28 June 2011
My main PC computer is a quad core tower with 16gb ram, 8TB storage, and 6 USB drives. But when I plugged in a USB stick recently nothing happened.
Tried another USB port nothing. Tried a different stick then a USB hub, again nothing.
Tried the same stick in my mac worked fine. Hmm, another PC fine hmm.
Turns out with all the external drives, USB sticks, hubs, keyboards, microphones, cameras, tablets, mobile phones, etc., our USB ports see more action than the phone signal complaints team at Vodafone Australia.
Doing a bit of research it turns out that anyone using windows 7, vista or even XP before it can (and I am told by the USB team at Microsoft) will eventually likely have this happen to you.
Even though we are promised that hot swapping (that is unplugging of USB devices when not needed is fine for many devices these days, your computer does not always agree.
However, trying to easily see, get to, evaluate, and delete the junk in the entire USB stack as it is called and all the drivers associated with it has not been an easy task.
Enter USBDeview an old but free program for vista from a company called Nirsoft, that is free from here, http://bit.ly/jOxott
You need to run it as an admin, for it to work best but with all my USB devices unplugged (minus keyboard and mouse) it showed junk from a couple hundred USB devices, ports and hubs that had been uninstalled leaving bits of garbage behind.
A simple select all and delete function took 5 seconds, and either a re-boot or unplug and ‘re-plugging’ in of mouse and keyboard revived the USB stack to a reinstall of windows 7 freshness, normally not so easily achieved.