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My e-machine computer won't acknowledge anything plugged into the USB ports all of a sudden. My printer was plugged in and my phone charger w/ the usb cables and was working fine, but now for some reason it stopped working. When I unplug or plug in the usb cable it doesn't make the sound on the computer like it is acknowledging it was just plugged in like it used to. It is a W series desktop, serial # XC67C40016464

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1 a damaged USB cable if you are having difficulty with a single device
which you've tried on a number of ports, or equally in this scenario the
connected device might be faulty. Try another known working USB cable
and/or device. You've probably taken this step already.

2 a Windows automatic update has been applied which is causing the
problem. Try and identify the culprit and uninstall it, or revert to a
previous system state at a time when the USB ports were all working using
System Restore. Backup any important data first.

3 You have some kind of virus or Trojan activity present on your system
which is disabling the services. Check the state of which Windows services
are enabled at start-up and also check which are active. Run a decent virus
scanner and spyware detection programs to try and eradicate the problem. I
don't know of any specific viruses that would do this but you never know
these days.

4 Your USB ports are for some reason not supplying power to external
devices - very unlikely that all ports would fail simultaneously though.

5 Something has changed in your PC's BIOS settings. Reset the BIOS
values to their default settings and try again (after making a note of any
key settings that will need to be re-applied). Power spikes can sometimes
cause the BIOS settings to become corrupt - as I know only too well from a
slightly alarming experience two weeks ago when I was in the middle of
recording a band with Cubase SX at a live event when the power went off and
back on again rather quickly because the lighting rig tripped the mains
power out momentarily. The PC wouldn't boot. A quick side panel removal
and BIOS reset thankfully brought the system back on line. My own fault. I
should have taken a UPS with me :-) More importantly, the attached Firewire
multi-channel sound card wasn't damaged.

6 You have a faulty board and it should be replaced. I think this
unlikely though unless a device that has been plugged in at some point has
shorted the 5v power supply and possibly blown a fusible link on the board -
most boards have some form of protection like this to prevent damage to
connected peripherals (very small and hard to spot unless you know exactly
which board component to look for and can be similar in appearance to one of
the tiny surface mounted resistors).

Try and see if any USB port will operate outside Windows perhaps by
attaching a bootable external hard drive or memory stick (USB drive) and
reviewing whether or not the device is detected at POST

Check your internal power connection to the board and make sure no pins have
worked loose from the multi-pin power plug which 'might' cause power not to
be present on your USB ports

Try booting the PC in Safe Mode and checking whether your USB device is
detected. This will probably be a bit hit and miss I'm afraid as Safe Mode
may cause the device not to be detected anyway depending on any specific
drivers being needed.

If you have a spare hard disk lying round that is big enough to take Windows
XP, you could perform a clean OS install on this and see what happens

As a last resort if you have any way of borrowing an identical board and
attaching all your drives etc.. to it, see if the problem still exists.
Obviously if the problem disappears it is more than likely to be a board
related issue, but not necessarily hardware based. It could still be BIOS
related and resetting or reflashing may cure the issue.

FWIW though, my gut feeling is that I suspect your problem is OS related
and/or driver related. XP SP2 can sometimes have unexpected effects on
hardware - something I have also experienced once or twice with a particular
Gigabyte board one of my clients has. If you have just updated to SP2, I
would say that it's almost certainly caused the problem you have and you
might need to update your BIOS to resolve the issue anyway.
hope one of these helps

Posted on Oct 29, 2010


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