PC Hardware forum

General discussion

USB ports failing or running reduced voltage?

by MuleHeadJoe / December 6, 2010 11:21 AM PST

This is a weird issue, and I don't rightly know if it's actually a hardware problem or some bizarre software (driver?) issue.

I've got an HP Pavilion (p6200z) about a year old and after some issues / difficulties with a bad software update followed by a corrupt restore, my USB ports are all behaving weirdly. Most USB gadgets that I use don't seem to have a problem, but others will no longer work when I plug them in ... first device I noticed having problems was a USB scale I use for my postage program ... it simply stopped being recognized. Then, I discovered that I can't recharge my Blackberry ... I get a message on the BB's screen saying something like 'insufficient voltage to charge this device'.

Nothing has physically changed on this machine, and this problem occured immediately after the corrupted / failed restore. All 6 USB ports have been affected in exactly the same way which is why I think it could be a driver issue (a short circuit or physical flaw should only affect ports on the same plane or bus, but I've got ports on the front and the back of the case). But when I try to update my USB drivers, the update simply fails.

The machine is completely usable in all other aspects, it just ticks me off that my USB ports are all in 'limp along' mode now, and I can't figure out what to do.

Any ideas?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: USB ports failing or running reduced voltage?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: USB ports failing or running reduced voltage?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re-install again
by Willy / December 7, 2010 12:08 AM PST

Voltages supplied by USB ports are limited in actually its the amps that do the work. If you've USB powered devices, this is where the issue arises. If you have USB device that is AC powered but USB data connected it maybe apparent then. At the same time if some USB glitch or voltage hit has stuck the USB port or hub itself, then only real low powered or better yet, simple USB device may work. If you deem that the recovery process is corrupted and/or it started at that point, then save any important data and retry again. Quite frankly, get your hands on a good restore/recovery disc, etc., wipe out the HD and re-install the OS, etc., and hope for the best. If the problem goes away after a clean install, etc., then it was bad OS, drivers, etc. and NOT h/w based. I exclude where to get good restore/recovery discs, etc., but its best to restart from square one in these cases. Contact HP for such discs, if they have them and its relatively inexpensive to order them.

tada -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
Link, comment.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 7, 2010 6:26 AM PST
Collapse -
Norton isn't involved
by MuleHeadJoe / December 7, 2010 11:20 AM PST
In reply to: Link, comment.

Your link is for the correct model, running 64bit Win7. I don't have any Norton on the box. The failed restore was a bog standard Windows System Restore.

The story goes like this: I installed a trial of a secure shredder program that had a background process that supposedly performed secure deletes for all deletes. I think that program chose to delete something during an automatic Windows Update. The Windows Update failed, causing some bizarre problems, so I tried to restore back to a previous save. The restore failed, returning the box to an unusable state. I attempted multiple restores, going back to an earlier save each time. It was after I terminated & deleted the secure shredder program that I was eventually able to restore the machine (had to go back about 6 or 7 iterations), but ever since then the USB ports have not worked properly. All drivers are already current according to HP's automatic update program.

Here's a specific example of the behavior: I plug in a USB RF receiver for my wireless mouse (which worked fine before the above event, and has not worked since ... I had to replace it with a PS2 mouse). The device is recognized by Windows and it attempts to install it ... but an box pops up saying that there was an error attempting to install the device: "Windows found driver software for your device but encountered an error while attempting to install it", followed by "The system cannot find the file specified".

The message does not name or otherwise clearly identify the actual file that appears to be missing. The device description is "Microsoft Hardware USB Wireless Mouse". The only driver for this that I can find from Microsoft is part of the Microsoft Intellimouse kit, and you have to install the entire package, not just a single driver. I've (re)installed the original Intellimouse software, then downloaded & installed the most current version of Intellimouse software, but nothing has changed with regards to the system behavior.

Collapse -
Remants
by Willy / December 8, 2010 1:38 AM PST
In reply to: Norton isn't involved

Have you tried back to square one, an OS restore, not use of a restore point? Sometimes, its best to go and wipe out all in order to remove any possible link that the old restore points may have or don't touch on. It seems this is the choice you're left with. That trial s/w may have done damage that somehow remains to cause grief even though removed.

tada -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
I can't bring myself to do the dirty deed ...
by MuleHeadJoe / December 13, 2010 1:15 PM PST
In reply to: Remants

Reinstall the OS, that is ... I've got over a year's worth of apps & games loaded on this box. It's not "data loss" that concerns me, it's that reinstalling the dozens of different applications and games et cetera will be a humongous pain in the butt. I hate reinstalling apps.

Collapse -
Then treat it like a new Windows install.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 14, 2010 2:09 AM PST

And go get the drivers for the motherboard and install those.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.