How Do I Force Windows to Reinstall a Driver?

My machine is an emachines T2792 and has six USB ports. No matter which port I plug into or what type of hardware that I try to use, my computer tells me that the “hardware has malfunctioned” or “hardware not recognized”. My OS is XP-Home edition. I’ve tried no fewer than a half-dozen driver repair and PC rejuvenators – all to no avail. What do you think is the most likely culprit?

My knee-jerk reaction is to say that the half-dozen driver repair and PC rejuvenators are at fault. Many are no better than snake oil; they either add problems where there previously had been none, or make existing problems worse. I recommend avoiding them completely.

However, there was a problem before you tried them, so they can’t be completely at fault.

We do need to seriously consider that the hardware here has a problem, and no amount of driver fiddling is going to fix that. But before we throw in the towel on a software solution, there is one thing worth trying.

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Why don’t all USB chargers work on all USB devices?

I guess I don’t really get USB charging especially with our Apple devices. My little mind says that five volts is five volts; apparently, some five volts are different than other five volts. We have more Apple devices in our house than an Apple store. OK, maybe not quite, but for convenience, I’ve bought a number of third-party USB charging devices, including those little cube shaped USB chargers. What blows my mind is that some devices work on some chargers, but others won’t work on the same chargers. “Charging is not supported with this accessory” is a frequent message. There seems to be no logical pattern to this. Initially, I thought it was related to the change in charging that Apple did a few years ago when they dropped support for 12-volt stuff. I think that was around 2007, but all of our devices are newer than that except my trusted iPod video 5G; that charges on almost all of the USB chargers that I’ve bought. Why is five volts not five volts?

To begin, five volts is five volts. That’s an absolute measurement.

But there is more to it than that, as you might imagine.

Let’s look at it in more detail.

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