Win 7 USB issue - USB printer kills USB harddrive & explorer

March 21, 2012 at 11:34:10
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate, SP 1, Intel Atom N560 @1.66 GHz / 2GB
Win 7 USB issue - USB printer kills USB hard drive

Running Windows 7

Problem showed up about a month ago, POSSIBLY after a Windows update. (Not at all certain of that or WHY this is happening now and was not happening before.)

Using a USB external harddrive from Toshiba and an HP multifunction 2050 printer that connects via USB.

No problems until I power up the printer. Then, immediately, every time now, I lose access to the external hard drive. In fact, Windows Explorer is terribly stunted, terribly slow and locks up (quits responding) as I try to navigate to the hard drive -- or anywhere else for that matter. So actual issue may be between printer USB connection and Windows Explorer.

If I unplug the printer from the USB jack, Windows Explorer resumes normal operations after about 40 seconds and normal access to the hard drive returns.

Issue occurs with other USB hard drives I attach as well when I attach and turn on the HP printer.

I'm still thinking there must be a driver conflict or port-sharing issue (but do not know how to diagnose and repair the latter, if that is the case) but I could be completely wrong...

What I have done:

-- Thorough virus scanning.
-- Removed hard drive and printer in Device Manager and allowed them to reinstall.
-- Removed drivers and other HP software via Control Panel and reinstalled latest drivers and software.
-- Removed printer in Devices and Printers and then reinstalled.
-- Googled the issue and am finding people have had lots of problems with HP drivers on Windows 7 and Vista but not finding this exact issue...

Problem persists and is very frustrating.

What do you think is up and what should I do about it?

Thank you,

See More: Win 7 USB issue - USB printer kills USB harddrive & explorer

March 21, 2012 at 18:50:14
I may have resolved this. Seem to have, but it's only been a few minutes since I tested the solution.

Recalled that this problem began around the time I received a new 15-foot USB cable from China. It's quite thin and flimsy.

Decided to test by hooking up my old, standard quality USB cable.

No problems in the time since I hooked up the printer using the old cable. Can't believe all the hours and days I've spent due to this issue. Am pretty sure the answer is just that simple.... Bad cable.

Am going to leave the query posted here so if others experience something similar, they can try my solution. And.... if the solution doesn't hold, I'll come back and update.


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March 28, 2012 at 12:53:58
Has been a week now. Replacing printer cable resolved the crazily frustrating issue.

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