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  #1  
Old 12-31-2008, 01:25 AM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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What the hell is my computer doing, and how can I make it stop? (Windows question.)

Okay, you know how when you plug a device into your computer (well, a PC, I don't know about Macs), you get a little icon in the lower right tray? Windows (I have Vista) makes a little dum-DUM noise, too. Then, when you unplug the device, it makes the reverse noise: DUM-dum.

Well, since yesterday, my computer has been showing that icon for about two seconds and making those two noises in succession every thirty seconds or so. It was so annoying that I disabled the sound files that are attached to plugging in and unplugging devices. When I tried to right-click the icon to see what imaginary device it would open, it disappeared.

Obviously this is not the end of the world. But the icon constantly appearing and reappearing is distracting, like something blinking out of the corner of my eye.

Any ideas on how to make it stop?
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2008, 01:50 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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What USB devices do you currently have plugged in?

Have you tried disconnecting them one at a time to see which one makes it stop?
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2008, 02:30 AM
tzimmerman tzimmerman is offline
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Is it a laptop? My laptop makes the same noise when I unplug the power cable, and says it is now safe to remove hardware. My thought is that if your power connection is going in and out that might be the problem.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2008, 08:55 AM
RiverRunner RiverRunner is offline
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If you have some devices attached wirelessly -- keyboard and mouse, say -- you might want to check their battery levels. It's possible that there is a wireless signal fluctuating around its communication threshold.

RR
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2008, 09:41 AM
Casserole Casserole is offline
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Open up the device manager, and take a look at what's appearing and disappearing.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2008, 02:39 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casserole View Post
Open up the device manager, and take a look at what's appearing and disappearing.
This was the only post that's applicable to the situation, so I gave it a shot. Turns out, every time the icon pops up, ALL of the devices in the Device Manager disappear. As soon as the icon disappears again, they reappear.

I remain baffled.

Thanks for the ideas, though.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2008, 02:44 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Have you tried shutting down and restarting?
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2008, 02:58 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBeam View Post
Have you tried shutting down and restarting?
Yup.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2008, 03:00 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Have you tried throwing out your PC and buying a Mac?
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2008, 03:01 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Do you have any USB devices connected when this problem occurs?
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2008, 03:32 PM
Lazlo Lazlo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Have you tried throwing out your PC and buying a Mac?
Heh. My Macbook pro crashes a hell of a lot more frequently than my windows box when I have multiple apps running.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2008, 03:51 PM
Casserole Casserole is offline
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Originally Posted by Lazlo View Post
Heh. My Macbook pro crashes a hell of a lot more frequently than my windows box when I have multiple apps running.
Really? I'm of the camp that believes that Macs fail less often specifically because the OS and hardware are built specially for each other.

Then again, garbage in, garbage out.

===

Kyla, failing in finding any conclusions by looking at the Device Manager, let's try the Event logger. You can't turn the darn service off (at least, not in Windows XP), so we'll see if it actually recorded anything regarding your problem.

At best, you'll be faced with a bunch of gibberish... (memory access fault in 0x000003B? EE 0A 6B???), but that's where google comes in, hopefully with a solution.

I'm sure we'd all like to know, too.
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2008, 03:57 PM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
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Have you tried plugging the devices into a different USB ports? You may have a USB port that's going bad.
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  #14  
Old 12-31-2008, 04:21 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Have you tried throwing out your PC and buying a Mac?
I'll keep that in mind for when I want something that feels like a toy and costs twice as much as a PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuckerfan View Post
Have you tried plugging the devices into a different USB ports? You may have a USB port that's going bad.
There are no devices plugged into any of the USB ports. That's one of the reasons this is so weird and baffling.

Last edited by Kyla; 12-31-2008 at 04:23 PM..
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  #15  
Old 12-31-2008, 04:46 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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When asking for this type of advice it is good form to supply all relevant information like computer type / brand / model / other relevant hardware details as well as OS details rather than having posters asking questions one by one and having to resort to waterboarding to extract information in a long and painful process.

Assuming the problem is indeed with USB, it is not necessary for anything to be plugged in outside the computer as many different internal devices can be connected. My laptop's PCMCIA card and DVD-ROM drive appear as USB devices even though they are internal and are not even really USB. Other computers have internal USB card readers or other devices. If any of those malfunction they could cause such symptoms.

So the first question is whether there are any USB devices connected, internal or external.

If there are NO USB devices connected and the USB is having problems then we need to look closer at the drivers / controllers.
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  #16  
Old 12-31-2008, 05:00 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
When asking for this type of advice it is good form to supply all relevant information like computer type / brand / model / other relevant hardware details as well as OS details rather than having posters asking questions one by one and having to resort to waterboarding to extract information in a long and painful process.
Well, sorry. I'm not a computer expert and I figured that the OS would be enough. Besides that, I'm using a four month old Dell Inspiron 1525.

I think I may have figured it out, though - I unplugged the power cord and it stopped. The power cord isn't a USB device, is it? It doesn't usually make any noise or show that icon when I plug or unplug the power cord, so I didn't think that could be the cause.

After about twenty minutes of leaving the cord unplugged, I just plugged it back in and so far, no blinking icons.
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2008, 05:23 PM
Rack-a-Bones Rack-a-Bones is offline
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I think the point is she doesn't have any USB devices plugged in.

Kyla, you may want to try looking around here: http://safelyremove.com/forum/

I looked through the FAQ and the Forum but didn't find anything right away but that looks like the best place to start.

ETA: I see there have been a few replies since I loaded this page at 2pm. Kyla, I think tzimmerman was trying to point you toward the power cable in post 3, but it sounds like you figured it out.

Last edited by Rack-a-Bones; 12-31-2008 at 05:27 PM..
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  #18  
Old 12-31-2008, 05:37 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyla View Post
Well, sorry. I'm not a computer expert and I figured that the OS would be enough. Besides that, I'm using a four month old Dell Inspiron 1525.

I think I may have figured it out, though - I unplugged the power cord and it stopped. The power cord isn't a USB device, is it? It doesn't usually make any noise or show that icon when I plug or unplug the power cord, so I didn't think that could be the cause.

After about twenty minutes of leaving the cord unplugged, I just plugged it back in and so far, no blinking icons.
The fact that the sound is the "USB sound" is only a rough indication. The sound can be configured for other things as well. If you go to the control panel - Sounds , you can see what events have that particular sound and if there are several then configure different sounds so that each one has a different sound any you can know what event is causing it.

It seems you have already identified the cause though. It may be a power cord which was making bad contact.
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