USB Failure.....is there any hope.

I loved the assitance you guys gave to Kilf on this board (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=457158)

I started a new thread since my issue is similar, but wasn’t related. If admin determines this should be part of that thread feel free to move it.

So, a while ago my USB ports died. I do not know why, they simply stopped responding to anything. I tried pretty much everything (aside from replacing my MoBo), including a BIOS update (using a friend’s PS2 keyboard).
In the end I found a workaround by using a PCI USB hub. This, however, is not ideal for the reason Kilf found out. I am deathly afraid of something going wrong with my computer where I need to start in safe mode or access the BIOS since my USB ports from the PCI hub don’t become active until I’m inside of Windows. I know that I could just get a PS/2 keyboard for this, however, I’m more concerned that my PCI USB hub as recently started behaving oddly as well. It will lose connections for a brief moment on and off. Sometimes with my old USB keyboard that was wired, it would stop recognizing the keyboard and only when I unplugged power from the external USB hub and reconnected it (I have an external USB hub connected to the PCI card because I can’t easily have things I swap in and out accessible from the back of my machine).

The motherboard I have is an EVGA NVIDIA nForce 750i Intel Board. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188026)
The weirdest thing is that the set of Turtle Beach headphones I have use USB for power only, and they still work plugged into any of the Motherboard’s USB ports (although my iPod and iPhone do not, but that is to be expected since I believe there is a handshake that happens when you try to supply USB power from a computer to those devices).

Any suggestions?

That would probably cost you from $5 to $10. (Or even free, if you watch on Craigslist.)

Seems like pretty cheap insurance in case you ever need to run in safe mode.

For no especially good reason, this smells like a power supply issue. I have seen somewhat similar things occur with a PS that is out of spec, in particular delivering higher than 5v on the USB supply. The nasty outcome that caught me was that the computer started to fry devices plugged into the USB port. Not instantly, but they became flakey and died. All of them.

Seconding what Francis said. It’s GOT to be a power issue. I can’t imagine that there is a problem with your USB ports if they actually work with your headphones, but nothing else.

The stock power supply in my case has been sufficient for my homebuild tower (and has lasted for 6 years, hallelujah), but frequently stock isn’t enough if you upgrade your own hardware. Look into it. I’m probably going to have to shell out for a new one myself (ugh) when I upgrade my video card in the next 12 months or so.

Back up your data asap anyway, which you should already be doing. And get a PS2 keyboard just in case. They’re cheap and you should ALWAYS have one lying around if you usually use USB. And a PS2 mouse if you are not intimately familiar with the keyboard shortcuts to move windows &etc. My default keyboard now is actually a sturdy PS2 that I got from newegg on the cheap (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823107120), even though I have a wireless mouse and wireless internet. Less interference is more better, and that keyboard is PERFECTLY laid out. It will never die, if the reviews are to be believed.

If the USB ports on the motherboard are not working properly, you can be getting all matter of erratic signals and or errors within the USB root detection in windows. Electronic failures are not always black and white, nor are such failures going to always be isolated to a specific subsystem on a board.

Also a powered external USB hub does not draw power from the computers PSU.

If as he stated the headphones only draw power from USB, then the only thing that IS working right is the power side of the USB interface.

Replace the board, another socket775, 750i SLI board should drop in with minimal driver issues.

The board you have is pretty much not available at any realistic price. Others like this one should do, its about $100

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=LGA+775+NVIDIA+nForce+750i+SLI&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tlif130028970621110&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=15668045463544614365&sa=X&ei=89iATfLBLY6usAOFh7GVBg&ved=0CGEQ8wIwAQ#

Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting loss of power, but a wrong voltage on the 5v line as a possibility. That can lead to erratic operation, and too high a voltage erratic operation and then failure.

The OP isn’t using an external powered hub, he is using a PCI adaptor (although he called it a hub, PCI implies a device, not a hub) That is internally powered. That it is starting to behave badly is thus both consistent and not good sign.

A weak or erratic 5v rail would show other signs not just the USB ports as almost all devices use some blend of 5v including hard drives and other parts of the motherboard.

Read carefully, he is using both. IAA onsite computer guy, I am used to deciphering customer speak.

from the op

Erratic data side issues within the USB systems would impact proper windows detection and addressing of USB ports on the card as well as the motherboard.