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Tech: Windows 7 USB given up

DMcG 23 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 13 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Russ 23 Mar 13 - 04:39 PM
DMcG 23 Mar 13 - 05:13 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 13 - 05:31 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Mar 13 - 05:55 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Mar 13 - 08:47 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 13 - 04:34 AM
gnu 24 Mar 13 - 05:13 AM
DMcG 24 Mar 13 - 06:18 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Mar 13 - 07:56 AM
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Subject: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM

Three days ago I wanted to download some photos and discovered that every USB disk drive on my PC was reporting a code 39 error - they worked two weeks ago. I've updated all the drivers, rebooted, repaired, ununstalled and reinstalled drivers... and still nothing. All I can find on the Net about code 39 related to CDs and DVDs but I tried it anyway without luck. In desparation I've installed a dual boot Ubuntu and created a shared partition, and it can see the USB drives so I've copied the photos off using Ubuntu then rebooted under windows where all my editing software is. But that proves it isn't a hardware problem.

So anyone have ideas?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 12:28 PM

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/code-39-error.htm

I know zip about this stuff. Maybe something in that link will help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 04:39 PM

DMcG,

Since you are savvy enough to do what you did, I assume you did the ordinary stuff likd boot in safe mode, system restore, etc.

I googled "windows 7 does not recognize usb".

You are definitely not alone.
Lots of interesting things to try.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for the complement. Yes, I did safe boot, restore checkpoints and so on. I've also run Windows repair. I went down the route I did because making a dual boot was less hassle than trying to reinstall all the applications again. Fortunately I don't really have to do USB disks often so even though rebooting into different operating systems is a bind it would only be every few weeks. But obviously it would be so much easier not to have to do that.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 05:31 PM

One more clue: I've plugged in a USB headset - that works fine.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 05:55 PM

USB controllers in Windows, and possibly in other operating systems, are somewhat inclined to corruption of the files that track what device is on which port of the controllers. This is NOT just in drivers, but in the USB control files that are part of the OS systems.

A common cause is disconnecting devices without using the "safely remove" button, although there appear to be other possibilities. With larger drives, if "indexing" is turned on, it may take hours for the background indexing to complete for even a fairly small change in data on the device, and the temptation is to just pull the plug even if the Safe Remove says "The device cannot be disconnected because another program is using it" and you don't have another program visible. The "other program" is usually Windows File Manager, which is invisible to you.

Microsoft has several "comments" on remedies for USB problems, but the bottom line procedure is to remove ALL OF THE USB CONTROLLERS and the rebuild the whole USB setup.

To do this, you need to get into Device Manager and DISABLE/DELETE ALL USB CONNECTIONS, then shut down the computer (SHUT DOWN, not Reboot).

Remove (disconnect) ALL USB DEVICES.

Restart the computer, and turn on ONE powered external device and plug it in, or plug in ONE unpowered device. The Plug-N-Play (PNP) system can then recognize that device and enter it into the controller setup to rebuild the entire setup.

Repeat the connection for each USB device, ONE AT A TIME, allowing each device to be recognized before going to the next one.

A difficulty that Microsoft fails to note is that many people use a USB mouse and keyboard, or "wireless" ones that require a USB dongle plugged into the computer. Earlier Windows operating systems don't identify what device is on each USB port in Device Manager, and once you disconnect both mouse and keyboard it's difficult to complete the process. (Win7 does give "some clues" about what's on each port) You should be able to unplug the device that's "prematurely disconnected," plug it back in and let it be recognized again. If you watch for a "new port" in Device Manager, you may be able to tell which one is needed to finish the disconnecting so you can disable that one last.

Note that this is the "last resort" procedure when all other suggestions fail, but my experience has been that "all the other" suggestions nearly always do fail if you have a significant problem.

Google is, unfortunately, not a very good way to find technical assistance, especially? for Windows, since it lists all of the advertisers who pay for "preference" first, then all of the "most popular" sites next (where all the people who think they know it all go), before you get to the places where you might actually find something useful.

I would suggest that you bookmark Microsoft Advanced Search for use in future Windows problems. This is also "not a very good place" to find information since Microsoft sort of demolished their help system when they figured out that they didn't really know how bad Vista was, but it has begun some rebuilding and is a little better recently. (I usually uncheck the "Microsoft Community Forums" for first searches, and of course you'll want to uncheck others that don't apply to your problem. The "forums" can (rarely) give some clues if all else fails, but you can always go back to them if you don't find a solution.)

I'm not sure whether I saved the instructions above, but might be able to find a link to where I found them. You might want to try some of the other suggestion before diving into this one. IFF I find a link it probably won't happen immediately, if at all.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, John. I tried it as best I could, but with a USB keyboard and mouse and with the SD card reader built into the case, there was a limit to what I could do to removing USB entirely and unplugging all 'external' USB items didn't solve it. When I get the time, I'll open the case up and unplug the card reader then try it again. I also came across 'usboblivion' about 30mins ago which claims to wipe all trace of USB drives from the registry. It seems to do that, but when I rebooted and let it reinstall all the drivers I was back where I'd started.

I had tried Windows Support, MSDN, TechNet and so on as part of my searching for a solution without success ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM

Easier to find than I expected:

Advanced troubleshooting tips for general USB problems in Windows XP

Note that this article is specifc for WinXP, although similar instructions come up for other versions - in other Mickey Mouse articles.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:47 PM

But then I got in a hurry and posted a bad link. Try:

Advanced troubleshooting tips for general USB problems in Windows XP

(But you've apparently already seen it.)

WinXP was noted for a problem that if the computer goes to standby or sleep modes the USB devices don't come back when you wake it up. You might find info on that by searching for "mouse doesn't work" or something of the sort at the Microsoft link. (?). Your description doesn't sound like that's the problem, and there was a patch that was supposed to cure it (and did for some people) and you'd have been patched by now.

For the card readers built into the machine, as long as there's no card in them you should be able to delete/disable the USB port. They may or may not come back when you reboot, but if they don't they should show up the first time you put a flash card in one. Sometimes all the empty flash card sockets show up at the first reboot, but then they go away after you've booted a couple of times if they're left empty. (I've got 8 of them on two multipurpose (printer/scanner/fax) machines that pop up occasionally - and are very annoying when they do, especially since I never use them.)

It is, of course, possible that the USB controller in your computer has died of old age, but I don't know of a procedure for diagnosing that, other than the "check device" clicky in Device Manager (in some Windows versions) that always tells you "Device is working properly" whether you've seen the smoke and know better already or not.

Since most USB devices get their power from the USB port, unless they need enough power to come with a wall wart (power transformer) that plugs in separately, plugging in several USB devices at the same time can sometimes "age" the power line part of the USB connection fairly quickly. You might try plugging your cell phone or something else into each port and looking to see if "charging" or "power on" is indicated. Not all devices show whether they're getting power, so pick one that does and try it on several ports maybe.

The possibility of burning out a power line is aggravated if you use unpowered (passive) "USB hubs" to connect several devices to a single port on the computer, since all the power for the hub(s) and whatever you plug into it has to come out of a single socket at the computer designed to power (at most, usually) one to four devices at "signal power" levels only.

I've carried a 4-port passive hub with my laptop just because it was cheap, but it's for use only if I need to download my camera when it gets full, I use only powered hubs (with their own individual wall warts) for anything else, so that the (expensive) hub in the computer doesn't have to carry all the load. A decent 4 to 8 port powered hub is only $20-$30 if I blow one, and I can get a loan for that much most good days.

If you suspect physical failure of the USB in the computer, you can probably add a USB controller card - if you have a vacant slot in the computer. The card should have its own sockets but connecting back to the existing holes in the computer box may or not happen. If they don't connect simply, just leaving them alone and using the new ones is generally recommended. You might be able to get an upgrade to USB2 that way, which would be nice since the original USB (in WinXP days) is a lot slower.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 04:34 AM

SORTED!

For years I have used Acronis backup, which allowed me to backup to a local drive and online, and I'd do full backups weekly to the drive, incremental nightly and nightly online backups of things like photos.

The online came with an annual renewal charge and because I was in the midst of moving house and other things I let it lapse for a year or two, but recently decided to reinstate it. Like so many other companies they had completely revamped it into something that was almost unusable so in the end I switched to MyPCBackup. (In many ways that's inferior, because you can only do online, and trying to back up a full system is not practical with a few Gb/s upload.)

Anyway, searching around I discover that Acronis use a version of 'snapman' which can cause problems for Windows 7, so I removed all traces of Acronis and my drives have reappeared.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: gnu
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 05:13 AM

Odd that I find this thread this morn after beating upon this keyboard for several hours between Friday night and Saturday until crying uncle and spending $20 on a 1394 cable to get a Sony camcorder detected and run Photoshop Elements.

When "It is suggested that a Firewire 1394 connection..." sometimes they mean "... 1394 connection... otherwise this sucker won't work." >;-)

Unless your device is specifically supported by the os, do not install the driver that came with the device. Thank goodness I got a warning when I tried to do just that.*

*Disclaimer : gnu ain't got a clue about fixing things without hand tools.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 06:18 AM

trying to back up a full system is not practical with a few Gb/s upload

I should be so lucky! A few Mb/s is what I meant!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 7 USB given up
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:56 AM

Poking around at MSDN I did find a help on error codes that says that Code 39 may mean that the driver for a hardware device can't be loaded, and gives several possible causes that might not be corrected just by uninstalling/reinstalling the driver. There also seems to be an ambiguity about whether, for USB ports, they mean the driver for the port or the driver for what's plugged into the port.

The article I found that looked most applicable is an old WinXP advice, and has a "Wizard" that's recommended as part of the fix. The Wizard probably won't run on Win7, but the rest of it looks like it should be OK for Win7 since the places it says to click are all there in the Win7 Device Manager.

Since the problem here has been solved, it's redundant information, but I'll put the link here anyway just for reference and because sometimes it's easier for me to find stuff here than elsewhere when someone comes along with a similar question:

Explanation of error codes generated by Device Manager in Windows XP Professional
Article ID: 310123

"Code 39
"Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)"

This Code 39 appears to be a common problem that is most frequently encountered by users for optical drives (CD/DVD) but could pop up for any piece of hardware.

It should be noted that there are several "classes" of codes, many of which include a "code 39" that means something entirely different than this one associated with hardware management. A reasonably deep search is about like looking for what a word means when you don't know what language it came from. You can get lots of answers from places where the question doesn't mean what you think you're asking.

John


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