USB hubs dont work

Custom / CUSTOM
January 25, 2010 at 09:37:20
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.401 GHz / 2047 MB
Getting tired of this problem now. I had a USB hub, 4-ports and NOT powered by adapter. When I used that one, sometimes the machine does not find the connected USB devices on startup. All light work. Sometimes he starts up OK, then just loses connection without any reason, one or 2 minutes later it comes back.

So, I got a USB hub now, but one powered with an adapter. I connect all, all lights lit up ... machine hangs on startup (during discovery of USB devices).

I have 5 USB plugs on my PC, changed to each of them : all the same problem.

So, what does work ? If I connect each of the USB devices I have (keyboard, mouse, printer, memory, HD) to any of those USB connectors on the PC, there is no issue at all.

What is going on ?

I also had this problem : ( solution there : my USB floppy drive does not work when other USB's are connected, this is a direct connect, no hub)

See More: USB hubs dont work

January 25, 2010 at 13:41:11
I'd try a live Barts or linux cd to see if it works. Can't tell if it is software or hardware just yet.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

Report •

January 25, 2010 at 14:06:22
But if it is a software error, it's not related to Windows, since I don't even get into the boot-menu, BEFORE the issue is already spotted. I do have Linux in multi-boot, but I guess that the issue is exactly the same if I boot into Linux ...

Report •

January 25, 2010 at 15:35:27
It seems to be a motherboard issue with some series of ASUS motherboards. All may work OK, but when you plug/unplug USB's in ... hot mode (with all connected) the motherboard seems to get really confused, doesn't know what to do, and sends no power to any USB bus. It thinks it needs to hibernate, or so. Both Asus and MS seem to have a hack for it, both are small registry changes (although the issue is on the motherboard), the fix from MS (KB 817900) proposes to set "DisableSelectiveSuspend" to a value of 1. More ref.

I'm going to try MS fix 50052, as stated in the KB mentioned earlier.

Report •

Related Solutions

January 25, 2010 at 19:45:18
Simply put, USB hubs DO NOT work with all USB devices - they never did, and they never will !
By hub I mean the kind that has multiple ports that plugs into only one USB port, or that is wired up to only the pins for one USB port on a mboard header. External hubs you plug into only one port ARE that type of hub. Ports built into the front of a desktop tower case higher up MAY be that kind of hub. Additional USB ports in a printer or a keyboard or a scanner, etc., ARE that type of hub.
More things work with "powered" hubs that have an external power adapter connected to them so all ports can have up to 500ma each (usually they can't actually do that), but still, those do not work with everything.

Front USB ports on a desktop case, the ones that are lower down on a tower, are almost always individually wired to the pins for a port on the mboard - they are not in a hub of that type in that case. A port physically built into the mboard or a PCI controller card that is one of a pair that connects directly to a USB controller is not in that type of hub.

They stopped making PCI USB hub cards a long time ago, probably for that very reason!
All the ones you can get now are USB 2.0 Controller cards.

USB devices may not work correctly when they're connected to certain USB ports e.g. ports in a hub or on the front of a desktop case. If you have a desktop computer, you may have an IRQ sharing problem you need to fix, or your power supply may be starting to fail.
See response 3 in this:

Also - if you are using a USB extension cable, some of them have inadequate wiring and will not work properly with some USB devices.

The maximum amount of USB devices will work in ports that are built into the mboard, or in the ports built into the USB ports on a PCI USB 2.0 controller card.

For a desktop computer, USB ports that are connected to USB headers work fine with nearly everything too, IF the wiring between the header and the port is adequate - sometimes it is NOT.

If something won't work despite that, if you have a desktop computer, you may have an IRQ sharing problem you need to fix (see above).

If you don't have enough ports directly connected to the mboard, if you want the maximum of the USB devices to work....

- for a desktop computer, if you still have USB headers on the mboard you aren't using, get a 2 or 4 ports in a plate USB wiring adapter you install in a spare card slot , but be aware that some have inadequate wiring! The cables should have obvious wire shielding. If it has a one piece (e.g. 9 pin holes in a two row 5 each side connector) or two piece female connectors (e.g. a 4 in a row and a 5 in a row connector, or two 4 in a row) on the wiring, make sure it will work with the USB header on the mboard -that was never standardized - see the mboard manual, and the description of how the female connectors are wired. (Asus mboard USB headers work with the most common wiring adapter connectors - some other brands do not).

NOTE - if your mboard, e.g. Asus, has a firewire header, it's pin arrangement may be identical to that for a pair of USB ports! (it is for Asus mboards). Connecting USB ports to a firewire header or visa versa will fry whatever you plug into the mis-wired ports and damage the firewire or USB circuits in a very short time!

- for a desktop computer, get a PCI USB 2.0 controller card - 2 to 6 ports, up to 4 external, 2 internal, per card - but don't plug it into the last PCI closest to the center of the mboard - that slot shares it's IRQ with the video, and only PCI video cards are likely to work properly in it

- for a laptop computer, get a PCMCIA (PC Card) USB 2.0 controller card, or an ExpressCard USB 2.0 controller card - 2 to 4 ports per card - however, according to info I found they may have only 500ma available in total for all the ports on them, unless they also have a jack you can connect an external power adapter to (they don't normally come with the adapter).

When someone is having a problem accessing the data on a flash drive, external drive, or memory card, either
- the drive does not show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer
- or - it does show up but you can't access it's data properly ....

The flash drive (or external drive, or memory card reader) must be plugged into a port it will actually work in.

How to tell if the flash drive (or external drive, or memory card reader) is properly recognized as a hardware device, even if you can't access it's data.
Programs you can try to recover your data, if that's okay.

The most frequent reason people can no longer access the data on a USB flash drive, USB External drive, or a memory card

See Response 2:

External USB drives are a special case.
They frequently will not work when plugged into a hub, even if they can get 500ma from the port.

If you have an external drive, they must be able to get 500ma from the USB port(s) they plug into.

For an external drive that has a 3.5" drive in it, it's larger, it always comes with a power adapter, and...

The external drive MUST have the power adapter plugged into it's case and the power adapter must be powered and be working properly (it's common for people to damage the cord to the case because they pulled on the cord rather than the plug while unplugging it), AND the USB port you have it plugged into MUST be able to supply the standard max USB spec 500ma.

For an external drive that has a 2.5" drive inside of it, e.g. a "portable" drive, it's smaller, it does not normally come with a power adapter, it normally gets all it's power from the USB connection, and...

Some such external drives must be connected to TWO USB ports on the computer end, one of which can supply 500ma, or the total current available from the two ports can supply must be at least 500ma, or to one USB port and also have an external power adapter connected to a optional jack that's on the external case, in order for the drive to be recognized properly.
Some such drives come with two cords, for connecting to up to 2 USB ports on the computer end, or a Y cord that has a small USB connector on the external case end, two normal sized USB connectors for connecting to up to 2 USB ports on the computer end.
For some external enclosures, e.g. Vantec , and pre packaged enternal drives - one of the 2 USB connectors on the computer end is pass-through - other USB devices can be connected to it.

"my USB floppy drive does not work when other USB's are connected"

- if you are connecting to a desktop computer, you may have an IRQ sharing problem you need to fix
- you may need to re-load the USB stack
For both, see my first link above.

- rarely, one USB device can conflict with another one, for reasons that are a mystery to me (they use some same I/O address??). Sometimes you can do something about that, sometimes there is no cure.
e.g. I have a Logitech "combo" mouse that does that, only when one other USB device is connected (a controller for a flight simulator program you connect a real RC model plane flight controller to). If the two devices are connected, either one works, or the other, not both. They don't conflict with anything else USB I have. E.g. the mouse blinks it's led repeatedly while booting, which it does not normally do, but it works, the other thing won't work - or the other thing works but not the mouse.

There is no problem when I connect the mouse via it's USB to PS/2 adapter too a PS/2 port.
A "combo" mouse or keyboard is designed and wired up to work with two types of connections - usually these days that's USB abd PS/2 connections - the adapter that comes with them, or a generic adapter, will not work with amouse or keyboard that is not a combo mouse. An adapter for a"combo" mouse, often green, will often not work with a "combo" keyboard, and an adapter for a "combo" keyboard, often purple, will often not work with a "combo" mouse, because the proper wiring is not there within the adapter.

Report •

January 25, 2010 at 21:11:29
It sounds like you are connecting USB keyboard and USB mouse through the hub (that might be an issue), I would recommend putting these directly to rear USB ports directly on the motherboard, and if possible, devices like printers also if they are never moved/removed and if you have enough rear ports. I would use a hub off one of the remaining rear ports (preferably not a front one) for most other devices, saving the front USB port for cameras and flash drives and such.
I don't know for sure if this will help, but it might (it's how I have always allocated my ports)

Report •

January 26, 2010 at 08:17:21
Need to have a look at Response nr. 4

I can say that, with the Windows registry fix applied, it seems to work nicely in Windows, but NOT during boot (no keyboard active, until Windows started up)

Fingers: I'm using a hub for the ease of working ... it's much easier to all plug into a hub, than a series of 5 or so cables, all running to the computer.

Report •

January 26, 2010 at 11:23:28
" seems to work nicely in Windows, but NOT during boot (no keyboard active, until Windows started up)"

If you had a keyboard (or mouse) of one connection type connected, then you shut down Windows, and then connected one with another type of connection, e.g. a wireless module for a wireless one (or a USB mouse if you had a PS/2 or serial one connected previously ), the keyboard (or mouse) will often not work during booting the first time (e.g. for the Logon screen) until Windows has started to load, finds the device, and loads the drivers for it - after that, if the keyboard (or mouse) then works in Windows, if the keyboard (or mouse) used is not changed, the keyboard (or mouse) works fine during the boot too.

A PS/2 connected mouse or keyboard is found automatically while booting, and works during the boot.
A serial mouse or USB mouse is not found until Windows is loaded, if another type of mouse was previously connected and there are no drivers loaded for the type of connected mouse in Device Manager.
A corded USB keyboard should be found automatically while booting, and work during the boot.

In order to get into the bios while booting, a USB connected keyboard requires that the setting Legacy USB or USB keyboard or similar be enabled in the bios (and that the USB controllers are enabled in the bios) in order to access the bios. That is enabled by default in bioses for newer mboard - it often is not enabled by default in older mboard's bioses.
A PS/2 keyboard will always get you into the bios Setup.

Report •

January 28, 2010 at 09:20:58
I've connected my keyboard and mouse directly to my computer, all other USB devices go through the hub ... that seems to work. If I connect all to the hub, my keyboard does not work during boot (which means I cannot use my boot-menu), nor any other BIOS option.

Report •

January 29, 2010 at 08:02:51
About what I thought, the USB ports on your motherboard are fully active during boot, but the hub is not recognized during boot and in the BIOS. You might prefer the other method, but keeping the keyboard and mouse directly plugged into your motherboard is probably the best way to go. Everything else won't matter since you won't be using them until you are in windows (except possibly a bootable USB hard drive).

Report •

January 31, 2010 at 08:04:11
I'm also seeing problems now with BIOS ... it just hangs when booting - didn't add or remove any USB device ... I'll update my BIOS version (it's still default release)

I also thought, on twice occasions now, that my computer wakes up on USB activity !? My USB hub is powered on the same box as other electrical devices. I started such an electrical device, and my computer powered on ...

Report •

January 31, 2010 at 09:21:35

If it worked fine before there's NOTHING wrong with it!

Bioses DO NOT spontaneously go bad!!

Flashing the bios IS NOT a cure-all !

If you've been fiddling with bios settings, set the bios to defaults, Save settings.

If you DID flash the bios, you MUST load bios defaults if you changed the version, because flashing usually does NOT do that.

Were you fiddling with connections or components inside the case since the the computer last booted properly?

Did you check out your power supply?
Check it's voltages and whether it's fan is spinning.
See response 4 in this:

Report •

February 1, 2010 at 13:02:34
I didn't update my BIOS yet, the site itself also says to NOT update, unless you have an issue. I've downloaded some software, but didn't upgrade yet.

I've opened my case a couple of months ago, but I had problems with USB connections for as long as ... I am using a lot of USB connectors. When I only use keyboard and mice, there is no issue. All problems start with using a hub, which I am using for years now. The problem with the old hub was, that power on the hub disappeared completely, in the middle of computer running. That was the hub WITHOUT power supply. In fact, to resolve that problem, I now have a hub WITH power supply, but different problems ...

And I actually have a wake on ... power, now. I have a heater, which is connected to the same power box as my computer AND my hub, and when I power on the heater, my computer starts up. No kidding. The hub is always powered on.

I'll check the voltage, there is some BIOS features showing some of that info (CPU temperature I am sure of, voltage as well I guess), but there also is Windows Asus software, which tells me so. I'll check.

Report •

February 1, 2010 at 13:48:21
READ and HEED Response 4 !

It's extremely unlikely your problems have anything to do with it being an Asus mboard ! If it did, there would be info about that in the bios update release notes.

The mboard support for the USB ports is built into the bios code - other than that, there is no software.
Windows already has the standard USB drivers for USB 1.1 no matter what, and for USB 2.0, IF the main chipset drivers have been loaded, and IF XP has at least SP1 updates installed.

Report •

February 1, 2010 at 14:04:09
I sort of read update nr. 4, but it's confusing me now, I have this feeling that it will be a miracle if it works. I mean, the whole USB architecture, is basically not that plug and play, is it ? How do you check "good" and "bad" ports ?

(this one : ?? ?? )

Shouldn't we go back to using serial cables for printers, and ps2 cables for keyboards etc. ... I remember that they did work back then. I mean, if each USB device I have to put into 1 USB connector in the machine ... what's the f___ing point then ? Next step may be to go and buy these USB add-on things, or whatever they are called ...

IRQ conflict ? Isn't there 256 channels or so available, for USB ? I thought USB does not use IRQ ... in fact, USB was invented to get rid of the IRQ limitations, no ?

Well, I can tell you it's all not working, I now have to UNplug my USB, to be able to boot.

Check mboard:
VCORE at 1,312V
3,3V at 3,312V
5V at 5,068V
12V at 12,196V
CPU at 40,5 degrees C
MB at 28 degrees C
CPU fan at 1654 RPM's
and PS fan is turning as well

Report •

February 1, 2010 at 20:15:16
There is more than enough info in Response for for you to solve your USB problems.

A bit more detail ....

From what I've seen, usually even if a mutiple port hub that plugs into one directly connected to the mboard port has an external power adapter, it isn't supplying enough current for all of the ports to support 500ma each when they all have something plugged into them. Current availability isn't the only consideration - some USB devices just will not work properly in that kind of hub, "powered" or not.

You haven't said specifically but it sounds like this is a desktop computer.

The front ports lower down on a desktop case sometimes DO NOT have adequate wiring between them and the mboard header they plug into - some USB devices work properly, others will not. I've got such desktop case front ports on one of my computers, I know a friend who has the same situation on his case, and I've heard from others on this site that had the same problem.

Some desktop cases also have USB ports higher up on the case - some connect each USB port properly to the pins for one USB port on the mboard header - the proper way - the ports will work fine with everything IF the wiring is adequate - some are two or more ports that connect through hub circuits there to only one USB port on the mboard header - the ports won't work with everything . Either of those can have inadequate wiring.

The USB ports built into the mboard at the back of the case should work fine with everything.
If the wiring for the lower front ports or upper ports on the front of the case is inadequate
- if you're handy, if you replace the wiring for the ones that each connect to the pins for one usb port on the header on the mboard with better wiring, they'll work fine
- or - use a good quality USB extension cable, male to female, from a port on the back that's long enough to reach to the front of the case or beyond.

If you don't have enough ports directly connected to the mboard, see
"If you don't have enough ports directly connected to the mboard, if you want the maximum of the USB devices to work...." and after in Response 4.

The (female, usually) USB ports themselves are very simple. They are the same for USB 1.0, 1.1,. and 2.0 They work fine as long as they are not physically damaged. If the outer metal shell is bent so it's too big, or if the contacts inside are bent or broken, or if the plastic blocking plug that prevents you from plugging in a plug upside down is out of place or missing, then you will have problems with the USB port itself.
Similarly for the (male or female) USB plugs on whatever you plug in.

"Shouldn't we go back to using serial cables for printers, and ps2 cables for keyboards etc...."

The max data data transfer rate is much slower for those, as well as for parallel ports.
On the other hand, mice and keyboards don't actually need faster data trasfer rates - there are USB ones merely for convenience - mainly for their hot plug and play ability. Serial, PS/2, and parallel connections are NOT hot pluggable - you're never supposed to plug them in or unplug them when the computer is running. Same goes for video cables to monitors.
A side note
- optical (CD and DVD) drives don't actually need a SATA data connection - there are ones that connect to SATA only for convenience. The upper limit of how fast the disk can spin is probably at it's maxiumum these days - any faster and you risk the disk breaking and flying apart. The max data transfer rate of the drive becauseof that is limited to UDMA 66 (Ultra DMA mode 4 in Windows) , whether the drive is IDE or SATA connected.

"IRQ conflict ? Isn't there 256 channels or so available, for USB ? I thought USB does not use IRQ ... in fact, USB was invented to get rid of the IRQ limitations, no ?"

USB ports use IRQs , but only one or two of them, minimum - minimum two if you have USB support. If you also have a PCI USB 2.0 controller card, depending on the maker of the card's controller chip, that may require two more IRQs, or it may be able to share the same IRQs.
All USB 2.0 controllers also support USB 1.1, so there are listing for both in Device Manager.
The USB 2.0 controller is listed as "Enhanced" or similar - one listing if you have no PCI USB 2.0 controller card.

If you DO have all devices plugged into direcly connected to the mboard ports, or ones that are each connected to the connection for a single port on a mboard header by adequate wiring, and some devices won't work properly, then on a desktop computer, you probably have an IRQ sharing problem you need to fix.
E.g. a friend had that problem with a Kodak all in one.

If you want to find out if you have an IRQ sharing problem on a desktop computer (see the first link in Response 4) , there can be zillions of IRQ assigments listed, depending on how new the mboard is, but you only need to examine the ones that are the top of the list that aren't for generic mboard resources - e.g. IRQs 22 or under.

Report •

Ask Question