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How To Diagnose And Fix USB Port On Laptop

Errors in the system or BIOS cause problems with USB ports. Hardware malfunctions can also cause damage to the connector and failure of a part of the motherboard.

Diagnostics of the USB connector

First of all, you need to make sure that the problem is in the USB connector and not in the connecting device. The easiest way to do this is to connect another device that you know is working. The same applies to the cords used to connect external devices – it is important to make sure that they are working properly.

Particular attention should be paid to USB hubs and extension cords. Some devices do not work through them. At the same time, the port of the laptop itself, into which the hub is inserted, functions perfectly. Therefore, it is important to check the connector when connecting the device directly, without various adapters.

It would help if you were careful when using hubs; they do not work with all devices.

The reason that the USB port is not working may be clogged. In this case, a toothpick will help. Do not use a needle or metal objects – they increase the risk of damage to the connector.

Checking BIOS configuration

The USB ports are controlled by controllers that can be turned on and off through the BIOS. Accordingly, if the connectors do not work, you need to check their basic I / O system status.

We reboot the laptop and go to the BIOS.
Open the Advanced or Integrated Peripherals section. There may be other names; it all depends on the BIOS version.
In the USB Configuration menu, we look at the status of the USB Controller parameter (there may be several of them with different names).

Controllers must be enabled in BIOS.

If the controllers are set to Enabled, then they should work. If the status is Disabled, then it must be changed. To do this, select the item with the controller, press Enter and select the Enabled value from the drop-down list.

Troubleshooting driver problems

Drivers are required for the USB ports to work. They are installed automatically. But there may be problems with their determination by the system.

  1. Open the “Device Manager.”
  2. In the USB Controllers section, we find the Extensible Host Controller device.
  3. Right-click on it and select the “Update hardware configuration” option.

Updating the configuration helps fix minor system errors

If there is no such device in the list, this may be one reason for the breakdown of the USB port. To get it back, we update the configuration of all USB controllers. To do this, right-click on the section of the same name and select the corresponding option in the context menu.

If updating the configuration of the host controller did not help, delete it through the same context menu. Again, nothing bad will happen – after restarting the laptop, it will reappear in the system, and its drivers will be reinstalled.

It is worth paying attention to other controllers as well. An exclamation point next to a device indicates that it is not working properly. Updating the configuration or uninstalling and rebooting the system will help resolve this issue.

Changing power settings

If the ports stop functioning while the laptop runs on battery power, it is worth checking the power settings. They have a setting to turn off the controllers when the battery is low automatically.

  1. Open the “Device Manager.”
  2. Select the USB root hub and open its properties.
  3. Go to the “Power Management” tab and uncheck the item “Allow this device to be turned off to save energy.”

The configuration must be repeated for all USB root hubs.

Unlock USB

Windows offers several ways to block USB ports. System administrators usually use them on office computers to exclude the possibility of connecting third-party devices. Let’s make sure that the ports are not blocked in our system:

  1. Press the Win + R combination and enter the Regedit command to launch the registry editor.
  2. We follow the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ USBSTOR.
  3. Find the Start parameter and check its value.

If set to 4, then all USB ports will be blocked. To remove the restriction on their use, double-click to open the properties of the parameter. We enter the value 3 instead of 4 and save the changes. 

By changing the value of this parameter, we can block or allow the use of USB ports

This is a universal method that works on all versions of Windows. To use it, you need administrator rights.

Hardware faults

The most unpleasant thing that can be is physical damage to the connector or problems in the operation of the motherboard. Most often, such problems cannot be fixed on their own, so you have to contact a service center. 

If only one port is damaged, then a USB hub connected to another connector will help to correct the situation – however, not all devices work correctly through it. Much worse is the situation in which not a single USB connector works. This may mean that the south bridge on the motherboard is out of order. He is responsible for the functioning of external devices. Together with USB, sound, wired Internet connection, the built-in card reader may stop working. If you encounter such a situation, contact the service center. The problem is clearly of a hardware nature, and qualified repairs will be required to fix it.



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