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Some usbs drive fail to open on newest computer only

By dbhcline · 30 replies
Jan 30, 2014
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  1. We have a new Dell Precision laptop but cannot get two of our USB flash drives (both Lexar Jumpdrive SecureII Plus) to work. They work on our other computers. We can connect other USB devices to the new laptop, including an older flash drive. Strangely, if the problem drives are plugged in before the computer starts they will open properly - but I cannot remove them and plug them in again later.

    They do beep every so often. USB Mass Storage shows up in Device Manager, with the warning exclamation. Disk Management will briefly show a disk (1 or 2) with "no media"; sometimes it will disappear then reappear for a second or so.

    I have checked for USB driver updates, uninstalled and reinstalled USB hubs shown in Device Manager (though I'm plugging directly into the side of the laptop). I do not understand what would cause these drives only to not work with this computer only.
  2. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I forgot to mention: the laptop is running Windows 7 Pro.
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Disappearing / reappearing bothers me as that may indicate a hardware issue...

    But let's try a couple software things. First, see How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers
  4. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Old? I've had the computer for less than 3 weeks!
  5. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Anyway, it didn't help. I should also say I updated both the BIOS and the Intel driver chipset earlier today.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Do you notice any difference with 'disappear/reappears' when the laptop is plugged in vs just running on battery?
  7. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    SNGX125 - I actually only tried it with the laptop plugged in. I suppose you are referring to a problem I've seen where some USB devices don't get enough power, but I wouldn't expect that to be an issue with the computer plugged in and the device is small like a flash drive. I can try it out though, later today.

    LookingAround - You said there are other possible software fixes to check out in addition to clearing unused USB drivers? Thanks.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    You, @SNGX1275 and I are thinking alike re: possible power issue. Although, to date, I've only seen or read of the problem with mechanical \USB devices (like external drives) I still can't help having some suspicions even with the flash drive "plus" ("plus" maybe because of it's extra functionality? IDK)

    1. Given this Dell is < 3 weeks old, do you have a return/replace option with-in the 1st 30 days?? That might be the best option if available

    2. If you did want to test power issue, you could probably get USB Y cables for a few $$ (if you feel like spending the $$) Something like THIS. (If you get Y cable, make sure all USB connectors are correct for your situation)

    3. As to other s/w option, insert any flash drive that works, download and run Filter Driver Load Order, click Clipboard button then paste result into your next post
  9. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First, I got this USB utility from Dell support. Like the cleanup utility you had me run above, it shows all drivers that have been used and not (yet) deleted. But it also shows a table of attributes, including the power requirements of any devices in use. The bottom line is that the flash drive that works and the two that do not all use 100mA - sort of. While it shows 100mA for the non-working drives, it doesn't highlight them. But it alternates between that and showing 0mA while highlighted. Does that signify anything?

    The output from the filter driver utility (for the flash drive that works on the laptop) is
    Filter Driver Load Order http://www.bustrace.com

    Upper Class Filter: CmgPCS
    Upper Class Filter: PartMgr
    Upper Class Filter: CmgHiber
    Device Object: LEXAR JUMPDRIVE SECURE USB Device
    Lower Class Filter: stdcfltn
    Lower Class Filter: CmgFVE

    Driver Name: cmgpcs.sys
    File Location: c:\windows\system32\drivers
    File Description: Port Controls Driver
    File Version: []
    Product Name: CmgPCS.sys (64b,rls)
    Product Version: []
    Company Name: Dell Inc.

    Driver Name: partmgr.sys
    File Location: c:\windows\system32\drivers
    File Description: Partition Management Driver
    File Version: 6.1.7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255) [6.1.7601.17796]
    Product Name: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
    Product Version: 6.1.7600.16385 [6.1.7601.17796]
    Company Name: Microsoft Corporation

    Driver Name: cmghiber.sys
    File Location: c:\windows\system32\drivers
    File Description: CmgHiber Device Driver
    File Version: built by: WinDDK []
    Product Name: Dell Data Protection Encryption
    Product Version: []
    Company Name: Dell Inc.

    Driver Name: stdcfltn.sys
    File Location: c:\windows\system32\drivers
    File Description: Disk Class Filter Driver for Accelerometer
    File Version: []
    Product Name: Disk Class Filter Driver for Accelerometer
    Product Version: []
    Company Name: ST Microelectronics

    Driver Name: cmgfve.sys
    File Location: c:\windows\system32\drivers
    File Description: Credant Full Volume Encryption Driver
    File Version: []
    Product Name: CmgFVE.sys (64b,rls)
    Product Version: []
    Company Name: Dell Inc.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Yeah, I have only seen the power issue with mechanical drives too, but the symptoms were too similar to let go without further clarification.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    I totally agree. I couldn't help but wonder the same.. even though it was just a flash drive

    That said, @dbhcline the filters listed in your last post are interesting.
    Upper Class Filter: CmgPCS
    Upper Class Filter: PartMgr
    Upper Class Filter: CmgHiber
    Device Object: LEXAR JUMPDRIVE SECURE USB Device
    Lower Class Filter: stdcfltn
    Lower Class Filter: CmgFVE
    Windows drivers are designed so its software pieces can be "layered" (Think of the driver like a cake. Just like a cake, device driver software can be single or multi-layered).
    > Every driver starts with a single "layer" that provides core functionality. It's called the "function driver" It's represented by the "Device Object" in the report
    > Upper and Lower filters are akin to adding software layers to our device driver "cake". Filters are sometimes added by 3rd party vendors to help augment their product functionality within the device driver itself

    What's interesting is you have device driver software layers ("filters) added by both Dell and ST Microelectronics. (You can look at the lower portion of the report to see the supplier of each driver filter)

    The flash works on your other computers? Are they also a Dell? You can run the report on other computers to see if same filters are installed on them or not.

    Then let's test your flash drive on your new Dell without any non-Microsoft filters present.
    > Download Hiren's Boot CD ISO file.
    > Burn the ISO to CD
    > Boot from CD and select mini-XP mode. This will boot you into a stripped down version of XP

    Turn off any security features on your flash drive. Does the flash drive work in "mini-XP" mode?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  12. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The laptop came with Dell Data Protection Encryption which we have enabled since this laptop is for my wife's business. That would explain at least two of those filters/layers. Though I'm unclear on what "upper" and "lower" mean.

    Before I try this boot cd, though, I'd like to know more about what it does and how it would affect my system. Also, we have Win 7 Pro, not XP.
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Remember to think of a device driver like a cake which can have one or multiple software layers. "Upper" and "Lower" is simply a label indicating whether the "filter" (I.e. software layer) happens to precede or follow the single layer core function of the driver.

    When a Windows app invokes a device driver, it sends an "I/O Request Packet" (IRP). The IRP is simply a block of data that's passed from app down through each software layer to the hardware device then back through the reverse path and back up to the Windows app.

    Since the IRP passes through every driver software layer (to and from the hardware device) a buggy filter can cause device driver/hardware function to fail. Plus 3rd party filters from different companies don't always "play well" together. (in your case you have Dell filters in combo with an ST Micro)

    Re: Hirens Boot CD
    It will have no affect on your PC (including no change to your disk drive). When you boot from CD, it loads a "mini version of XP" with generic drivers into memory. It creates a "RAM Disk" (a virtual disk kept in memory) which appears as your C: drive.. Your actual hard drive will look like an external disk drive (with a different drive letter)

    Hiren's doesn't make any change to your hard drive.

    If you plug in your flash drive, question is does the Dell recognize it correctly with mini-XP installed in memory. When you remove the CD and reboot, everything is as it was

    /* EDIT */
    Note when "mini-XP" is installed, no 3rd party filters are installed (like those from Dell or ST Micro) so we want to see if that makes any difference to your problem
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  14. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Understood. But I seem to be having a problem. :(
    I downloaded the zip file, extracted its contents and burned Hiren's.BootCD.15.2.iso to a CD-R. It shows about 600MB (Disc Image File). Then I opened the system setup, went to Boot Sequence and moved CD/DVD to the top. When the computer restarts, however, it seems to be just as usual. In particular, it says Win 7 Pro and there is no RAM disk as you described.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    You have to burn the the image to a disc or usb (but USB may not be the best choice here..). Use ImgBurn to burn the ISO.
  16. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    A CD-R is not a disk? The file on the CD looks to be the same as the one extracted to the hard drive. I used whatever burn utility came with the DVD-RW drive and is set to work in Windows Explorer (there's a burn to disc button, as well as in the menus).

    Edit: OK, "disc". I just learned there's a distinction. Anyway, I used the 24x speed choice, though I'm not sure what that means for burning a file.
  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Hi @dbhcline

    The distinction in SNGX's post is the word "image". There's a difference between burning an "image" vs. "data" to CD/DVD.

    An ISO file is specifies disk image format: it specifies EXACTLY how the information for the disc is to be burned - sector by sector. This also allows eveb "hidden" information (like boot manager and loader data) to be burned in the right spots on the disc.

    When you burn data, the information can be logically written anywhere on a disc.

    As noted, use IMGBURN. Select Write image file to disc to burn the ISO image to CD

  18. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I see. So all I did was copy the data that is the ISO file.

    I now have the boot CD set up. Here's the story with Mini-XP:
    All the flash drives were recognized, including the two I was having problems with.
    But only if I plugged them into the 2 ports on the left side of the laptop, not either of the 2 ports on the right side.

    Meanwhile, a USB mouse is recognized only on the left also. There is no response to a printer being plugged in on either side and if I try to Add Printer it tells me no driver is available. Is that to be expected with this "mini" OS?

    I had to use the DOS prompt (dose that bring back memories!) to execute devfilter.exe but the response I got was "program too big for memory". But I suppose it wasn't going to tell you anything you don't already know.
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Yes, not having the printer driver is to be expected. I'm also not terribly concerned about the right ports not working, I think that this may be due to them being handled by hardware which doesn't have a driver on the boot cd.

    After I posted about burning it to a disc, I almost edited it to say you could try and boot it off USB because if it didn't work, we'd (maybe) know that you have a hardware issue and not software.

    At this point I think I would boot into Windows 7 normally. Then delete everything related to your USB controllers from Device Manager. The should automatically install themselves again immediately, but if not you'll need to restart.

    Are you running any software that may conflict with USB devices? Like some corporate antivirus software maybe?

    You might run msconfig and then go uncheck everything that isn't a microsoft program for startup. I think there is a real easy way to do this, but I don't have easy access to a Windows 7 machine right at this moment.
    LookinAround likes this.
  20. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    That's a great idea for a test approach (y)

    Reading SNGx's post makes me think of another test option: Boot into Windows Safe Mode. When you test the flash you can also run the Filter tool to see if the Dell and ST Micro filters were loaded or not in safe mode.

    I checked the Lexar site. Verify your Lexar secure flash is running Secure II Software v2.0.0.1. If not, update the flash

    I also checked:
    > The ST Micro filter supports Dell's Free Fall Protection feature
    > The Dell filters support Dell data encryption
    If this issue DOES seem a software problem and you need these two features (and I'm guessing you do) you may be forced to live with the s/w "as is" to get those features - so you'd need find a different secure flash drive that will work on the Dell :(

    Also a WARNING (if you're not already aware): Since you're encrypting the hard drive, you should export and save the encryption keys NOW! (You will NOT be able to recover those keys from a data back-up or after a drive crash. If you don't have the keys saved before hand, you can't encrypt the data). Dell Encryption will have a key management backup tool. Use it to save the keys on separate and safe media you can put away somewhere.
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Excuse my double post but SNGX's suggestion just sparked a thought.
    You said the Lexar Secure drives always work plugged in before power up? That could be more evidence it's a s/w problem. It may be a function of the order of hardware detection, driver filter and s/w startup that allows the flash's to be detected during the boot-up sequence but not AFTER when all the s/w is up and running..

    Anyway, just a theory....
  22. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Meanwhile ... I got distracted from this because Firefox suddenly failed me. It kept telling me it was already running even though I couldn't find it in the task manager. I don't know just what I did. Besides Hiren's boot, I did a registry cleanup with Norton 360 and I looked at but didn't change the Startup. I could run Firefox from my wife's account no problem. Uninstalling and reinstalling didn't work so I finally deleted my profile and that took care of it - except I'll need to fix my settings again.

    Anyway, the suggestion to uninstall all the devices under USB Controllers in device manager didn't help with the flash drives. They do still work if they are already in place when the computer starts, which only makes this whole thing more mysterious to me. I'll try the Safe Mode next - was thinking about that already but I don't expect it to change things.

    I'm not sure I follow about booting from a USB. Do you mean using one of the problem drives? Also, if I image it with Hiren's does that remove existing data or do anything else to the flash drive? I expect not, but have to ask.

    Lexar support recommends I reformat the drives, but that seems entirely silly to me when they can work normally. I did download the latest Secure II version - it's the same as what we have.

    Thanks for the warning about encryption key, though it wasn't necessary as I'd already been sure to save it - I think the software more or less made sure I did.

    Thanks to both of you for taking all this time. I hope we can get it figured out soon!
  23. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    In safe mode, devfilter shows the same filters as before for the Jumpdrive that works. And the others don't work.
    So, yeah, I agree - most likely it's a conflict with the encryption software. In fact, I have tried changing its settings to give "full access" to external media, etc. in the hopes that it would do the trick. But no such luck. I've got a request in with Dell support about this question, with the guy who was helping me earlier, but apparently he's off for the weekend so I may just wait.
    If it has something to do with the boot sequence as you suggest, maybe there's a way to finesse what happens after?
  24. dbhcline

    dbhcline TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had an inspiration yesterday. Ok - it's obvious and I should have thought it Sat.
    Since the two drives will open when they are already plugged in before the computer starts, I tried that and then ran devfilter. They showed the same upper and lower filters as does the flash drive I have no problem with. So ... Maybe it's not that software after all.
    I wasn't sure whether to be disappointed that this test didn't clinch it or happy that there's apparently not a problem with those filters. :)

    Still mystified! I'd go out and buy another flash drive right away except I have no idea what it is that I want to avoid, or whether I even can, and what I can trust. We had thought Lexar drives to be among the better ones - and other than this we have been happy with them.
  25. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Are you on Windows 8.1 Pro? First download USBDVIEW run it as the admin looks like this below: What your looking at the disconnection for X These you need to remove.

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