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XP USB port Freezes Occasionally

jimr111998 asked
Last Modified: 2012-06-03
This does not happen all the time.  Microsoft acknowledges that if a USB device is
inserted and remove  a few times quickly the port can freeze and not respond to any
devices plugged it to it.
They suggest
1. use device manager menu option of USB controllers  to "scan for changes"
2. reboot the computer

I have found only "reboot the computer" option to solve the problem.

My question is how can I  reset or cause XP to do what ever it does on boot up to
get the USB port working again without having to reboot?

This situation happens while I am in a development mode working with sensitive
USB devices that have a tendency to detach and reattach quickly when certain
loading happens on that port. ( suspect USB power issues) As I am debugging it is
a pain to have to reboot every time this happens.
Watch Question

Sudeep SharmaTechnical Designer

I would first check if any of USB device is set to save Power. TO check this open the device manager and expand the USB Controllers and go to the properties of each USB deivce listed under it to make sure the Power Management Tab doesn't have this option to save power.

"Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power"
Distinguished Expert 2019

i suggest to use SafelyRemove :  http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
it handles your USB devices better, and reconnects them when removed, without having to reconnect physically



I have tried safely remove but it does not solve the problem.
I am going to further explain the situation in the next comment.


To Further explain the situation.

I believe most here can  create this situation on an XP computer.
The Idea is to quickly insert and remove a USB device.  By hand may
not cause the situation because insert and remove is not quick enough.
I have a powered USB extender with an on off switch. I can do this rapidly.

After about 4 or more on/offs(inserts/removes) the USB port that the extender is
plugged into becomes inoperable. When in this state, you can plug any USB device you
want  into that port and XP will ignore it. No response ... nothing. It is as
windows has stopped listening to that port.
Distinguished Expert 2019

well - that is not how you should use an usb port
i can think of 1000 ways to wreck connections, by misusing them
you should insert, and remove them as a normal user does - with safely remove procedure
NOT by switching ot off/on fast



You are right  but if you re-read my initial post this is what I said:
I am in a development mode working with sensitive
USB devices that have a tendency to detach and reattach quickly when certain
loading happens on that port. ( suspect USB power issues) As I am debugging it is
a pain to have to reboot every time this happens

You see, I am not doing this on purpose but Switching on/off fast simulates this problem for people who do not have the USB devices I am working with.
There must be a way to re-initialize the USB port without needing
to reboot which is time consuming.
Distinguished Expert 2019

sorry - forgot that part...
i suppose you tried the part on solving the problem yourself as well in this MS article?

does it work if you just attach a usb drive and leave it there

is it all the ports or just 1



Yes method one does not work  the other two methods require rebooting the computer.



Yes the USB port  works fine with anything attached to it as long as it is
not inserted/extracted rapidly several times.
Note: This phenomena is seen on any USB port  running under XP even your
computer if you can insert and remove fast enough several times.
Distinguished Expert 2019

does it do the same under windows7 ?

i suppose you best can call in more experts to help on this one - use request attention and ask the mods
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
Distinguished Expert 2019

jimr - tw for that info
i'm bashing my head now - since i know DEVCON for a long time...just did not think about it..


There were no other suggestions that would rest the USB port without rebooting the computer. The solution I found and tested solved the problem.

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