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USB port woes

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Allene, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I have two flash drives that work fine in my little notebook running Windows 7. They aren't showing up in my Dell laptop. I went to Device Manager and found the yellow triangle with the exclamation point at USB Mass Storage Device. When I clicked on it, I got the following:

    I deleted the USB Mass Storage Device line and tried to use it again, but it still won't work.

    I recently moved to Windows 10, but I recall seeing an occasional pop-up on my desktop about a problem with that USB port. It still worked, and the pop-up disappeared as fast as it came on, so I didn't know what to do then. That preceded the move from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.

    Short of resetting my machine, is there something less radical that'll work? The two flash drives are an older Mushkin Enhanced (32 GB) and a new Corsair Flash Voyager Slider XI (256 GB).

    My Dell laptop has three USB ports. The two on the left are occupied (wireless keyboard and wireless mouse). There's only one on the right, and that's the one with problems. Thanks for any help you can give me.
  2. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I wore out my laptop's USB ports by my sojourn to Santa Fe, spent 5 months there, back to L.A. where I lived almost 2 years in a RV park, continually plugging and unplugging my scanner, printer and other devices, including USB HDDs and thumb drives.

    I'm not saying this is your problem, but it could be. I've had my laptop now about 3 years... The USB ports are flaky after repeated insertions... (evil thoughts)...

    I finally replaced my perfectly good working printer and scanner with a WiFi printer/scanner combo and don't use my USB ports any more.

    It's something to consider.
  3. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Thanks, Greg. I wondered myself if that was the problem. I certainly used that port a lot. I already have a Wi-Fi printer and scanner. I think I'll try the the flash drives in the port that I use for the wireless keyboard. I have that board on a tray below my desk. It's more comfortable for me to work that way. Doing without it long enough to download to the flash drive won't be a problem.
  4. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    That's good analytic thinking, and if it works you can jack in a small USB hub and wear that out for a while.

    Beware that it's not uncommon for laptops to have an assortment of slow and fast USB connections. Refer to your owner's manual for which are which.
  5. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  6. Allene

    Allene Registered User

  7. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Have you considered using a USB Hub on one of your "good" ports?

    This will give you 4-8 ports to use. This was one of the things USB was designed for, daisy-chaining ports and devices.

    My suggestion is, get an external-powered hub, so all the devices won't drain the power of that one port. Definitely do not go cheap here either. Avoid the $5 hubs you can find at the discount stores. Going with a name-brand device that's a bit more expensive now will save money in the long run, as you will replace the cheap ones 2-4 times for the good name-brand models.
  8. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Additionally, you can buy WiFi USB hubs, commonly used to host non-WiFi printers and HDDs. I have one that worked fairly well, until I decommissioned it. (These days I have an entire room dedicated to office, lab, data center, and ample connectivity without additional devices.)

    My router has 2 USB ports, and I have five NAS each with a USB port. I don't need any of the ports since eventually I bought a nice WiFi HP printer/scanner which eliminated the need to connect USB devices to my laptop.
  9. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Thanks, everyone. I'm still sitting on it all.
  10. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Always remember, when all else fails. :D

  11. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Yeah, but then I'd have to pay for a new laptop myself! I've been really busy lately, and I can live more easily with a messed-up USB port than I can with a messed up laptop if I try to do something new when I'm tired and distracted--so more sitting on it for the time being! ;)
  12. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    A WiFi USB port can be very handy particularly if you want the USB device to be located across the room or in a different part of the house.

    Reminds me, I have a spare WiFi USB port and a P-Touch tape printer across the room. Looks like a tech project soon! :)
  13. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Have fun! :)

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