I have a problem with my USB ports. Say I plug in my digital camera to upload some pictures to the tower or plug in my iPod to put music on it, my system won’t recognize that they are plugged into the USB port unless I restart the entire system. This can get very annoying having to restart the computer every time I want to upload pictures, use my webcam, put music on my iPod etc. I have asked many of my friends if they have the same problem with their USB ports, but they don’t. My system won’t recognize anything that is connected into USB unless the system is restarted.
USB is great when it works, but as you’re experiencing, it can still be a pain when it doesn’t.
USB’s really only been around for a few years, and while most of the kinks have been worked out, not all of them have. Especially if you’re on an older machine or operating system version.
Since I don’t have the specific configuration of your system, I can only make some general suggestions. USB functionality can be affected by many, many things.
- Make certain that your version of Windows is up to date by visiting Windows Update. There have been updates to the USB support in almost every version of Windows, especially the 9x and Me versions.
- Make certain that your system BIOS is up to date. BIOS support is an important part of USB support, and just like the operating system, there have been updates. Exactly where and how to get an updated BIOS will vary depending on the manufacturer of your computer – check with them.
- Make certain that your USB hardware drivers are up to date. The drivers are the hardware-specific interface between Windows and the USB ports. Getting updates to these drivers will depend on the manufacturer of your computer, or the manufacturer of your USB port add-in if the USB ports are on an expansion card, so you’ll need to check with them.
- If you’re running Windows XP, run the system file checker to ensure that Windows itself is not damaged: What is the System File Checker, and how do I run it?.
- An up-to-date spyware and virus scan wouldn’t hurt either. If any software came with the devices you’re having trouble with, make sure that’s up to date, and installed properly.
The problem is that any or all of the above items could possibly impact your USB problems.