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Windows Vista 32 reports all USB drives as Unknown device

I am working on a Gateway desktop running Windows Vista 32 that will not recognize any USB drives.  When I plug in any USB hard drive or Flash drive I get:
"Windows needs to install driver software for your unknown Device"
I have tried "Locate and Install driver software (Recommended)"
I have tried pointing it to C:\Windows\system32 and all subfolders as well as the root directory
In all cases it comes back with "Windows couldn't find driver software for your device".
The device shows up in Disk Manager at this point but does not have a drive letter assignment and you cannot assign one.  It also shows up in safely Remove Hardware as just USB Mass storage Device.

I have done all the usually things like uninstalling all USB entries and rebooting.  I have searched all over with Google and tried various fixes as well as Microsoft Fix it with no change. I have also performed a full cleaning and malware scan.

Specs:
Gateway GT5674
AMD 9500
Windows Vista 32 SP2

I have run out of ideas... Any help would be appreciated!
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waytron
Asked:
waytron
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5 Solutions
 
helpfinderCommented:
try to install chipset driver from manufacturer´s web site
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waytronAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, which is often typical of Gateway, there are no drivers listed for this model computer.  Just blank for all versions of Windows.
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Jason WatkinsIT Project LeaderCommented:
Here is the driver page for the specific model computer.

http://support.gateway.com/us/en/product/default.aspx?partNumber=1015322R

Though, it does not specifically list the chipset or USB drivers, try the hardware detection utility.
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waytronAuthor Commented:
I was just on the Gateway site yesterday and that whole section was empty.  Thanks I will work with that and get back to you later.  I have to leave for a few hours
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Jackie ManCommented:
Run cmd in an elevated command prompt and run the command below.

sfc /scannow

You need to Vista setup DVD in case if there are any missing system files.
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nobusCommented:
you can have an hardware problem
test that by running from a live Knoppix cd - the USB ports should work fine then :
ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/knoppix-dvd/KNOPPIX_V7.0.4bootonly-2012-08-20-EN.iso 

if not - the hardware is bad
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waytronAuthor Commented:
Thanks Nobus but I already ran a live version of Ubuntu and flash drives work fine.  Also all other USB devices were working fine such as Mouse, Keyboard and printer.
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waytronAuthor Commented:
thanks Jackieman,  Sfc /scannow did not return with any problems?
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waytronAuthor Commented:
Thanks Drashiel,  as I mentioned in my original post, I ran the Microsoft fix it and it did not find any problems.
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Jackie ManCommented:
Can you look up what software has been installed via control panel?

It sounds like a software, such as antivirus or printer software has interrupted with the USB device.
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waytronAuthor Commented:
Hi Jakieman,

It originally had Norton 360 but I uninstalled it thinking it might be the cause.  I also ran the Norton removal tool to makes sure.  It has no security software installed at this time.
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nobusCommented:
if this problem is recent, a system restor e can help
or uninstalling the latest updates
otherwise  you may need a fresh install
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pgm554Commented:
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waytronAuthor Commented:
Well, I finally decided to toss in the towel on this one and just re-install Windows Vista.  I have spent too much time on it already.
Thank you all for your suggestions.
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