How come my USB port will charge devices but my computer wont recognize they are connected?

by on June 6, 2009

Q: How can I fix my USB ports on a Compaq Presario SR192ONX? Everything is updated. The device manager says the USB port is working properly. The actual ports charge my iPod, however, will not read or recognize anything. My computer will not even make the beep beep noise when a device is plugged in. Is the motherboard bad?

9 Responses to “How come my USB port will charge devices but my computer wont recognize they are connected?”

    Since the USB ports are transmitting power, I feel it more likely that the problem is in the operating system than in the motherboard.

    I recommend that you use a Ubuntu LiveCD ( to test your computer’s USB ports. Run Ubuntu from the LiveCD, do not install it.

    If the USB ports function correctly while using the LiveCD, then the problem is in your operating system. You should be able to repair such a problem by backing up your important files and reinstalling your computer’s operating system.

    If the USB ports do not function correctly while using the LiveCD, the problem is a hardware malfunction. I could not find your computer on the HP/Compaq websites, so you’ll need to tell me your computer’s age, overall condition, and if you’re using built-in USB ports or ports on a USB card before I can suggest a procedure to deal with malfunctioning hardware.

    I look forward to assisting you!


    first,thank you for replying. So, I went to the ubuntu link,i downloaded the iso file or w.e to burn to a cd,i did that,it burned fine,but now i cant get it to run, it goes to the screen for ubuntu and i choose try w.out changes, and it never passes a black screen after that,i waited maybe 10 mins.(and i think on compaq’s site if you enter product #-ex318aa it should bring up my PC info,its 3ish yrs old,built in ports.) I have a feeling it might be my OS,i think i virus or something really did a number on wind xp,but Norton says im clean now.but besides the USB my computer runs well,internet is as fast as i could want it to be,thanks to firefox.once again thanks for being so willing to help.


    Hi JCain17,

    Try the Ubuntu LiveCD again, but this time choose your language => press the F4 key on your keyboard (modes) => safe graphics mode => then choose “…without any change…” as you did previously. It may take several minutes for the LiveCD to load into safe graphics mode.

    After the LiveCD has finished loading, you can test your USB ports. A USB flash drive would be the easiest kind of device with which to test.

    Please let me know the results of your test. Thanks!


    Thanks for being helpful once again,however,I believe my CD just burned with errors,so i think i need to go to another pc and re-burn it so it will not have errors and i will retry and get back to you.


    I finally got Ubuntu to work, and I went ahead and installed it and I love it. Its a great OS so far,better than XP which I had. However, my USB still do not read anything.So,would it have to be the actual hardware,the physical being of the USB that are broke,eventhough they still charge my ipod and give power? Or have I not correctly installed drivers into Ubuntu?Am I going to need to replace the USB ports all together?


    Hi again JCain17,

    While it is likely that your computer’s USB ports are malfunctioning due to a hardware issue, Compaq lists a BIOS update for your computer which “resolves compatibility issues with USB devices”. Unfortunately, the installer for that update only runs in Microsoft Windows.

    Did you install Ubuntu on your entire hard drive, or did you tell the Ubuntu installer to share the hard drive with Windows XP?


    Thanks for a quick reply, but I guess unfortunately I did install Ubuntu over XP,so Windows is gone, I was too frustrated with it.So did I basically just ruin the chance to fix them? I thought I had updated BIOS from the compaq website before I ever knew what Ubuntu was though. If nothing can be done I have a laptop that I have been using anyway just fine,just would of been nice to fix this as well. Is it possible to take USB from another computer and replace them onto the malfuntioning USB computer? Or is that not even a possible solution?
    Thanks again Robert.



    Since you erased Windows, the least stressful way to fix your problem at this point will probably be to install an internal USB 2.0 card into your computer. Inexpensive internal USB 2.0 cards are available at reputable electronics stores, some office stores, and websites like

    The ports that are built into the new card will work, but unfortunately the ports which are built into your computer will continue to function improperly. In other words, installing a USB 2.0 card will replace your existing USB ports — not repair them.

    While most internal USB 2.0 cards should function flawlessly in Ubuntu, you may wish to seek advice at about which card to buy.

    Good Luck!


    Thanks, I really appreciate your insight.