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USB port not working, suggestions??

by TNorth / June 14, 2005 8:08 AM PDT


I am posting this for my sister who cannot get online due to a problem with her USB port and a cable modem. She has a Win 98 computer with one USB port. After a recent move, the USB is now not working - it was before the move. The problem was discovered when they tried to hook up the USB cable modem and the USB would not work. It looks okay in the device manager, but there seems to be no power to the USB.

I am sorry that I can't give you the system details since it isn't my system. It is a Dell running Win 98 SE I believe. It is about 5 years old, so it is probably a first generation of USB ports - but it was working until the computer was moved.

Could there be a loose connection or a simple explanation of how to fix this. Any help you can offer is appreciated.



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Simple fix.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 14, 2005 9:19 AM PDT
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by TNorth / June 14, 2005 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Simple fix.

Thanks for the ideas,Bob! I'll check the website you sent and see if it helps. I'll also give them the USB/PCI card info - but could it be that the one they have is just loose from the move and needs to be reseated?


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Do try that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 14, 2005 9:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

Be sure to unplug that AC cord while inside the box.


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Will do!
by TNorth / June 14, 2005 10:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Do try that.

Thanks for the help!

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Use Ethernet
by ChuckB0612 / June 17, 2005 5:24 AM PDT

I would get a NIC (network interface card) and install that into an available PCI slot in the computer. Or maybe you have an onboard ethernet port already in the back of the PC. Take a look.

I have just seen too many problems using USB with cable modems and Windows 98SE, you're much better off going ethernet.

I am going to assume that one end of the network cable plugs into your cable modem, then the other end of the cable connects to a little converter of sorts device and then the other end of that converter has a USB end to it which then plugs into the USB port on your computer.

You are much better unplugging the cable from this converter and plugging the cable directly to a RJ45 ethernet port on the back of your PC. Like I said earlier, if there isn't one onboard then buying a PCI ethernet card is very cheap ($10-$12). And you should be all set.

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by TNorth / June 19, 2005 1:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Use Ethernet

Thanks Chuck,

That's just what worked! I think that the USB and the cable moden just weren't working together well, but the Ethernet is great!


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try this possible simple fix
by ackmondual / June 18, 2005 9:50 AM PDT

It's been a long time since I've used win98SE

I've tried this with winXP pro, but it may apply to win98 as well:

-right click My COmputer and choose properties
-click the hardware tab
-click Device Manager
-expand the branch Universal Serial Bus Controller
-if u see an entry with the word PCI or Bridge, right click on that and choose properties
-if the status device is "not known" or "not working", try clicking on "update device". You may need a win98 CD to complete the last step

If there's a step that looks amiss, then it may be due to the difference in those 2 OSes, in which this guide may not work for you

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That was the confusing part
by TNorth / June 19, 2005 1:04 AM PDT

Yes, that was the confusing part - there was no indication that something was amiss with the USB in device manager. But using the ethernet seems to have solved it!


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Yes, RJ-45 network conector is better & ...
by Mendieta / June 18, 2005 2:48 PM PDT

Conecting DSL ADSL or Cable modems to RJ-45 Network Jack is the best you can do, But it would not solve your USB problem, what if you want to use a USB scanner or printer in that machine?.

Start your computer, enter the function key or key combination to get to the machine's BIOS, read your manual if you don't know how to do that, look all options till you see USB ports, don't change anything there but USB ports if disabled, if you make a mistake elsewhere, get out from bios "without saving" ant start again, if you do it wright, save & exit, your USB ports will be funtional again.

Note: If the CMOS battery of the machine is dying, that can be the cause of the BIOS change, most computers use CR-2032 button type batteries.

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Looks fine now
by TNorth / June 19, 2005 1:07 AM PDT


Thanks for the advice. I think the issue was a conflict between the USB and the cable modem. It is all working now after some poking around to reseat the USB card and installing an ethernet card for the cable connection.

Thanks so much for everyone's help and input - you have all been great and I'll definitely post again if I have any further issues!

Nice to have somwhere to turn for help!!



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usb port problem
by ALBADEN / March 9, 2007 4:02 AM PST

hi mate
my pc can not read the flash memory ALL TYPIES i have instoal flash memory drive.Error Killer program, but still my pc can not read.i think thre is a problem in a usb port before two weeks every thing was working normal.could you give me simple explanation how to fix this problem .

my system details

windo xp professional version 2002 servce pak 1
Intel Celeron D 351( 3,20 ghz) 1.18gb of RAM

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(NT) Why isn't SP2 on there?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 9, 2007 4:26 AM PST
In reply to: usb port problem
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Problem with USB port
by Andreja B. / July 24, 2007 6:46 AM PDT


I have a problem with my front (I hope I used the correct term; I'm an amateur :)) USB ports. When I plug in any USB 2.0 device, my computer freezes and the only way to get it working is to unplug the device. There aren't any problems if I plug in an USB 1.1 device. The USB ports at the back of my computer work normally too.
Oh, and another thing, the device plugged in the troublesome port is charging power.

This problem started when I installed the USB drivers. Before that, the ports were working properly, however with a lower speed (USB 1.1).

I have Windows XP Professional, SP 2.

I hope I provided enough information for you to help me. Thank you in advance!


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Very normal. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 24, 2007 7:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Problem with USB port

Many front ports use USB 1.1 wiring. Fix? Don't do that.

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Nothing can be done?
by Andreja B. / July 24, 2007 6:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Very normal. Why?

Well, but couldn't I get the ports working again? What should I do, uninstall the drivers or something? Or is it just that I can't use those ports for devices with USB 2.0 anymore and that's it? Cause it's really a pain using the back port for my mp3, for example.

Sorry if I'm being annoying Happy

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It's a well discussed subject.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 24, 2007 10:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Nothing can be done?

Research about front port usb wiring and issues. I'll give you the answer but unless you research you might not understand it.

Answer -> Most PCs came with simple wires from the front panel to the motherboard USB ports. At USB 1.1 speeds this was fine. USB 2.0 speed jumped from 11 megabit to 480 megabit and the wiring needed an upgrade. Most cheap cases didn't get such an upgrade.

As to the rear port inconvenience this is easy to solve with some USB 2.0 HUB or USB 2.0 extension cable.


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Thank you!
by Andreja B. / July 24, 2007 11:43 PM PDT

I think I understand now.

Buying an USB hub sounds like a good solution to me, so that's what I'll do. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you very much for your help!

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Here's one I own...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 25, 2007 12:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you!
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(NT) Thank you again.
by Andreja B. / July 25, 2007 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's one I own...
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