Majour USB problem in Dells Inspiration 5160

By BorisD
Dec 1, 2007
  1. Hello all,
    This is one of my first posts, so let me start with saying hello, and this is a nice place.

    Now my problem:
    I have recently purchased a used dell inspiration 5160, and it has been anything but problem less.

    It has an issue that i cannot explain with its usb. It seams that it has power to its usb ports (not sure if its enough power but a usb stick lights up), but it doesnt comunicate with them, it doesnt show taht a usb device is connected or anything of that sort. It doesnt seam to be able to comunicate with it during start up either.

    Any suggestions?

    OS running is Windows xp pro Sp2
  2. BorisD

    BorisD TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Any takers?
  3. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Posts: 172

    where on the computer are the usb ports that arent working? front of the pc or back?
  4. BorisD

    BorisD TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First of, thanks for the time. Dells Inspiration 5160 is a laptop, and it has only 2 usb ports that are located on the back.
  5. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Posts: 172

    well, if its on the back, then im not sure really. it could be a problem with your mobo. see if something is making the drivers in windows not start correctly for USB 2.0

    reboot your pc. after it gets past the mobo screen with the word DELL and a loading bar, press F8 a few times. then pick the option "Safe Mode with networking". let it load into windows, then once it gets to the logon screen, pick your normal user account. then once your desktop loads, try plugging in a flash drive. if it works, then im not sure whats wrong with windows in the first place. if it STILL doesnt work, id say try to have a chat with dell customer support.

    good luck,

  6. BorisD

    BorisD TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, i will try this tonight and will fill you in. however as far as i could previously tell, it didnt seam that windows had any problems with the usb ports themselves.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Try this....

    Disconnect all USB cables from the computer. Then download these two USB tools (they'll be used later to check on your computer's "view" of what, if any, USB devices are connected and the device attributes) USBDeview and USBView
    • Open Device Manager. Control Panel -> System. Click Hardware tab. Click Device Manager
    • Look for Universal Serial Bus Controllers in device list. Click on the + to its left to expand the item
    • You'll likely see several USB Host Controller entries. Verify one of them is listed as an Enhanced Host Controller. "Enhanced" indicates its a fast USB 2.0 driver (which is correct for the 5160)
    • Uninstall all USB Controller line items in the device list. For each line item with USB Host Controller in its name, click to highlight the line. Then click Action->Uninstall. Click OK to complete uninstallation. Repeat to delete each USB Host Controller listed.
    • Have Windows re-install the USB drivers. Click Action->Scan for Hardware Changes. Watch for several pop-ups in lower right of your screen. For each driver you deleted you should eventually get a pop-up marked "Found New Hardware - Your new hardware is installed and ready to use"
    • Verify each USB driver is reinstalled. They should all appear in Device Manager.
    • Connect your USB device. Look for pop-ups again. There should be one indicating success or failure.
    • Run the USB tools to check what your computer thinks is connected and its attributes. (The tools are similar but good to see output of both)
    • If device install still fails, you should at least see an entry in Device Manager with a yellow question mark indicating unknown hardware. Click to select, right click Properties, click Details and you'll see the Device Id for the problem hardware. What is that string? Everything just up to DEV_xxxx where xxxx is a four hexa-decimal digits
    Give a shout how it all turns out.
  8. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Posts: 172

    woulda never thought of that O_o
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    well, i am probabaly just a little (cough - cough) older than you so i was able to (Pick your choice)
    1. Steal the answer from my son
    2. Offer a different solution after having lots more experience
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