Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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USB Hardware Installation Problem

I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 Laptop and use Windows XP . Recently I have not been able to use any plug and play devices, ie mobile phone, camera, mass storage device. When I plug them into any usb port I get message saying "new hardware detected", then it starts Found New Hardware Installation, then I get a message saying "There was a problem installing this hardware. Data is Invalid".

This is what I have tried so far......

Downloaded Driver Detective and updated all my drivers.

Started pc in Safe Mode, gone to Device Manager and tried to unistall all USB controllers, though Device Manager wouldnt respond. I was told that doing this, then restarting pc in normal mode would make Windows search and install new USB controllers/drivers.

I have run Spyware Doctor, Adware, Spybot software which found nothing.

I have checked on Windows website for any updates.

I have phoned Dell (oh dear, warranty expired so they wont help),

I have done System restore, but as I am not sure when problem happened, I dont know when to restore it to!

I have asked for help on other forums too!

Please could anyone shed any light (in numpty idiots guide language).
Thank you!

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  • Kimpulsive Jan 14, 2009

    I have tried the solution from Angav - I gave permission to all as I couldn't work out what was supposed to be for what - under DeviceDesc it didnt say "Mobile Phone" or "Camera" or even "LG" or Fuji or anything as useful for an ameteur like me! This still didnt work...

    I tried the download recommended by Frcs68 but that hasn't worked either.

    I have yet to find my original Windows XP setup CD, but will be giving that one a go as soon as!

    Thanks for your ideas. Keep em coming as I am not there yet and have spent some 20 hours trying to fix this now!

    Am close to throwing PC out of the window. It wont fix it, but will make me feel better for a minute or so!

  • Kimpulsive Jan 16, 2009

    Right then, before I go down the route of reinstalling Windows, can you tell me if I am likely to "lose" anything? eg. Photos, Documents, Music etc.... am worried as I can't copy onto removeable data storage (being the initial problem!)

  • Kimpulsive Jan 18, 2009

    Well, thanks for all your help everyone. In the end, I did have to reinstall Windows. It scared me stupid (or was I stupid before?).

    As it is a Dell PC I didnt have discs, or need to download, I just did it from boot screen, by pressing Ctrl, F11. I didn't get the option of repairing either, which was a shame as I would have liked to try that first.

    Anyway, success! It took an age resetting up the pc, getting internet connection and wireless stuff sorted, and reinstalling some software that I wanted to keep, but my Laptop is running beautifully. I can't ever remember it being this quick, and of course I can now connect removeable media via USB!



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Try the following:

To fix the Error 13: Data is invalid problem, go to Start, Run... and type "REGEDT32.EXE" without the quotes to run the Registry Editor. Navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ENUM\PCI and you will see a number of keys of the form "VEN_xxxx", where xxxx are strings like "1102&DEV_0004&SUBSYS_00011103&REV_04".
Under each of these folders will be another folder with a long numerical name.
Open each folder and look for the "DeviceDesc" which matches the hardware you are trying to install.
HIGHLIGHT THE ENTRY "VEN_xxxx" for that device and select 'SECURITY'-'PERMISSIONS' FROM THE WINDOW TOP MENU and then tick "Allow" for "Full Control".
Close REGEDT32 and then continue with the installation of your device.
This wil lremove the Error 13: Data is invalid from your wnidows 2000 / 2K / XP system. Repeat this for each hardware device you get the Error 13: Data is invalid problem with.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009

  • angav Jan 14, 2009

    By the way, before doing anything to the registry set a recovery point at the system restore utility. Start -> Accesories -> Sistem Tools, good luck.


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Basially, what i learn from your problem that any removable media is not detected by your Dell laptop. You have tried all the things, now, just make one more try.
In my opinion, your windows are corrupt, hence they are not detecting any type of media. Please try to find the Windows XP setup CD ( Which may be there in your laptop kit when bought). If you have installed windows from pirated CD, get that one. Any CD will help.
Do it like this :
1. First un-install all the antivirus antispy and antimalware programs from your machine.
2. Put your winXP CD in CD rom drive and start the laptop. If WinXP setup starts, no issues. If not, then leave the CD there only and restart the machine. Then, go into setup by hitting delete key ( or the key which is shown as the first screen when laptop starts) when the first screen appears.
3. When you enter setup, select advanced settings and go to "boot device priority"
4. select first boot device as CD rom, save the changes and exit.
5. now the CD will your machine. when asked for, select you want to install winXP. After that option, the Setup will detect your existing version of installation, i.e. C:\windows. At this point of time, select R to repair the windows.
6. IMP : Dont select repair at the first option, it will not help. I repeat, first select you want to install XP. Thereafter select R at the next option.
7. Now windows will repair the current setup of windows. Please keep Windows CD ready with you and insert it when asked for.
8. After setup, the machine will start as normal one, and detect all the hardware including USB media etc.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009

  • Atul Bamne
    Atul Bamne Jan 18, 2009

    IF you follow the method above without any mistake, you will not lose anything. Programs, settings, documents, music, pictures will be right there where they were.

    Good Luck.


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Did you add or reformt the laptop? if not then
go to the following link and download the chipset and system utility.
the chipset shoudl enable the USB port controller.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009

  • Frank
    Frank Jan 15, 2009

    make sure the USB plug is tight, I had a problem similar to yours, after few hours, I found that the USB plug on the computer end is loose, and the whe you hold the cable one way, it will connect and moce th eother way it disconnect or can't detect.


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