USB Size Issues

ozwes007
ozwes007 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi Guys, heres a curly one thats got me stumped- I have an Acer Altos MK11 machine running XP Pro and have been backing up using external drives on it for close 2 18months. The problem is that now it refuses to recognize the drives or any external usb drive over 512mb(may just be a red herring). I have checked the current draw and the greater draw is on the older smaller drives, so rulling out power as an issue. The smaller drives are using FAT (that read and install properly)while the larger ones are using FAT32 and NTFS( is this relavant). Any one have any ideas - not including reinstalling the Op system. All USB ports are giving me the same problem...
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

Commented:
have you tried to plug the USB drive into another computer to verify it is working, formatted, readable?

also it's best to use NTFS instead of fat or fat 32 because of it's file and partition size restrictions.

if you have the option, you may want to try reformatting one to  NTFS then trying a backup to it.

Commented:
Have you tried rebooting?

Author

Commented:
USB devices work fine in other systems and the system has been rebooted
HTML5 and CSS3 Fundamentals

Build a website from the ground up by first learning the fundamentals of HTML5 and CSS3, the two popular programming languages used to present content online. HTML deals with fonts, colors, graphics, and hyperlinks, while CSS describes how HTML elements are to be displayed.

Commented:
Have you check the Computer Manager to see if the drives are getting added but maybe you're just not getting a drive letter?

Right click on My Computer and click Manage.  Go to Disk Management.  Install the USB drive and refresh the view and see if it pops up.  Sometimes those drives get mapped to drive letters that are already mapped to Network Drives and it makes it "look" like they're not accessible.  In that case you have to disconnect the network drive.

Author

Commented:
USB devices are added then taken out then added - basically nothing shows up then it blips up as being loaded then drops out again. the drives are not mapped. Once again this only occurs on the larger drives and other than FAT drives.

Commented:
With it plugged in, go into Device manager (Right click My Computer -> Properties -> Hardware Tab ->  Device Manager) and see if there is any unknown hardware (which might be the drive).  right click and choose Uninstall.  If the actual drive is in there, try to uninstall the driver for it.  Then unplug the USB and reinsert USB to get it to hopefully reinstall the drivers.

Author

Commented:
No unknown hardware, the issue is it refuses to install the usb devices if they are over 512MB or Fat file system. Even in safe mode the devices have been removed that are not installed and there are no references to the specific drives. It appears to be (only guessing here) that for some reason a registry key may have been added or changed somehow that doesn't allow certain usb sizes or files systems - can't find any reference to it in the reg but maybe?

Author

Commented:
will get onto it on Monday and let you know.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install

Author

Commented:
Well ran all the above suggestions and still the problem persists. The drives are still being found then installed then dropping out then finding etc etc, This is really driving me nuts. Anyone have an idea if AV software or something like that could cause this sort of problem, issue.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
if it is recent, you can try a system restore to a prior date; that would correct all recent installs that are the cause

Author

Commented:
Unfortunately, before I got to the system this was tried by a user and they stuffed the restore points.
Joys of IT
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
ok, Here a list of things to try :
first, you can download the latest drivers for the chipset, and reinstall it to update the USB root hubs

start>run>diskmgmt.msc      check if the usb devices show up in disk management, then run :   start>run>services.msc

In the listing look for removable storage service.
If it is set to Auto, and not started, then start it : click the Start link in the top left...

Change start type in registry

The idea is that the registry value for START has been changed to either 3 or 4 instead of 0, 1, or 2; 3 is Manual and 4 is disabled, 0 is SYSTEM (at kernel boot), 1 is SYSTEM (at login), 2 is AUTOMATIC
Default is 2 for this type of device

path:   HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/USBSTOR

Click on "Start" then modify binary data --> change to 02 instead 03 or 04


In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install

Author

Commented:
Hi Nobus, I don't think there is an issue with the usb being not set to auto as the devices are found installed then taken out straight away. The only devices this doesn't happen to are the smaller <= 1gb usb drives.
The system finds the drives loads them and then spits them out only to reload them, spit them out etc etc.
It is like something is not allowing the files system to load on these drives.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
then it looks like some software is causing it
try to disable all programs at startup with msconfig

Author

Commented:
Just ran a new system up on another drive to check the system and the same thing occurs, I don't know how or why but it seems like its the motherboard - still don't understand why it will load smaller drives and not larger???? any one had this before?
Commented:
It's unlikely to be a physical hardware problem on the motherboard unless you got some sort of power surge, it's more likely to be BIOS or driver related.

1. Use a shorter USB cable
2. Check the BIOS settings and play with any USB configurations
3. Check out prashantisonline post here http://forums.techarena.in/windows-xp-support/746215.htm

Also, checkout this post from Microsoft Support that I found

Step 1: Remove Hidden Devices

1. Click Start. Click Run. Type cmd and press OK.
2. Type "set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS=1" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
3. Type "set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" (without quotation marks) and Press Enter.
4. Type "start devmgmt.msc" (without quotation marks) and click press Enter.
5. Click View. Click Show hidden devices.
6. Click "+" to expand Imaging devices, Unknown devices and USB devices.
7. Are there any digital camera devices and unknown devices (including grayed out devices)? If so, please right click it and click Uninstall.

Step 2: Remove all oem*.inf files

=========================

1. Click start and click run then under the run line type in the command "cmd" (without the quotation marks)

2. In the command line, type in the following (without the quotes) and press enter after each command:

          "cd \windows\inf"
          "ren infcache.1 *.old"
          "ren oem*.inf *.old"
          "del C:\windows\setupapi.log"
          "exit"

Step 3: Removing all entries under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Enum/USB that start with VID

==================================================================

Removing the VID entries from the registry will cause them to be redetected at restart.

CAUTION: If you have a USB keyboard or mouse, do not remove the VID entry for these devices, otherwise, Windows may not restart correctly.

1. Click Start and click Run. Type regedit and click OK. The Registry Editor window will open.

2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB.

3. Highlight and delete all the VID_.... entries.

Permissions may be set allowing the deletion of the VID_ entries by following the steps below:

a)      Right-click the key to be deleted, and then click Permissions. The VID_... Permissions window will open.
b)      With Everyone highlighted in the Group or User name section, select Full Control in the Permissions section.
c)      Click Apply, and then click OK.

4. Turn off the computer.

Step 4: Reconnect the digital camera to the computer system:

=============================

1.      With the computer system turned off, reconnect the Sony DSC-P50 camera to the USB port.
2.      Restart the computer.
3.      After the Windows operating system has finished restarting, plug the digital camera into the electrical outlet.
4.      A New Hardware Detected window should open and reload the drivers.

If the camera still cannot work, I recommend you plug the camera to another Windows XP computer (Desktop) to test whether this camera works. I suspect it is an incompatibility issue.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your reply.

Best Regards,

Microsoft Windows Support Professional

(above post found here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Misc/Q_20790258.html)

Author

Commented:
Hate to be a cold shower but all the above has been tried and still the problem persists. Bios has not been altered between the backed up, identical hdd that was made when the system was first built(tested and run perfectly previously) so no updates, software etc was added to this from the initial tests.- only conclusion left is the Motherboard is kaput...... Don't know why or how but its doesn't work know did then....
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
just for fun, try this one too it's very good for solving usb problems, and you can ask the maker for help even :

http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1

Author

Commented:
Well just a follow up - changed the motherboard and the system works fine, recognises big and small drives again. Seems there are issues with the board, it's a Gigabyte Board.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
you can still tets if the usb works normal from a Knoppix cd (supports USB) :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso

Author

Commented:
All Accepted solutions led to the answer - the motherboard Fault.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial