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201 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 78166 28-Feb-2011 23:01 Send private message

My USB Host has decided to take a break. I have no explanation for this.

System configuration:
OS: Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
CPU: AMD Phenom II x3 710 with Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO Rev 2
Motherboard: ASRock N68-UCC
RAM: 4 GB Hynix 1333
VGA: XFX HD5770
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro Modular 600W
Media: LG DVD-RW
Removable drive bay: Vantec EZ-Swap3
Card reader: Silverstone FS34
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint f3

It was running just fine for a few months, but I my issue was that the motherboard didn't have enough USB headers for my needs. It had 4 USB ports in the back, and just 2 pairs of internal headers. My case had 2 USB ports on the front panel, plus the card reader required at least 4 headers more (4 USB ports, and a variety of card slots, you know the deal). I bought a 4-port USB2.0 PCI card which also had a USB header and an internal USB port. The front panel USB ports were hooked up to the mobo header (USB 7-8), the card reader's card slots were connected to the other pair on the mobo (USB 5-6), and the card reader's USB was connected to the PCI card headers. All worked just fine, no problems. Problems started unexpectedly over the weekend. I have no idea what happened, but the outcome is:
1) The internal USB headers seem to be dead. Irrespective of what I connect to them (case front panel, card reader slots, or card reader USB ports), they show no sign of life. A USB device with LED plugged into either of these ports doesn't even have the LED on.
2) The rear panel USB ports are alive, but are now functioning as USB 1.1. In fact, my Windows 7 tells me I have no USB 2.0 ports at all on my computer.

What I've tried:
1) Remove all USB hubs, restart PC. Nothing.
2) Uninstall USB controllers (Standard OpenHCD and Enhanced PCI to USB). It's a bit tricky because of the USB keyboard/mouse, but they reinstall themselves straight way, and it didn't do any good anyway.
3) Disable USB2.0 support in BIOS, restart, then restart again and enable USB2.0 support. Nothing.
4) Clear CMOS. Got it cleared, but still nothing.

I have absolutely no idea what to do next. None. Help, anyone?Cry




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  Reply # 444397 1-Mar-2011 12:07 Send private message

I'd grab one of the Linux distributions that you can boot from a CD, boot up with that and see what state the USB ports are in. This should at least isolate if it is a hardware or software problem.



201 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 444398 1-Mar-2011 12:13 Send private message

Good point. I'll do that.
In the mean time, I've disabled USB controller in BIOS, rebooted, couldn't log in (no mouse or keyboard without USB), rebooted again, cleared CMOS to enable USB controller (couldn't access BIOS without a keyboard) - still nothing.

Could it be a PSU problem? If the 5V rail was not supplying enough amps (for whatever reason), would it reduce USB2.0 to USB1.1 and disable others?




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  Reply # 444560 1-Mar-2011 20:06 Send private message

Motherboard USB ports are fused. There is 1 fuse for a group of ports, often in the line of 5A or so. However good motherboard have self resetting fuses (maybe all have). This will not limit you to 1.1, but a blown pull-up or pull-down resistor can. Also a USB1.1 device plugged into a USB2 hub might limit the whole hub. Try unplugging all USB devices and use a new/different keyboard. Then if it is not a corrupt OS I'm confident your motherboard is damaged.




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201 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 444626 1-Mar-2011 22:36 Send private message

Niel: Motherboard USB ports are fused. There is 1 fuse for a group of ports, often in the line of 5A or so. However good motherboard have self resetting fuses (maybe all have). This will not limit you to 1.1, but a blown pull-up or pull-down resistor can. Also a USB1.1 device plugged into a USB2 hub might limit the whole hub. Try unplugging all USB devices and use a new/different keyboard. Then if it is not a corrupt OS I'm confident your motherboard is damaged.


All good ideas, will give it a go tomorrow.
When I think of it, the last thing I did with the USB ports before noticing something has gone wrong was use a Sierra Wireless USB modem in the front panel ports. That would have been the first time I've used it on this machine, so it went through the true-install from the modem's on-board memory. Could be that the OS got corrupted at that stage, but the modem did work with a problem, so not sure at all...




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201 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 445017 2-Mar-2011 23:07 Send private message

Argh, creating a live Fedora USB is not working either. Booting from it returns "missing operating system". It'll have to wait till the weekend, I'll probably unplug the hdd and put a blank on in the EZ-swap and install XP on it to see if I can access USB ports from it. What a pain.




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144 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 445035 3-Mar-2011 00:25 Send private message

If you haven't already try disconnecting the power completely from the system (as in unplug the cable), and then holding down the power button for a few seconds to discharge any power supply capacitors (you might here a couple of clicks from the PSU).

Then power up again and see if this helps.

On some PCs the USB subsystem is always powered, even if the system is shut down. Only removing the power completely and discharging the PSU allows the USB system to totally reset itself. Spent hours trying to sort out a USB problem on a PC at work, thought I'd killed the controller until I tried this trick...



201 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 445244 3-Mar-2011 18:12 Send private message

Antzzz: If you haven't already try disconnecting the power completely from the system (as in unplug the cable), and then holding down the power button for a few seconds to discharge any power supply capacitors (you might here a couple of clicks from the PSU).


That was a very good suggestion, thanks. After trying that, I've rebooted the rig, and it made no effect at all, so I thought I'd uninstall the Enhanced USB Host Controller and see if it does anything. Until now, it would just reinstall itself straight away. This time, however, it didn't. OpenHCD is still there and working fine, so my mouse and keyboard are working, but the Enhanced USB Host Controller is gone and not coming back. Now this is telling me that the machine is permanently stuck in USB1.1 mode, and doesn't even understand that it has USB2.0 capability. In fact, that's probably why the front panel ports and the card reader ports don't work - they are probably not reverse-compatible with USB1.1
So now the question is - can I restore that USB2.0 capability somehow?!

Correction. I've just ran "Scan for hardware changes" and now the Enhanced USB Host Controller is back. So it does sense that it has USB2.0, but it's not using it. Bugger.




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  Reply # 445352 3-Mar-2011 23:46 Send private message

No idea. Not uncommon for faulty devices to show up /disappear from device manager when they feel like it.

As already mentioned, boot ubuntu, puppy or something from CDR sounds the best way to eliminate the configuration. If that is a problem, here's a few worth-a-shot things not yet mentioned you could try:

(in no order)


  • Boot a couple of times without the USB PCI card

  • Install the latest nForce chipset driver package

  • Install ASRocks xfast usb utility

  • Consider restoring a registry backup prior to that sierra modem install (maybe the driver applies a nasty hack to the usb)




201 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 445667 4-Mar-2011 21:39 Send private message

gzt: No idea. Not uncommon for faulty devices to show up /disappear from device manager when they feel like it.

As already mentioned, boot ubuntu, puppy or something from CDR sounds the best way to eliminate the configuration. If that is a problem, here's a few worth-a-shot things not yet mentioned you could try:
(in no order)
Boot a couple of times without the USB PCI card

That was the first thing I tried. :( no luck
Install the latest nForce chipset driver package

Yip, tried that too - nothing.
Install ASRocks xfast usb utility

Good idea - haven't tried it yet
Consider restoring a registry backup prior to that sierra modem install (maybe the driver applies a nasty hack to the usb)

Don't have one. :( In the mean time I've reinstalled Win7. Didn't do a thing. I'll try xfast, and if it doesn't do it - this mobo is going back to the store.




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201 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 450902 22-Mar-2011 19:58 Send private message





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