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Card readers not working when I boot with nothing in the slot!

By jweaver ยท 5 replies
Aug 8, 2009
  1. This is my first post here, so be gentle on me :)

    Since the symptoms of my problem are so specific and easy to reproduce I figured I would find the answers easily.. But after a whole evening of searching on Google, I have found nothing which can help...

    I have just built my new PC using an Asus M4A78 motherboard and had surprisingly few problems.

    However, today I found that I have a problem with "card readers".

    I have a card reader in my printer, an internal 5 slot one (which connects directly to a USB header on the Motherboard), and I also have several external ones.

    What I have found is this.

    1. If I connect the Card Reader to the PC when its up and running and it works (it doesn't matter if there is a card in the slot or not).. I get the 'bing bong' noise.. The reader appears (I see the drive letter) and then when I insert a card, Windows 'mounts' it and I can view the files.

    2. If I Reboot the PC whilst a reader is connected (and empty), when Windows boots I see the drive letters, but when I insert a card I get an 'egg timer' in Windows and double clicking on the card letter shows "Please Insert disk into drive X:"

    3. If Boot the PC whilst a reader is connected AND there is a media card (SD, CF, etc) in the slot and it works normally.. The PC boots, the card is readable and significantly, if I can remove the card and reinsert it (or insert another card) and it mounts.

    So the bottom line is that I can only get a card reader to work if:

    1. I connect it AFTER the PC was booted
    2. I boot the PC with the reader connefted AND I have a card in the slot

    If I boot with it empty, then I see the drive letters but it does not work and the only way to make it work is via the 2 options above...

    My old PC wasn't like this and I was running the same version of Windows (XP SP3) and was fully up to date... It wasn't like this on my old Motherboard, so this is clearly something new....

    I have installed all of the latest drivers for this motherboard and have upgraded to the current BIOS and its the same.. So i am now out of ideas..

    This is such an obvious problem which is easy to reproduce so I don't think i am alone.. But a search of Google finds nothing, so I am more than a little nervous about this.

    My fingers are crossed that someone can help..

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    Disable "legacy USB support" in the bios, and see if the problem goes away
  3. jweaver

    jweaver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will give it a go.. However, there is a development.

    I decided to dig out an old HD and install Windows from scratch...

    Once installed, I checked my card readers and they work nornally...

    Then I instaled my ASUS drivers (Which come with the Mobo) and again anything is working normally...

    So, clearly this is caused by something I have added since building the PC... My plan now is to quickly install a number of apps that I know are intrustive to see if I can find what did this..

    If not, I guess I will have to bite the bullet and start my build all over again!!!!

  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    You might also:
    See [post=751005]How to Reinstall Your USB Controllers and Motherboard Chipset Drivers[/post] (note order is important)

    It could also be a USB power related issue. you might try
    > See [post=744411]USB Device Problems? Check for Windows Updates[/post]
    > Try a different, shortest USB cable you have
    > Check jumpers on ASUS m/b. I've read some problems where the jumper option for power to USB for ASUS m/b was not correct
    > I'm assuming the power to the printer (containing the readers is powered on when you do this)
    > Less likely, but has made a difference at times: Shutdown and physically unplug your computer for 30 secs. Power off printer. Plug in computer, power up. USB connect the printer/reader. Now power up the printer. Try the reader
  5. jweaver

    jweaver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I have cracked it.. I wrote down a list of all of the things that I have installed that are 'likely' to interact with my USB and as I was doing so, a few things jumped out at me.

    1. Buffalo External USB Turbo Mode driver.
    2. Zonealarm
    3. WebCam
    4. Registry hack to disable the autoboot of "autorun.inf" from external card.
    5. Video Drivers
    6. Printer drivers (considering one of my printers has a Card Reader Built in)

    But all of these installed without triggering the problem.

    Then I moved onto number 7, which is "Asus Express Gate"

    Now I don't know if you are familiar with this, but its an 'application' which launches BEFORE post.. its a mini OS (I think based on Linux) which gives limited functionality (mail, web, etc)... Once you have installed this, you get a 'pretty' screen (mouse driven) BEFORE POST...

    And now this is installed I have the problem.. Just removing it now, but I am 99.9% sure that this is the key... To be honest, I don't intend to use this functionatiy, so I am happy to remove it, BUT, there are updates so I will check them out just to see whether they fix the issue.

    Fingers crossed!!! If it works on my "temporary build", I will connect the real HD and remove "Express Gate" and will keep my fingers crossed!

    Wish me luck!

  6. jweaver

    jweaver TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yep.. That was it.. Removed Express Gate and it worked normally.

    I then put on the latest version ( and it works.. So clearly this is a known issue and its fixed..

    The solution.. Either remove Express Gate (which if you don't use, isn't a bad idea) or upgrade to

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