Dell forum

General discussion

Why would all USB ports on DELL Dimension E521 stop working?

by scalywag66 / January 20, 2011 6:57 AM PST

As you may know already, the E521 has no PS/2 ports onboard and has pretty much rendered the machine an expensive paperweight since the USB ports have all ceased to operate. A lil bit of the machine can be found here

In any event, so yesterday I was replying to an email typing away just fine when all of a sudden the keyboard stopped working and Windows began to make the alert sounds it makes when you insert or remove a USB device for like 8-10 seconds straight. A message from Windows Vista popped up then that I failed to read exactly what it said since i was eying the ports and caught the last second of error message as i looked back up at the screen before the message faded away.

It said something to the effect of "the ports cannot work fast enough 'something something 2.0" or that it "can perfom faster 'something something' 2.0"

Next thing I know I try to click the message bubble in the windows taskbar to read it again but the mouse wouldn't move. Then I try to navigate using the keyboard and it didn't respond neither but i noticed all the light on keyboard(scroll lock - num lock - caps lock) were on and flashing off every 6 seconds. Since I have a plethora of mice & keyboards, I began to switch em out and would get the same result, power to the devices but no activity on screen. I thought it might've been the devices and connected them to my other 3 machines and they worked fine and dandy. Put them back on the E521 and they're dead.

I've searched online the symptons and apparently it's a common issue amongst owners on this model and have seem the finger being pointed the most at the motherboard. Attempts to follow suggestions from people like "remove battery & reset set CMOC" or "change 'such & such' setting in the BIOS" is futile because even during the boot phase, they keyboard still wont work despite me pressing F2 or F12. I have no idea how to use the machine since PS/2 ports were ingeniously left out. Thanks a lot, Dell...

So if the machine is waste now, I guess I have to accept it, but I want to know why would the USB hubs stop working. Is it a motherboard malfunction, the hub itself, maybe windows, what would cause it to cease operating?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Why would all USB ports on DELL Dimension E521 stop working?
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: Why would all USB ports on DELL Dimension E521 stop working?
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 -
The short answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2011 6:47 PM PST

Some chip on the motherboard failed.

Do try what others mentioned.

And in parting, your files are likely ok. I put the old HDD into some USB case when folk forget to backup.

Collapse -
USB ports stop working
by ataz2011 / January 25, 2011 4:01 AM PST

I found this information about your E521. May 27, 2010 at 06:50:33 Pacific

From what I've read, the original Dell keyboard that came with the E521 will work to access the BIOS, provided it's connected to the upper left USB port (when viewing the tower from the rear). Updating the BIOS to the latest version (1.1.11) will fix the USB problem, then any old USB keyboard will work.

Collapse -
Here's how I fixed non responding USB ports
by aaronwpi / June 23, 2011 12:39 PM PDT
In reply to: USB ports stop working

DIdn't see any fixes for this online so I figured I'd reply with how I resolved the issue.

One of my customers reported the USB ports stopped working in the OS (Win7) on his E521. He was on BIOS revision 1.1.6. It seems that 1.1.11 fixes problems with USB ports. In order to load the BIOS you need working USB ports, right?

Simply get a spare SATA HDD that you can load a new OS on. I loaded a 40GB drive with XP SP2 from the DELL CD I had. Once the OS was loaded the USB ports worked long enough for me to put the BIOS on a USB flash drive and load it on the system.

Once the BIOS was flashed, I shutdown and swapped back in the WIndows 7 HDD and voila the USB ports came alive again!

- Aaron

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Samsung Galaxy S8's major makeover

This year's flagship phone gets a sexy new design and Bixby, a house-made digital assistant.