USB devices aren't recognized. Icons no show in My Computer'

May 7, 2012 at 22:16:40
Specs: Windows XP
USB devices aren't recognized in XP
I've done the unplug from wall, checked Device Manager, etc...
Guessing it's a BIOS issue?

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May 8, 2012 at 03:20:24
If those same USB devices used to work without problem on that PC, it's unlikely to be a BIOS issue.

Also bear in mind, some USB devices need third party driver software installing before Windows will recognise them (eg Printer, Scanner, Cellphone, USB sound adapter, etc) if it's a device that WinXP has no built-in suitable driver for it.

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May 8, 2012 at 03:39:14

I've had this problem before and as I recall it would happen after a 'cleaning'. I believe it was during a registry cleaning. I had found the solution online but failed to keep it for a reference should this happen it just did.
The solution had something to do with removing files like ' HotKeys...'. I'm not really a techie but I can follow instruction. This ended up resolving my issue I just don't remember that procedure.

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May 8, 2012 at 04:52:55
You need to explain in more detail. Laptop or desktop? USB 1.x, 2.0 or 3.0? Which USB devices aren't being recognized - mouse & keyboard? External drives, printers, scanners? Cameras, MP3 player, flash drives? All of the above?

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May 8, 2012 at 15:25:46

Desktop, 2.0. One USB port that I have an extension on for 3 additional USB ports.
Bottom line, the sole USB port that functions for phone, mp3 player, camera, external hard drive...ALL are not recognized. ALL show NO icon in the 'My Computer' screen.
The solution before was something to the effect of deleting some HKEY's(?)
The problem (as previously stated) occured during the cleaning of temp files, registry, etc...which I perform weekly. For whatever reason something gets deleted that shouldn't.
I know I could try to go back to an earlier restore point but that's really not the solution I'm looking for (if it's even successful).

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May 8, 2012 at 23:05:07
Removing the VID entries from the registry will cause them to be re-detected at restart.

CAUTION: If you have a USB keyboard, mouse, scanners, and other things you know are working, do not remove the VID entry for these devices, otherwise, Windows may not restart correctly.

1. Click Start and click Run. Type regedit and click OK. The Registry Editor window will open.

2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB.

3. Highlight and delete all the VID_.... entries for usb devices that you cannot identify. Remember not to delete the entries mentioned above.

You may not have permission to delete keys, do the following.
Permissions may be set allowing the deletion of the VID_ entries by following the steps below:

a) Right-click the key to be deleted, and then click Permissions. The VID_... Permissions window will open.
b) With Everyone highlighted in the Group or User name section, select Full Control in the Permissions section.
c) Click Apply, and then click OK.

5. Restart your computer.

Step 4: Reconnect the USB device that was not previously working. Windows should automatically reinstall the drivers.

Please let us know if you found someone's advice to be helpful.

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May 9, 2012 at 09:09:52

Seems like this is PROBABLY the solution. Only problem being is how to decifer what is a keyboard, mouse, etc... that you mentioned NOT to delete.
I would've included a screenshot here but unfortunately there's no way to do so.

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May 9, 2012 at 16:17:56
The ONLY bios setting that has anything to do with your problem...

The USB controllers MUST be enabled in the bios. They are are by default.

Do you have a bootable disk such as an XP CD you can boot the computer from?

If yes, boot the computer from that. If a corded keyboard or mouse doesn't work with that, when plugged into a USB port physically built into the mboard on the back of the case, your computer has a hardware problem.

I'm assuming that if you have USB devices plugged into ports in the desktop case, or ports in a wiring adapter installed in a slot space on the back of the case that has a plate with USB ports, that they are connected properly to the pins on USB headers on the mboard.

Have you been fiddling with wiring connections to that / those USB headers ?

The correct way to wire them up is shown in the manual for the retail mboard model if you have a generic system. For a brand name system, you may need to refer to a manual for a retail mbord model made by the same mboard supplier at about the same time.
If you connect the wire for +5v to the ground pin for the +5v circuit by mistake, the USB port will NOT work and anything you plug into that mis-wired port will be DAMAGED instantly, at least it will be if the computer was running at the time. .

NOTE that some mboards - e.g. many Asus models - have one or more headers on the mboard that are for a single firewire port that have a header that is physically identical to that for two USB ports - 9 pins, 4 in one row, 5 in the other, a pin missing in the same corner. The plastic at the base of the two types of headers is usually a certain color depending on what it's used for.
If you connect the wiring for a firewire port to a header for two USB ports, or the wiring for one or two USB ports to a firewire header, whatever you plug into the mis-wired port, at least while the computer is running, will NOT work, it will be instantly damaged, the circuits for the port(s) will be damaged in a very short time, and the circuits of the mboard may be otherwise damaged in a short time.

Simple devices such as corded keyboards and mice should work when plugged into any USB port.

Drive letters / Icons for USB devices do NOT show up in My Computer unless Windows has detected the device properly, and they don't show up there for USB devices that have no data storage capability - e.g. keyboards, mice, printers, all in ones, cameras, scanners.

Cameras require that drivers, or at least one program for the camera which may include the camera drivers, be installed for the camera BEFORE they are first plugged in.

MP3 players and memory card readers MAY require that drivers be installed for it BEFORE it's first plugged in.

Drive letters / Icons for external hard drives
- will NOT show up.....
- if the USB port it is plugged into cannot actually supply 500 ma of current
- if hard drive has no data on it that Windows recognizes, or if it does have data on it but it's been damaged, which is COMMON.

- may NOT show up in any case......
- if the external hard drive is plugged into a USB port in an external USB hub,
- or into a USB port on the front of a desktop case

Troubleshooting USB device problems including for flash drives, external drives, external memory card readers.
See Response 1:

In addition to that info....

For some desktop mboards you can have problems when an external hard drive is plugged into one of a pair of USB ports on the back of the case that are connected to the same USB controller, if there is another device plugged into the other USB port for the pair, because the pair can't actually supply 500 ma per port - they can only supply 500 ma in total. Usually those pairs of ports are one above the other, not beside each other. If you have two devices plugged into such a pair of ports, try plugging one of them in elsewhere on the back of the computer.

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May 9, 2012 at 21:55:04
"Only problem being is how to decifer what is a keyboard, mouse, etc... that you mentioned NOT to delete."

If you can use a PS2 mouse and keyboard until you're done with the registry, you can delete all the entries. When you reboot (with your USB mouse/kb attached) windows will re-detect them along with any other USB devices.

The only other suggestion is to expand each VID node (folder) and hilite the each folder on the next level. In the pane on the right you should see a description of the device. It'll be safe to delete any that say "USB Mass Storage Device", "Generic USB Hub", "General Image Device", etc. Do not delete any keys related to input devices or keyboards.

Please let us know if you found someone's advice to be helpful.

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May 10, 2012 at 07:02:18
You could try re-loading the USB stack.

See the last part of response 3 in this:

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