Windows auto-shutting down USB devices?


I recently installed a Lacrosse Technology weather station package that talks to their wall-mounted monitor via a wireless USB device they provide.  It works...for a little while, then loses the connection.  Their FAQ suggests that Windows automatically shuts down USB devices it thinks are idle.

Can anyone verify this and if so, suggest a way to override this so the device doesn't get shut down?  The connection needs to remain active to collect weather data continuously.

This is installed on an XP 64 box with current patches.


Ben ConnerCTO, SAS developerAsked:
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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
It could be a power management issue - make sure power saving is switched OFF to prevent windows disabling devices.
Personally I would disable power saving altogether in this scenario - but you can also disable power saving for the individual devices - go to device manager and disable power saving for the device and USB hub/controller

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Ben ConnerCTO, SAS developerAuthor Commented:

Thanks for the suggestion.  I did disable the auto power management function per your suggestion.  It was enabled.  Unfortunately it had no effect.  I assume I don't have to reboot the machine for that to take effect?

-> I Recommend BIOS update (Once you have identified your motherboard, go to the manufacturer’s web site and check for a BIOS update.)

Check BIOS setting:
-> 'Enable' Legacy USB Support
-> 'Disable' Plug and Play OS
-> Power Management – Disabled  
-> ACPI - Disabled  (ACPI enabled in the BIOS is the source of many USB problems.  If you are having problems with USB, ACPI should be disabled. )

-> and change the cable and see.
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For me it seems power management issue  too. But you already diagnose it. what is lenght of your USB cable & version of USB means 1.1 / 2.0 etc. I think your weather device goes in sleep mode.
please see it for more detail

Do you have any endpoint security or firewall ?  
have you chacked it with anoter port and usb wire  also ?
Ben ConnerCTO, SAS developerAuthor Commented:
I'll take a look at the bios update possibility; this doesn't have a cable--it's a wireless dongle (about 3-4" long) that plugs directly into the USB port.

More to check out.  Thanks!

And Merry Christmas!

Ben ConnerCTO, SAS developerAuthor Commented:
Ok, I checked and the motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-M61SME-S2, which supports online bios flash updates.  I updated the bios to the current (non-beta) vsn, F9.  I'll see if that helps.

Since the machine is behind a firewall and talking to the Lacrosse wall mounted device directly through the wireless USB dongle they have, I don't believe there are any security or firewall issues involved in this situation.  It's not getting assigned an IP address.  Not sure what protocol LaCrosse is using--I remember a brief mention of it but it wasn't IP based.  And if it were, it would be getting an IP address successfully as I can reconnect to it at will.  It just won't stay connected.

I've now rebooted and reconnected the service to the wall unit.  Will check it in a few minutes to see what happens.  The good news is I don't have to wait long.


Ben ConnerCTO, SAS developerAuthor Commented:

Well, that wasn't it either.  The weather monitor dropped connection not long after rebooting/resynching the PC.  

This looks like an issue I probably need to address with Lacrosse; may have a defective unit, either the station or the dongle.  Certainly have eliminated the issues they had in their FAQ with the suggestions here.

I'm going to award at least partial credit given the quick response and good ideas presented.

Best wishes!

Ben ConnerCTO, SAS developerAuthor Commented:
While this didn't solve the original problem posted, it did illustrate aspects of USB deployment that are seldom covered, and worthwhile in and of themselves.
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Windows XP

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