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USB communication seemingly stopping at random

nigelr99 asked
Last Modified: 2017-06-18
I have a strange issue on a pc whereby anything connected to USB appears to disconnect at random intervals. The main symptom is a usb device that control on/off switches with the application hanging for no apparent reason. However, on inspection, various peripherals have lost connection (printer / UPS for example).

I've already disabled usb 'selective suspend' setting (think that's what it's called) and also swapped the usb hub that these are plugged into so running out of ideas. I also swapped the pc fairly recently which was having similar issues so could one faulty device cause others to disconnect?

When the pc restarts, previously buffered traffic continues so printer might finish printing / controlled switches may turn on etc. so it just appears that the usb communication halts for some reason. I have several other setups with similar or identical kit which doesn't exhibit this behaviour.

Any help/advice re' diagnosing what's happening would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Tahir QureshiSystem Analyst

can you connect directly to your computer (Not through Hub and don't use usb extention as well)


I could for 1, maybe 2 devices but not all
Tahir QureshiSystem Analyst

try to connect one or two device.

I think it is a faulty usb hub or USB extension cable.  In my experience, I have seen this issue with cheap USB hub. they work for few time but not all the time
Distinguished Expert 2019
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I deliberately purchase 'expensive' usb hubs made by DLink or StarTech (both of which I've tried in this particular scenario). This hub is then plugged directly into pc. From this, I have a small receipt printer, a signature pad (mini touchpad device), a UPS and a 'relay board' which controls 8 switches on/off via relays.
The obvious thing for me to try after your comments is the relay board connection as that is via a 5 metre usb lead which passes through the electrical cabinet of the premises - I'm going to try a new cable, routed temporarily 'across the floor' and plugged directly into the pc instead of the hub. Could be electrical interference or suspect cable or overload on the hub - this would circumvent all these issues for the one device at least.
It's interesting to note that the problem is always there every morning after premises has been closed for 9 hours or so. This is in addition to several random occurences later in the day. In any case, I should know within a couple of days if this has made a difference so will post back asap.
Distinguished Expert 2019

i asked to post your setup - which you did not
if we don't have a list of which devices connect to what - impossible to give correct advice


OK, that's me told! Apologies for slow reply as I've been on annual leave.

I have a pc connected to a D-Link 7 port USB 2 hub which is powered. Plugged into that I have a receipt printer, a 'relay board' to control 8 relays, a Topaz signature pad and a CyberPower UPS (battery). The relay board is also powered so relays are not actuated by the USB connection.

I have had some compatibility issues with some of the newer pcs we use as they only have USB 3 ports and USB 2 hub can cause constant disconnect/re-connect sound on Windows 10. I've replaced these with USB 3 hubs where it's been a problem.

After swapping the USB cable (for exact specification), plugging direct to pc and re-routing away from power cables the problem has not re-occurred in over a week. If I'd had more convenient testing circumstances I'd have only tried one of these fixes at a time to isolate the problem but we can't afford the downtime / constant trial and error in a retail environment. I'd like to think the re-routing made the difference but from comments above it could well be a power issue with the usb ports / hub ports.

Any further thoughts appreciated.
Distinguished Expert 2019

why not post a schematic drawing - or picture
the fact that it occurs afetr "the problem is always there every morning after premises has been closed for 9 hours or so"  brings the cleaning company into view - can they be uncoupling an ac cable or such ?


There's no cleaning company so nothing as obvious as that I'm afraid. Re-routing the cable and plugging direct into the pc has completely solved the issue up to this point (touch wood) so I guess I close the question.
Distinguished Expert 2019

so it seems my comment was correct in post   ID: 42040724ยท  :

most probable cause are bad cables or devices
MikeIT Professional

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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