Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

postheadericon How to buy a good laptop backpack?

Laptop backpacks have really improved over last few years. However, finding a good backpack that suits our need perfectly is still a challenging task. In this guide you will find some tips how to choose perfect laptop bag for your needs. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Fixing USB connection problems

Picture wireless usb device connections

Picture wireless usb device connections (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many problems may arise while using USB devices connected to a Windows based PC. Some of the troubles may occur due to software while the rest of the troubles crop up due to hardware settings and connections. The troubleshooting steps to work out hardware connection issues are described below.

Before you start using the faulty USB device execute the following steps.

 1) Unplug the other USB devices

The other USB devices connected to the PC might cause problems for the USB device under testing.

2) Connect AC adapters
It is advisable not to draw power from the USB ports. It is better to use AC adapter as a power source. If the USB device has its own AC adapter, use it.

3) Verify whether the problem happened due to BIOS or chipset drivers 
Restart your PC into a different OS. After booting plug in the USB device to see whether the USB device problem occurred due to Windows installation.

4) Rule out the problems with the USB device itself
Plug in the USB device into a different PC. This step is done to confirm whether the problem is due USB device itself or due to PC hardware and configuration.

5) Use different USB cables
The USB wire might be faulty. So try different USB cable. Since the length of the cable might be the cause, use the shortest USB cable. The reason is that the electrical signal on the long USB cable might take more time to reach all the nodes connected to the USB network.

6)  Use other USB ports on the PC
It might happen that the particular USB port under use is defective. So try other USB ports on the PC. Try to plug in the USB device directly into the other USB ports. Try to avoid the use of hubs, port replicators, docking stations, etc.

7) Inhibit the USB controllers from entering sleep mode or suspended state
The USB devices might not be detected because of this Windows bug.

8 ) Disable USB Power Management 
Disable the USB power management option to avoid power management related problems.

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postheadericon Resolving USB drive issues – Part II

English: A Sandisk-brand USB thumb drive, SanD...

English: A Sandisk-brand USB thumb drive, SanDisk Cruzer Micro, 4GB. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article in written in continuation to the previous article headlined Resolving USB drive issues Part 1.

Symptoms of some other USB drive problems:

“Insert a Disk” Message is displayed even when USB drive is connected.
USB drive does not appear even when USB drive is connected.
USB drive appears in Device Manager but not in My Computer or Explorer.

Troubleshooting steps:

Inspect Windows policy settings in registry. Windows may have been customized to hide USB drive from My Computer or Explorer.
Fix Drive Letter Conflicts. USB drive may be trying to use a drive letter reserved for other device.


Symptoms of some more USB drive problems :
Windows displays “Drive is write protected”
Windows displays General Read/Write Error Messages


Troubleshooting steps:
Correct file system errors. If Windows is able to detect the USB drive and assign a letter to it the ‘chkdsk’ option could be used to repair any file system error on the disk.
Verify whether write protection is enabled. If write protection is enabled, disable it.
Recover lost files. Some freeware tools like TestDisk and Photorec are available to retrieve lost data.

When all Troubleshooting steps fail:

Try to recover lost data. If the drive is physically damaged it may be impossible for Windows to detect it for s/w tool recovery. Flash drives are more vulnerable to physical h/w damage compared to other types of drives.Reformat the drive. Reformatting the drive will expunge all the data on the drive but the drive could be functional.

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