USB Shutdown


At first I thought it was a fluke, but when I first installed Win7 Beta on a new HDD on my laptop, one of my USB ports stopped working and performance of the others took a nosedive, with some USB devices not getting enough power.  I tried a reinstall with Win7 RC and now three of my four USB ports are having the same issues. It may not even be an issue with Windows 7 but there seems to be a correlation that the problem started and got worse with each installation.

I have Windows 7 running on two other PCs with no issues and all I can find on the Internet are people with the same problems but no solutions. I’m sure you can imagine how much it sucks having to use a four-port USB hub just so I can connect more than one USB flash drive.

—Guillermo Rodriguez
First, let’s make sure this isn’t a hardware issue. Grab a Linux LiveCD like Knoppix or Ubuntu and boot your machine from that. Test your USB ports one at a time. If they work, your problem is almost certainly a driver issue. Go to your laptop manufacturer’s website and download your device’s specific chipset drivers. If your USB problems persist regardless of drivers or operating system, it’s a hardware problem. If your machine is still under warranty, send it in to the manufacturer. Otherwise, unless you feel up to scrounging a new motherboard on the Internet and repairing it yourself, it may be time for a new PC.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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