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Last post Author Topic: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports  (Read 6531 times)

Stoic Joker

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USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« on: January 21, 2011, 09:54:02 AM »
Okay, so USB is this "brilliant" technology that allows folks to turn their computers into a veritable pin cushion of devices plugged into huge spiderwebs of daisy-chained madness. Right up until something decides not to work ... which is quite common in my experience...

Eventually (and inevitably), you end up with one device that decides (for whatever reason) to Cook-Off its port. No by that I mean it effects a state where upon it will no-longer properly (and sometimes period) identify said device ever again, because the system is holding to some piece of corrupt data that is refuses to let go of so the damn thing can once again be identified properly. The port will stay eternally borked refusing to detect the device regardless of anything (I've come across so far...) tried.

However, if a spare USB port is available, the device can be (confirmed as working) plugged into it and will spring to life like a startled puppy. And that's just dandy if you have a spare USB port, which it almost never the case, as it's usually only after there are a dozen or so devices connected via USB before this little party starts.

Now I'm not specifying any of the hardware involved intentionally, as the details are irrelevant. I've seen this delightfully little phenomenon occur across all machines, from all manufacturers, and triggered by all manner of peripheral devices. The only point of commonality is USB ... Which I've come to call the Ubiquitously Stupid Buss for this exact behavior/reason.

My question being, does anyone know of a (light/fast/portable) utility that can view the existing (maze of virtual pathing) configuration, and either allow manual editing, diagnose and repair, or just purge (preferably purge...) the information that a given USB port is clinging onto?

mwb1100

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 10:05:01 AM »
At first I thought you were talking about taking this other thread to the next stage: "USB Daisy-Chaining gone haywire"

But in all seriousness - I'd probably just reboot (as aggravating as that is).

cranioscopical

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 10:08:59 AM »
Do you think that will carry over to USB 3.0?

Shades

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 10:20:31 AM »
@Stoic Joker:
IIRC there is a setting (registry?) that enables the Windows device manager to show hidden devices. That includes All and every USB device ever connected. Uninstalling the troublesome device will help with this problem.


Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 11:04:54 AM »
At first I thought you were talking about taking this other thread to the next stage: "USB Daisy-Chaining gone haywire"

But in all seriousness - I'd probably just reboot (as aggravating as that is).

This is way past a reboot-will-fix-it issue. This is more of a the inner workings of the OS need to be beaten with a hammer kind of issue.

@Stoic Joker:
IIRC there is a setting (registry?) that enables the Windows device manager to show hidden devices. That includes All and every USB device ever connected. Uninstalling the troublesome device will help with this problem.

Yeah, I know what you're after there, a batch file will do it (used it many times for CD burner issues in the Win2k days):
@echo off
Echo Find Phantom Devices
set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
start devmgmt.msc
exit

But that's not what we're after here either. It is not a full device (present or otherwise) that is causing the problem. It's more of a fragment of a device, that is being clung to by the USB subsystem itself. I have literally seen and participated in this scenario many times:

Device X, plugged into Port X, and had been working there forever, just stops.
Nothing you do with or too Device X will bring it back to life (uninstall/reinstall/reboot/whatever), nothing...it is dead to Port X.

Now, the fun part.

Plug any other device into Port X, and it instantly springs to life and works perfectly.

Plug Device X into any other port ... and it instantly springs to life and works perfectly.

Plug Device X back into Port X ... and we're right back to it being deader than hell. Port X is/has been Cooked-Off.

If by chance you have the time, or are just that mad, flattening the machine and reinstalling the OS ... Will result in Device X once again happily working in Port X. Which does (/did in the past) at least confirm that is/was not a hardware problem ... but it is a bit over-the-top.

Hence my quest for something that will effectively flatten the dynamically created USB configuration info only and therefore allow the to X's to once again play nice together.

40hz

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 01:35:24 PM »
I'm amazed they haven't fixed this by now. It's seems to be a well known issue.

I recently bought a Targus wireless keypad. In the troubleshooting section, the official 'fix' if this device fails to work (or permanently stops responding later on) is to switch USB ports and make a note not to ever reuse it on the problem port.

When I first installed it, it worked just fine. For a week. Then it stopped. Once switched to another port it was fine once again. But only for two days. It refused to work at all on the third port I tried. That's when it finally got moved over to my last USB port - where it occasionally disappears and requires a full reboot to get it back.

Targus's tech support suggested I reinstall Windows if port #4 goes south on me. A gentleman who was not (but should have been) named "Peggy" said (in very bad English): It is very easy to do. I have reinstalled Windows dozens of times on my personal PC.

I got off the phone shortly after that. And the keypad (sans battery) went out with the trash the following morning.
 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 01:44:36 PM by 40hz »

Bamse

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 01:41:34 PM »
Nirsoft to the rescue http://www.nirsoft.n...sb_devices_view.html or not?

40hz

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 01:48:13 PM »
^Tried that with the keypad. (I'm a big Nirsoft and SysInternals fan BTW.) It didn't help for that problem.   :)

Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 01:50:52 PM »
Targus's tech support suggested I reinstall Windows if port #4 goes south on me. A gentleman who was not (but should have been) named "Peggy" said (in very bad English): It is very easy to do. I have reinstalled Windows dozens of times on my personal PC.
Well, now that's the best laugh I've had all week!

However the moral of the story seems to imply I'm basically screwed.

Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 02:09:14 PM »
Nirsoft to the rescue http://www.nirsoft.n...sb_devices_view.html or not?

Well it certainly sounds (and looks) like it should do the job, but I don't have time to delve into the currently active (or should I say inactive) test case.

^Tried that with the keypad. (I'm a big Nirsoft and SysInternals fan BTW.) It didn't help for that problem.   :)
Can you thumbnail sketch what was tried and failed, there may have been a secondary issue with the keypad. The test case I currently have going involves an HP Mono LaserJet. Print jobs go from the app, to the spool, and then vanish into cyberhell without so much as even a whimpered error message. Printer works just dandy on another computer... (yada, yada, yada...).

app103

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 04:33:39 PM »
Stoic Joker, I fully sympathize with your situation. I have had this happen quite a few times on my last pc. Trying to remember what you can and can't plug in where required keeping a notebook written in pencil. I'd be interested in a solution just as much as you. I haven't had any problems with my current PC but I'd like to be prepared with an answer, just in case I do.

4wd

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 04:55:51 PM »
Can't say I've had this specific problem, closest I've had is where a device will no longer work in a specific port because of mechanical problems, (socket/plug contacts no longer have good contact).

You could try GhostBuster to show/remove the ghosted devices and then uninstall the USB driver so that Windows has to reinstall it on next boot.

Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 06:02:19 PM »
You could try GhostBuster to show/remove the ghosted devices and then uninstall the USB driver so that Windows has to reinstall it on next boot.

That's just a GUI for the DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES environment variable that Shades discussed earlier. It only for removing complete devices that are straggling about on the system. This USB "Phantom" is much more subtle, as it's only a fragment of a prior configuration...That will require a more surgical approach.

4wd

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 06:09:52 PM »
That's just a GUI for the DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES environment variable that Shades discussed earlier. It only for removing complete devices that are straggling about on the system.

I know, the reason I mentioned it is because I find it's interface easier than trawling through Device Manager.

But what about uninstalling the USB stack/driver?

EDIT: I just realised you might have thought I meant the USB driver for the device.  I meant the driver for the USB hardware, (motherboard), not the device.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 06:34:22 PM by 4wd »

40hz

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 06:18:44 PM »
Can you thumbnail sketch what was tried and failed,

I tried disabling each USB device one by one to see if the keypad would be identified or reinstalled on the same port after being unplugged then replugged. No such luck. Even went so far as to uninstall a few that I couldn't clearly identify just in case. No joy there either. Even after full reboots.

Quote
there may have been a secondary issue with the keypad.

Likely. But there's a limit to my patience with stuff like this. Especially after I groused to a fellow tech and he said he had a similar experience with the same device.

Probably goes a long way towards explaining why there was a handful of them in the clearance bin where I found it.  :-\

Can't say I've had this specific problem, closest I've had is where a device will no longer work in a specific port because of mechanical problems, (socket/plug contacts no longer have good contact).

Socket s/b good. I plugged an external HD into it and copied off 10Gb worth of files this morning. No problems there. I suspect it might have had a bum receiver now that I'm thinking back. The keystroke light didn't flash as regularly as the instructions said it was supposed to.

Quote
You could try GhostBuster to show/remove the ghosted devices and then uninstall the USB driver so that Windows has to reinstall it on next boot.

Wow! Didn't know about that tool. Just ran it. I'm thinking that just might have solved the problem. Too bad I no longer have the keypad. ;D  Oh well...either way GhostBuster just found a home on my tool key. As you said, its interface is much easier to look at compared to DevMgr. :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 06:21:40 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 06:31:20 PM »
I suspect it might have had a bum receiver now that I'm thinking back. The keystroke light didn't flash as regularly as the instructions said it was supposed to.

This is why whenever I'm tempted to find a wireless device I always look for a Bluetooth version first.  At least I know it'll work with any Bluetooth receiver even if the one in the netbook packs it in, $3 will get me another.

Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2011, 07:30:09 PM »
That's just a GUI for the DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES environment variable that Shades discussed earlier. It only for removing complete devices that are straggling about on the system.

I know, the reason I mentioned it is because I find it's interface easier than trawling through Device Manager.

Understood, but I got used to it long ago. Which is why I had the batch file I posted earlier "handy", as I still frequently use it.

But what about uninstalling the USB stack/driver?

EDIT: I just realised you might have thought I meant the USB driver for the device.  I meant the driver for the USB hardware, (motherboard), not the device.

Appreciate the clarification, but I already knew what you meant. The simplest answer would most likely be fear. :D ...If one device is already starting to flake out, I'd rather not take a chance on giving the rest a head start at jumping off a cliff with it.

Not to mention that many USB device installs have the "Don't insert cable until installer tells you to" warning because the device isn't capable of finding its own ass without a map. Sure it's a bit over used and not always really necessary, but... there are the occasions where things get real messy real fast if you miss/skip/ignore that part.

Oh Yeah, I forgot the "fun part" ... Printers (which are the prime offender for this kind of crap) never actually appear in device manager. On rare occasions (usually if installed wrong), you may get a vague reference to a composite device ... but that's about it.

For other devices that pull this crap, I usually start with device manager or the uninstall if available, then follow up with the phantom search, file system search, and a registry search ... and a few other wing-it slash and burn techniques I've cooked up on the fly. To no avail.

It's the USB port that is Cooked-Off (some how some where), The driver (is off the hook because it) will work perfectly in any other port on the machine. Assuming there is one available...

Bamse

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2011, 12:51:21 AM »
Will not fix hw problems but I just remembered Device Remover http://www.pro-it-ed...tware/deviceremover/ Very advanced and complex - check screenshots http://cid-13a411233...emover%20Screenshots Fun :)

Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2011, 11:08:57 AM »
Will not fix hw problems but I just remembered Device Remover http://www.pro-it-ed...tware/deviceremover/ Very advanced and complex - check screen-shots http://cid-13a411233...emover%20Screenshots Fun :)

Holy Crap! ...You ain't kidding. But it does have potential. Just from peaking at the screen shots it appears that it will purge a device's current driver files. Which would handily resolve the Windows keeps automatically reinstalling a burnt driver issue (without making me have to hunt it down manually).

Granted it also appears to be about half as portable as a bank valt... But if it works, it'll be worth it. So I'll definitely be saving this one in preparation for the next battle...

Thank you!

Bamse

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2011, 11:27:37 AM »
It is portable, check bottom of site. You have to install full package first though. One of those programs you instantly know can do much damage so no need to warn against it ;) I have had actual use for it a couple of times when a service seem to be stuck in registry.



Stoic Joker

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2011, 07:43:12 AM »
You could try GhostBuster to show/remove the ghosted devices and then uninstall the USB driver so that Windows has to reinstall it on next boot.

Quick follow up:

Had another Cooked Port episode this morning (still haven't had time to get back to the other one) ... So I decided to give this one a shot.

I turned it loose in shotgun mode (because it matched the mood I was in), and let it kill any & everything identified as a "Ghost". It was quick & simple enough to use as to almost be boaring ... (There should be screaming)... *Sigh*

The printer works. and! It did not kill the machine (frequent downside of the "shotgun" method), or any of the other actually present devices. So I'm calling this one a keeper.

 :)

40hz

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2011, 08:44:05 AM »
+1 w/StoicJoker.

Had a client machine with a similar problem that had defied any rational analysis by a human. Did a "go for broke" in shotgun mode.  Worked like a charm. And with no bad surprises or collateral damage.

This one earns a permanent place in my tech kit.  :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 08:46:07 AM by 40hz »

techidave

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 09:41:54 AM »


Not to mention that many USB device installs have the "Don't insert cable until installer tells you to" warning because the device isn't capable of finding its own ass without a map.

 ;D ;D ;D  ROFL

4wd

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 05:37:34 PM »
I turned it loose in shotgun mode (because it matched the mood I was in)....

How does that line up with:

Quote
Warning:
So use it with care and only if you know what you are doing!

 ;D

superboyac

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Re: USB Madness With Cooked-Off Ports
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2011, 06:05:55 PM »
A) What is shotgun mode?

B) I've never been a fan of USB.  It's convenient and I use it, but I've never been all that impressed with it.  I've always hated the idea of "safely" removing USB stuff.  What's the point of creating this kind of interface when we have to be so concerned about removing it safely.  Why not implement it in such a way so you can pull it out and put it back in  ;D without worrying about it?  And everyone talks about USB speed, and they have benchmarks all over the place with those tech articles, but ALL of my usb speeds have been mediocre at best.  I've never had a USB stick that made me feel like, "Oh shit!  That was pretty fast."  it's always, "What is everyone talking about?  This is not that fast."  I'm talking dozens of different computers and dozens of different sticks.  yes, I know some of you will pull a "well actually" on me...it doesn't matter.  I've tried it with too many different situations to be convinced of anything otherwise.  i don't even know why these tech articles focus so much on those stupid performance graphs anyway.  They never tell me anything.  Just a bunch of bars and colors.  I'll pull up a performance graph from 10 years ago and it'll look exactly the same.  I have no idea what those numbers mean, like in a practical way.