tray, no items appear in device manager.
There are also no unknown or other devices listed in device manager, and none are reporting any driver and or conflict errors.
I will get my client to delete the USB entries in the device manager, but I believe I have tried that without any resolution.
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nobusCommented:
more things to try out :
Remove old hardware devices :
go to Start>right click My computer>properties>device manager
in the view tab - click : "show hidden devices"
inspect  device manager for all hidden devices, and remove them

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925196

OR :
Remove all USB drivers with:     https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/6853-RENEWUSB.zip      ---> Now reboot and test.
Delete the "UpperFilters" and "LowerFilters" registry values from:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{36FC9E60-C465-11CF-8056-444553540000}

you can also reset the usb :
rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\WINDOWS\inf\usbstor.inf
rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\WINDOWS\inf\usb.inf
rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\WINDOWS\inf\usbport.inf
rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\WINDOWS\inf\usbprint.inf
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
To add further insight we have seemed to track down the issues to three (3) Western Digital external drives. When the external drives are plugged into the network the three laptops immediately experience trouble with USB devices not being recognized, random software crashes etc. But once the drives are physically removed from the network the issues immedilatey cease.
I don't have detailed drive information, but the drives are a Western Digital MyBook World Edition (x2), and a Western Digital ShareSpace.
Any one have the slightest clue what might be causing this?
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SysExpertCommented:
See if there are firmware updates fro these drives and also you might add a packet sniffer to check traffic.

I hope this helps !
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gikkelCommented:
Try changing your USB cable...
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
gikkel,
Obvious suggestion, however the drives are Ethernet based and not plugged in via a USB cable
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nobusCommented:
what is your question title then ???
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
nobus,
Initially the problem was that three (3) laptops in a client's office were not able to see or recognize USB devices - unless they were plugged in at the time the computer was booted. If the client wanted to plug in a memory key into the system, the computer would do nothing. No beep indicating it was plugged in, nothing showing in device manager, etc. If the device was plugged in when the computer was turned on it worked fine.
After rigorous troubleshooting we took the laptops off of the network and found that the three laptops worked fine. Hot plugging USB devices worked just fine.
We did some troubleshooting and found that by disconnecting the network attached external western digital hard drives solved that issue. But unfortunately having no networking on a business computer makes it rather hard to work with. No internet, no email, no network browsing, etc. I am now trying to figure out what would be causing the network attached drives to cause this issue on the laptops.
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gikkelCommented:
Just looked at your drive info comment...these drives all have usb adapters (to hook up an additional drive) that are accessible through the network.  Depending on how you setup these drives, it may be interfering with your laptop's usb ports.  Did you install WD Discovery on each laptop?  
If you didn't initially setup these drives, it may be a good idea to setup the shares from scratch.  Check for firmware updates for your drives.  Ensure this is properly shared.  If you list how its currently setup, we'll be able to further assist you with correcting any problems.
http://www.wdc.com/WDProducts/Library/UM/ENG/4779-705006.pdf
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
gikkel,
Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately I did not setup these drives myself, the "IT" guy (I use that term losely) at the company did it themselves. I'll see if I can find out the configuration.
Thanks
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nobusCommented:
you can give the usb drives a fixed drive letter : http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
I am on-site here at the clients location currently, and all the drives are currently up-to-date with their firmware.
The drives in question are the follow:
Western Digital My Book Pro Edition II WD10000H1NC (2)
Western Digital ShareSpace WD20000AN4C (1)
The devices seem to be configured properly according to the manuals. According to the client it appears that each of the drives seems to interfere with a specific laptop. If the unplug the first My Book Pro Edition II drive the one user's computing experience immediately returns to normal (No Western Digital software installed, does not access the drive). If the drive is plugged back in, they cannot hot-swap USB devices, MS Office 2007 constantly crashes, etc. And this is common across all three users, but it appears to be drive and computer specific. If a certain drive is unplugged a certain user goes back to normal operation, once plugged back in the same user's computer becomes unstable.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated while I am on-site!
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SysExpertCommented:
you need to use  a packet sniffer to check LAN traffic. Perhaps there is malware involved, or some other network interaction.

I hope this helps !
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
SysExpert
I used Ethereal last night and didn't notice any odd network traffic. Now mind you, I'm also not too familiar with that software so I'm not 100% sure what I would be looking for. Any further thoughts?
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SysExpertCommented:
you need to compare with and without the networked drives.

Pull a network drive that affects a single machine and watch the traffic for changes on that one machine.



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gikkelCommented:
You're going to go crazy troubleshooting...if you don't want to recreate all network shares, try setting up shares from scratch on one of the more troublesome laptops with one of the WD drives, and if no issues, add more drives into the mix. .  This way you can keep it off the network and isolate the issue.
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AdamMcQuAuthor Commented:
Many thanks to all the suggestions and ideas! I have come up with a solution, but it doesn't address why or how the issue was being caused.
After digging around on WD's site I eventually did find an updated firmware for the two Western Digital My Book Pro Edition II WD10000H1NC drives which corrected the issues on two of the laptops. The Western Digital ShareSpace WD20000AN4C did not have an updated firmware and was still causing issues on one laptop.
I powered on the last laptop and heard another audible sound (device being connected windows sound). I thought that was a little strange as I had not plugged in a device or anything. I checked in the Event Viewer and came across an entry that mentioned "PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator found a device on the network". After reading about the PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator I discovered that it finds network devices using the SSDP/WS discovery protocols. As I had ran Ethereal earlier, I noted that the IP addresses of the network drives were sending out SSDP packets. I disabled the PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator on the last laptop and have not run into any further issues and everything is working normally.
Now if someone could explan to me why Windows, when it found a network device using the PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator would cause USB devices to not be recognized in Windows, and general software crashing & freezing that would be great!
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gikkelCommented:
Check comment ID 24917271...identifies both issues.  (firmware updates and usb intereference, i.e. PnP-X issues)
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acmeoilCommented:
I had the same issue happen with my USB thumb drives. Some it seems now-a-days most vendors have an application running that requires or forces a static map of a given drive. In my case it was the F:\ which I had already mapped to a network share.

I found this out by going into the Device Manager in WIndows (( Right-Click My Computer >> Properties >> Hardware Tab >> Device Manager Button))

Then go to the USB Controller section and Right-Click the Mass Storage Device Icon. Go to properties. One of the tabs (Cannot remember which off the top of my head) has a Volume Lable I think it is the Volume tab. Click the Populate Button and it will likely show the drive letter that it is trying to use. If you already have something mapped to this drive disconnect it and BINGO will work like a charm...Hope this helps. It was a HUGE P.I.T.A for me and I found it after weeks of looking by shear conincidence.
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