Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to troubleshoot your USB Port

Shown in figure on the right is a typical example of how a USB port looks like. It is somehow rectangular point where you can connect a universal serial bus (USB) device.
It is indisputable that USB ports are crucial when it comes to attaching removable devices such as cameras, printers, USB Flash Disks, Mice and keyboards to your computer. 

What happens when you plug in your removable device and you notice that your computer does not recognize any presence of your plugged in device? Well, there are several issues that can prompt such a situation ranging from incompatible Operating System, faulty USB device, faulty USB port to corrupt drivers. 

I am not advising anyone to repair the USB port because that will be hard to do if your technical expertise does not accommodate enough knowledge to undertake any repairs. My focus is on basic procedures on how to troubleshoot your malfunctioning USB port.

The first step is to check whether or not  all components are working properly. Check if the drivers for your USB port are properly installed. Here is how to check in Windows Vista:

Option One:
  • Click START and go to Computer

  • Click System Properties Tab and click on Device Manager
  • On the Confirmation Window, click Continue

  • Faulty component will be indicated by a Yellow Question Mark against it.
  • Right click the component and select Properties
  • In the General Tab you will read “This device is not working Properly”
  • Click Driver Tab then click Update Driver. Follow other instructions accordingly.
Option Two:
  •  Click START
  • Click All Programs
  • Click Windows Update
  • Click Check for Updates Tab.  This will enable Windows to check for new software for all components so that the right software is installed on your computer.
It is highly recommended that you turn on Automatic Updates so that Windows checks for any software updates available. You can choose whether Windows automatically installs updates or you can choose which when to install them. If Windows can't find an appropriate USB driver for your device, prompt for installation disk with appropriate drivers.

Option Three:
You can make your own search on the internet by using Google or Yahoo search engines. Check which site has appropriate drivers for your device. The best way is to check the website of your computer manufacture an type in the real problem so that you get appropriate help. Your computer manufacturer’s website will guide you on how to download the software.

Alternatively, a blower will do some some job in removing dust which may have been accumulated on your USB port. Accumulation of dust can adversely prevent connection between the port and your device. This action requires the services of a trained and authorized technician.

If all steps above prove futile, consult your vendor or manufacturer.

Windows is a registered Trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other countries.

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