Questions

USB device causes computer to freeze

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0 Votes
Locked

USB device causes computer to freeze

geckoevan
I run Windows XP, whenever I connect my WD USB hard drive or a pny 1 gig memory stick the computer freezes. The bios is set to allow windows to manage it and it happens on all 4 usb ports of the machine. If I try to boot with the device connected, it will not boot. Other usb devices such as printers and cameras work fine. The memory stick is the only usb device connected when this occurs. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, Chris
geckoevan@sbcglobal.net
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    0 Votes
    joewooten

    I have an xp machine and am getting the same freezing. USB mouse and keyboard and sutch work fine but my mp3 player my flash drive and the 2 external harddrives i have tryed will freeze the comp to where you have to hold power button till it turns off. Please, Please if you can help us let us know what to do.
    Thanks, Joseph
    joewooten@yahoo.com

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    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    I had the front ports go out on me with the exact same symptoms. I replaced the adapter and they were all fine again.
    It may have been a power spike that killed them.

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    0 Votes
    bhatnagar_nitin

    Might be oveloading the +5vUSB line.

    Also, here are USB Help sites:
    http://www.usbman.com/WinME%20USB%20Guide.htm

    General USB troubleshooting in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310575

    Troubleshooting for USB drives
    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html

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    0 Votes
    GruvyGal

    I was having the same problem. The last two links were very helpful. The third linked confirmed my suspicion that a program I recently installed (Spyware Doctor) was the culprit. I uninstalled it, and it resolved the problem. Unfortunately, simply disabling the offending program didn't work. PC Tools will have to fix this bug or lose a customer.

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    Jesus_C

    issue.Poke around in your bios

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    0 Votes
    vincent.vintris

    I have the same issue. WD USB HD (MY BOOK) OR MP3 player freezes screen when connected.
    Thanks
    VV

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    0 Votes

    No.

    geckoevan

    Hi Vincent,
    It is not a short or bad usb connector or Bios setting or this or that as suggested, all reasonable, but dead end solutions. I am sure that if I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled everything the problem would go away, but I am not interested in that. Seems to be a common problem that eludes a solution to this day. I have no doubt it is a Windows management issue. My WD MY BOOK gathers dust in the bottom of the closet.

    Chris

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    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    Have you uninstalled the USB ports, and then re-installed the MB chipset drivers?

    Have you flashed the BIOS?

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    0 Votes
    geckoevan

    Hi,
    I have not flashed the bios, I had heard that should be a last resort. I did uninstall and reinstall the usb ports and I also reinstalled a file that supposedly managed the usb ports from the original windows disk that was thought to be corrupt. I checked the bios, it is set to let windows mangage things. I think the biggest clue is that any usb 2.0 mass storage device works the first time I connect it to the usb 2.0 port on the desktop, but when I use the same usb 2.0 device on the laptop which is usb 1.0, it is recognized by the laptop and usable, but then when I take the device back to the usb 2.0 desktop, it locks up the desktop. The computer lock up happens whenever either a USB 2.0 WD My Book or the USB 2.0 PNY memory stick and I would imagine that it would happen with any usb 2.0 mass storage device.
    Any ideas would be helpful, I have received many emails from others wondering if I had found a fix as they have the same issue.
    Thanks, Chris

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    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    my other suggestion was going to be to plug in a powered usb hub to see if it might be a Power issue to the USB ports. Or alternatively, you could check out the PS as well.


    Flashing the BIOS is not always a last resort, it just shouldnt be the first thing unless the latest version states a fix for a particular problem that you are having.

    In 9 years, I have only seen 1 BIOS flash go bad, and I was trying it because the system (even posting) was unstable. I did not expect it to fix anything and flashing finished it off (failed halfway).
    It was going to get a new MB anyway, so it really wasnt a loss at that point.

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    0 Votes
    geckoevan

    Ok, it may be a power issue but when I connect the HD, it is the only usb device. Also the HD is powered by its' own plug in power supply and I can't imagine the power drain of a memory stick to be enough to make the computer lock up.
    I am no computer master but it still seems to me that the usb 2.0 and usb 1.0 issue is the most relevent. Again, it worked fine when I first got it and then started locking up the desktop after I had used it on a laptop that was usb 1.0, same exact issue with the memory stick. Worked out of the box as 2.0, hooked it to a 1.0 and now it locks up the computer with 2.0, but still works fine when I hook it up to anything that is usb 1.0.
    Chris

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    0 Votes
    grcprakash

    I have Dell Inspiron 6000 XP pro Sp2.After connecting Sandisk Cruzer Micro 4Gb.Windows Explorer freezes.

    Any solution !!!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    Dr Dij

    I have two seagate usb 300 gig hard drives. They work fine. I leave them on all the time if needed, computer boots with them attached.

    I bought a seagate free-agent pro 750 gig combo USB / eSata drive. hooked it up, the computer won't even get to my boot password, i.e. a freeze in bios. This is with is set to C: drive as ONLY boot device!

    If I wait till the computer booted and plug it in via USB works just fine. I copied a 20 gig folder to the drive as a test, flawless.

    I ended up returning the drive as the store didn't have a PCI e-sata card that worked. (the vantec cards were returns and wouldn't function or even install, and vantecusa.com's documentation appeared bogus showing wrong drive for the chipset # that flashed by)

    Also problem with the 750 gig free agent pro: it gets very hot at bottom where I had it stilling on wood cabinet. This worried me. And the 'touch' power button didn't work. It worked to turn the drive on but would NEVER go off no matter how long I held my finger on it. With the 300 gig drives was pushbutton switch and after 10 secs drive goes power off.

    Seagate never answered my question why the free agent drive interfered with booting on my fairly recent HP vectra 420 VL. Too bad, it looks really neat. I had to replace it with an internal 750 gig drive.

    Their 300 gigs have been rock solid tho.

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    0 Votes
    TBBrick

    With an Administrator user account, click Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools. Open Storage, then left-click once on Disk Management so it's in the right window pane.
    Now insert your USB drive and see if it comes up without crashing your computer. If it does, right-click on it, in the right window pane and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Now change the letter to something far away from your regular drive letter assignments.

    If this doesn't work in regular XP, try it in Safe Mode.

    Compute in Peace!!!

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    0 Votes
    david_waterfield

    I have the very same problem as mentioned at the start of this Thread. I have a WD external Hard drive that now lock the computer also a Multi Card reader. I have tried most of the recommended solutions but still when ever I link one of the above the computer locks and I have to hold in power button. Any Answers out there?

    +
    0 Votes
    willinator

    I had this problem as well (connecting a USB device would cause an abrupt freeze). The problem was an inadequate power supply.

    The problem began shortly after I added an additional internal HDD to my PC. Powering the extra HDD combined with the USB power draw was too much for the power supply to dish out, causing a frozen system.

    Adding a better power supply (higher wattage) has resolved the issue.

    I suggest trying out a new supply and if that doesn't fix it then you could just return it to the store.

    +
    0 Votes
    normhaga

    HP or Compaq of the 6000/9000 series. If it is , then it a quirky bios issue that a bios update may solve.

    I have an HP of the 9000 series that objects to one single Vtech micro drive. That one micro drive will boot on other machines or allow those machines to boot. On the 9000 series, it causes an endless boot cycle.

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    0 Votes
    bonsai_kid

    I had the same problem but it has been fixed!

    I ran into this problem when I had to recover my PC. Everytime I plugged in my memory stick or iPod, the PC froze. The same memory sticks would run fine on other computers, but just not mine. After a frustrating 2 weeks, I've solved the problem.

    Run the device manager.

    Under "Disk Drives" there should be your USB drives.
    Also under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" there should be a list of several USB-type drives.

    Uninstall everyone of them and then shutdown and reboot your system. Your PC will "re-find" them and they should work.

    HOORAY!

    +
    0 Votes

    There is a solution to USB or FireWire drive not showing.
    However, the disconnect conflicted storage device to free up the drive letter fix may not be practicable or usable by some, such as computers which are on a network or system running data transfer activity to all its drive assignments continuously flow without stopping, and thus disconnect or reassigning any mapped drives, networked drives, removable drives or other storage drives is not an option.
    In this situation, there is another workaround hack to fix the no USB or FireWire drive issue. The workaround fix relies on the registry tweak below to change the drive letter that has been previously assigned to the mounted USB or FireWire portable mobile flash or hard disk drive. Or if users wish, can opt to delete any reference to the detected drives by the device so that when the storage device is plugged in again, the whole drive letter assignment will be start from fresh, and clean.
    1.Login to Windows as an Administrator.
    2.Open Registry Editor by typing regedit (or regedt32.exe in older Windows prior to XP) in Run command of Start Menu and then press Enter.
    3.Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
    4.Optional step which not required in Windows XP or later, right click on MountedDevices, then select Permissions. You can also click Permissions from the Security menu.
    5.Optional step which not required in Windows XP or later, check the option to make sure that Administrators have full control to the registry key. Change and revert back this setting when you are finished with the reset of the steps.

    6.If you run above 2 steps in OS earlier than Windows XP, quit regedt32.exe and run regedit.exe.
    7.Also in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices registry branch selected, in the right pane, find and locate a registry value which represents the troubled USB or FireWire drive. The registry key should have the name that resembles the format of \DosDevice\X: where X can be any alphabet letter which corresponding to your physical system drive letter.

    Here?s a guidelines that you can follow to quickly determine which registry key is linked to your conflicted drive letter:
    Exclude \DosDevice\A: and \DosDevice\B: which normally reserved for floppy disk drives.
    Exclude \DosDevice\C: which normally is the system root drive.
    If you have more than one fixed hard disk drives, then any drive letters that are using by them is not possible linked again, UNLESS the additional hard disk drive is added AFTER you first use the USB or FireWire device that now unable to show.
    Same case with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM optical drive as above reasoning.
    If you have inserted and mounted a lot of thumbdrives, USB flask drive, or external hard disks before, you will likely still see a lot of remaining registry values that you won?t know which is which. In this case, double click on each remaining registry key values to view its binary data. Inside the binary data, there will be trace of the name of the device that this registry key represents.

    Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
    If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

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    0 Votes
    GruvyGal

    I was having the same problem with my WD passport. Have two of them. They worked fine for several months, then suddenly the PC wouldn't recognize them. The problem also caused my PC to freeze. The HDs worked fine on other PCs. I suspected the problem was linked to a program I recently installed (Spyware Doctor). A quick Google search confirmed this, including a post on a reputable USB website (http://www.uwe-seiber.de/usbtrouble_e.html). I tried "disabling" Spyware Doctor, but that didn't work. When I uninstalled Spyware Doctor, the problem was resolved. For some reason, Spyware Doctor causes a conflict with the drive letter assignments (or something of that nature). PC Tools will have to fix this annoying bug or lose a customer.

    +
    0 Votes
    Victor-in-Canada

    Thank you for posting your solution - it inspired me to uninstall the antivirus (Bell Internet Security) from a similarly affected system, and presto! One reboot it was back to normal.
    In this case, any usb or other mass storage devices like CF, SD cards attached to the system froze explorer.exe.
    System: XP Pro SP3, P5GC-MX/1333 mobo

  • +
    0 Votes
    joewooten

    I have an xp machine and am getting the same freezing. USB mouse and keyboard and sutch work fine but my mp3 player my flash drive and the 2 external harddrives i have tryed will freeze the comp to where you have to hold power button till it turns off. Please, Please if you can help us let us know what to do.
    Thanks, Joseph
    joewooten@yahoo.com

    +
    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    I had the front ports go out on me with the exact same symptoms. I replaced the adapter and they were all fine again.
    It may have been a power spike that killed them.

    +
    0 Votes
    bhatnagar_nitin

    Might be oveloading the +5vUSB line.

    Also, here are USB Help sites:
    http://www.usbman.com/WinME%20USB%20Guide.htm

    General USB troubleshooting in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310575

    Troubleshooting for USB drives
    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html

    +
    0 Votes
    GruvyGal

    I was having the same problem. The last two links were very helpful. The third linked confirmed my suspicion that a program I recently installed (Spyware Doctor) was the culprit. I uninstalled it, and it resolved the problem. Unfortunately, simply disabling the offending program didn't work. PC Tools will have to fix this bug or lose a customer.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jesus_C

    issue.Poke around in your bios

    +
    0 Votes
    vincent.vintris

    I have the same issue. WD USB HD (MY BOOK) OR MP3 player freezes screen when connected.
    Thanks
    VV

    +
    0 Votes

    No.

    geckoevan

    Hi Vincent,
    It is not a short or bad usb connector or Bios setting or this or that as suggested, all reasonable, but dead end solutions. I am sure that if I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled everything the problem would go away, but I am not interested in that. Seems to be a common problem that eludes a solution to this day. I have no doubt it is a Windows management issue. My WD MY BOOK gathers dust in the bottom of the closet.

    Chris

    +
    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    Have you uninstalled the USB ports, and then re-installed the MB chipset drivers?

    Have you flashed the BIOS?

    +
    0 Votes
    geckoevan

    Hi,
    I have not flashed the bios, I had heard that should be a last resort. I did uninstall and reinstall the usb ports and I also reinstalled a file that supposedly managed the usb ports from the original windows disk that was thought to be corrupt. I checked the bios, it is set to let windows mangage things. I think the biggest clue is that any usb 2.0 mass storage device works the first time I connect it to the usb 2.0 port on the desktop, but when I use the same usb 2.0 device on the laptop which is usb 1.0, it is recognized by the laptop and usable, but then when I take the device back to the usb 2.0 desktop, it locks up the desktop. The computer lock up happens whenever either a USB 2.0 WD My Book or the USB 2.0 PNY memory stick and I would imagine that it would happen with any usb 2.0 mass storage device.
    Any ideas would be helpful, I have received many emails from others wondering if I had found a fix as they have the same issue.
    Thanks, Chris

    +
    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    my other suggestion was going to be to plug in a powered usb hub to see if it might be a Power issue to the USB ports. Or alternatively, you could check out the PS as well.


    Flashing the BIOS is not always a last resort, it just shouldnt be the first thing unless the latest version states a fix for a particular problem that you are having.

    In 9 years, I have only seen 1 BIOS flash go bad, and I was trying it because the system (even posting) was unstable. I did not expect it to fix anything and flashing finished it off (failed halfway).
    It was going to get a new MB anyway, so it really wasnt a loss at that point.

    +
    0 Votes
    geckoevan

    Ok, it may be a power issue but when I connect the HD, it is the only usb device. Also the HD is powered by its' own plug in power supply and I can't imagine the power drain of a memory stick to be enough to make the computer lock up.
    I am no computer master but it still seems to me that the usb 2.0 and usb 1.0 issue is the most relevent. Again, it worked fine when I first got it and then started locking up the desktop after I had used it on a laptop that was usb 1.0, same exact issue with the memory stick. Worked out of the box as 2.0, hooked it to a 1.0 and now it locks up the computer with 2.0, but still works fine when I hook it up to anything that is usb 1.0.
    Chris

    +
    0 Votes
    grcprakash

    I have Dell Inspiron 6000 XP pro Sp2.After connecting Sandisk Cruzer Micro 4Gb.Windows Explorer freezes.

    Any solution !!!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    Dr Dij

    I have two seagate usb 300 gig hard drives. They work fine. I leave them on all the time if needed, computer boots with them attached.

    I bought a seagate free-agent pro 750 gig combo USB / eSata drive. hooked it up, the computer won't even get to my boot password, i.e. a freeze in bios. This is with is set to C: drive as ONLY boot device!

    If I wait till the computer booted and plug it in via USB works just fine. I copied a 20 gig folder to the drive as a test, flawless.

    I ended up returning the drive as the store didn't have a PCI e-sata card that worked. (the vantec cards were returns and wouldn't function or even install, and vantecusa.com's documentation appeared bogus showing wrong drive for the chipset # that flashed by)

    Also problem with the 750 gig free agent pro: it gets very hot at bottom where I had it stilling on wood cabinet. This worried me. And the 'touch' power button didn't work. It worked to turn the drive on but would NEVER go off no matter how long I held my finger on it. With the 300 gig drives was pushbutton switch and after 10 secs drive goes power off.

    Seagate never answered my question why the free agent drive interfered with booting on my fairly recent HP vectra 420 VL. Too bad, it looks really neat. I had to replace it with an internal 750 gig drive.

    Their 300 gigs have been rock solid tho.

    +
    0 Votes
    TBBrick

    With an Administrator user account, click Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools. Open Storage, then left-click once on Disk Management so it's in the right window pane.
    Now insert your USB drive and see if it comes up without crashing your computer. If it does, right-click on it, in the right window pane and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Now change the letter to something far away from your regular drive letter assignments.

    If this doesn't work in regular XP, try it in Safe Mode.

    Compute in Peace!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    david_waterfield

    I have the very same problem as mentioned at the start of this Thread. I have a WD external Hard drive that now lock the computer also a Multi Card reader. I have tried most of the recommended solutions but still when ever I link one of the above the computer locks and I have to hold in power button. Any Answers out there?

    +
    0 Votes
    willinator

    I had this problem as well (connecting a USB device would cause an abrupt freeze). The problem was an inadequate power supply.

    The problem began shortly after I added an additional internal HDD to my PC. Powering the extra HDD combined with the USB power draw was too much for the power supply to dish out, causing a frozen system.

    Adding a better power supply (higher wattage) has resolved the issue.

    I suggest trying out a new supply and if that doesn't fix it then you could just return it to the store.

    +
    0 Votes
    normhaga

    HP or Compaq of the 6000/9000 series. If it is , then it a quirky bios issue that a bios update may solve.

    I have an HP of the 9000 series that objects to one single Vtech micro drive. That one micro drive will boot on other machines or allow those machines to boot. On the 9000 series, it causes an endless boot cycle.

    +
    0 Votes
    bonsai_kid

    I had the same problem but it has been fixed!

    I ran into this problem when I had to recover my PC. Everytime I plugged in my memory stick or iPod, the PC froze. The same memory sticks would run fine on other computers, but just not mine. After a frustrating 2 weeks, I've solved the problem.

    Run the device manager.

    Under "Disk Drives" there should be your USB drives.
    Also under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" there should be a list of several USB-type drives.

    Uninstall everyone of them and then shutdown and reboot your system. Your PC will "re-find" them and they should work.

    HOORAY!

    +
    0 Votes

    There is a solution to USB or FireWire drive not showing.
    However, the disconnect conflicted storage device to free up the drive letter fix may not be practicable or usable by some, such as computers which are on a network or system running data transfer activity to all its drive assignments continuously flow without stopping, and thus disconnect or reassigning any mapped drives, networked drives, removable drives or other storage drives is not an option.
    In this situation, there is another workaround hack to fix the no USB or FireWire drive issue. The workaround fix relies on the registry tweak below to change the drive letter that has been previously assigned to the mounted USB or FireWire portable mobile flash or hard disk drive. Or if users wish, can opt to delete any reference to the detected drives by the device so that when the storage device is plugged in again, the whole drive letter assignment will be start from fresh, and clean.
    1.Login to Windows as an Administrator.
    2.Open Registry Editor by typing regedit (or regedt32.exe in older Windows prior to XP) in Run command of Start Menu and then press Enter.
    3.Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
    4.Optional step which not required in Windows XP or later, right click on MountedDevices, then select Permissions. You can also click Permissions from the Security menu.
    5.Optional step which not required in Windows XP or later, check the option to make sure that Administrators have full control to the registry key. Change and revert back this setting when you are finished with the reset of the steps.

    6.If you run above 2 steps in OS earlier than Windows XP, quit regedt32.exe and run regedit.exe.
    7.Also in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices registry branch selected, in the right pane, find and locate a registry value which represents the troubled USB or FireWire drive. The registry key should have the name that resembles the format of \DosDevice\X: where X can be any alphabet letter which corresponding to your physical system drive letter.

    Here?s a guidelines that you can follow to quickly determine which registry key is linked to your conflicted drive letter:
    Exclude \DosDevice\A: and \DosDevice\B: which normally reserved for floppy disk drives.
    Exclude \DosDevice\C: which normally is the system root drive.
    If you have more than one fixed hard disk drives, then any drive letters that are using by them is not possible linked again, UNLESS the additional hard disk drive is added AFTER you first use the USB or FireWire device that now unable to show.
    Same case with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM optical drive as above reasoning.
    If you have inserted and mounted a lot of thumbdrives, USB flask drive, or external hard disks before, you will likely still see a lot of remaining registry values that you won?t know which is which. In this case, double click on each remaining registry key values to view its binary data. Inside the binary data, there will be trace of the name of the device that this registry key represents.

    Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
    If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

    +
    0 Votes
    GruvyGal

    I was having the same problem with my WD passport. Have two of them. They worked fine for several months, then suddenly the PC wouldn't recognize them. The problem also caused my PC to freeze. The HDs worked fine on other PCs. I suspected the problem was linked to a program I recently installed (Spyware Doctor). A quick Google search confirmed this, including a post on a reputable USB website (http://www.uwe-seiber.de/usbtrouble_e.html). I tried "disabling" Spyware Doctor, but that didn't work. When I uninstalled Spyware Doctor, the problem was resolved. For some reason, Spyware Doctor causes a conflict with the drive letter assignments (or something of that nature). PC Tools will have to fix this annoying bug or lose a customer.

    +
    0 Votes
    Victor-in-Canada

    Thank you for posting your solution - it inspired me to uninstall the antivirus (Bell Internet Security) from a similarly affected system, and presto! One reboot it was back to normal.
    In this case, any usb or other mass storage devices like CF, SD cards attached to the system froze explorer.exe.
    System: XP Pro SP3, P5GC-MX/1333 mobo