How come my USB ports work sometimes and not others?

by on October 4, 2009

Q: I am having problems with my USB ports. They turn on and off when a device is connected. They won’t work with my Garmin GPS, cell phone, satellite meters or portable hard drive. I bought my computer as a refurbished from tech for less last year, there is no start up disk to make it fresh again. I have a Gateway GT4024 with XP Media Center Edition 2005. I tried to roll back drivers, look for updates, driver robot, power management and system restore. The problem started when I had my portable USB drive plugged in for one week it was unplugged everyday by mistake. When I bought five new USB cords for the house it stayed plugged in and worked for two days . Now my USB ports constantly turn my devices on and off.

One Response to “How come my USB ports work sometimes and not others?”
    Picked as best answer

    If they’re powering on and off like that it’s probably a hardware issue, I’d guess a lose cable if it’s the font panel usb plugs that are giving you trouble.

    If all of the usb plugs are giving you trouble, try burning a copy of Knoppix and booting up your PC with that. It’s a bootable Linux Os that will leave your harddrives alone, and take your Windows Install out of the equation. If your usb devices still power off and on while you’re running Knoppix then you have some kind of hardware problem.

    If the USB devices work fine under Knoppix, then you have some kind of a software issue and I’d suggest looking into a fresh windows install. If the Windows XP license key is printed on a sticker on the computer then you should be able to borrow an install CD from someone and use that key. You can also try contacting Gateway and they can probably send you a restore CD for a few bucks.