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2,847 Tutorials

How to troubleshoot USB devices

Banish those USB blues

3. Motherboards from 2002 or earlier often have a mixture of USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports. The latter will be connected not to the board’s chipset but to a separate controller. If this applies to you, update the controller’s driver. For the very common VIA VT6202 (a known troublemaker), head to tinyurl.com/7htbs.

Step 3

Step 3

4. If your motherboard has a mix of USB ports, ensure you know which ones are which. Maybe you’re being unwittingly short-changed on speed. Often, the ports on the board’s I/O panel will be USB 1.1, with USB 2.0 being provided only via ports front-mounted on your case. Again, check your manual to see what’s what.

Step 4

Step 4

5. On the subject of speed, have you inspected your cables lately? Printers and scanners often come without them, as a result of which many people just use ones they’ve got lying around. Kinked or squashed cables – or ones only designed for USB 1.1 – can cause slow transfer rates and even data corruption.

Step 5

Step 5

6. If a USB device intermittently stops working, it’s possible that Windows incorrectly thinks the device has become inactive. To stop this, open Device Manager, double-click each USB hub in turn and, under Power Management, untick ‘Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.’

Step 6

Step 6

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