The symptoms that you may experience that indicate that a USB port is not working as it should can be several: from not recognizing a connected device until it does not work at all, to going through it gives poor performance especially when storage units are connected to it. The causes can also be various and crash at the hardware level until they are just too dirty, so let’s see what we can do about it.
Check the physical condition of the USB port
When one or more USB ports on your PC are giving you trouble, the first thing to do is to check their physical condition. It is quite easy, especially with regard to the front ports of the box, that by not using them, they have been filled with dirt that prevents the device that we are connecting to make good contact; Likewise, it is not difficult in the always connected USB ports that have suffered physical issues due to accidental bumps or knocks, so it is not difficult to check their status thoroughly.
Obviously, if you see that the USB port is dirty, you need to clean it carefully, using a clean cloth and a flat screwdriver to remove the dirt accumulated inside, but we repeat the fact that you must do it with great care in order not to damage anything (and obviously with the PC switched off and disconnected from the power supply). You can also help yourself with a compressed air spray.
If the USB ports you are having trouble with are on the front of the box, check that the connection to the motherboard is properly connected and that the cables are in good condition. Try disconnecting them from the card and reconnecting them, because especially when the problem is poor performance, sometimes an unstable connection has a lot to do with it.
Now if there is physical damage to the port itself like in the (extreme) image we put above or if you notice that the connector is “dancing” then you have a serious problem and it is. very likely that this USB port has already been destroyed and you just have to discard it or change it to another. Either way, don’t despair because there are more things we need to check out before giving it up for lost.
What does Windows say about the USB port that gives poor performance?
There are times when the fault of the problems or poor performance is not the USB port itself but the drivers, and this can happen especially after installing the operating system, after updating the chipset drivers (when installing the operating system, the chipset drivers, which contain those for the USB controller, are usually also installed automatically) or after an update from Windows Update, so it doesn’t matter. never hurts to see what the operating system detects when you connect a device to the device. USB port.
To do this, you need to open Device Manager (right click on the Start button -> Device Manager) and in the window that opens, check what appears in the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” section.
If any of the items in this section appear with a yellow exclamation point or a red X, there are problems. The easiest thing you can do is right click on the problematic item and select the Uninstall option; then restart the computer and Windows will try to reinstall the driver.
If that doesn’t work, check that you don’t have any updates from Windows Update waiting to be installed, and it doesn’t hurt to check your motherboard manufacturer’s website that it doesn’t. there are no updated chipset drivers. However, if even with this the problem persists, do not despair yet as there may be a USB port not working or having poor performance and Windows will detect it as correct.
Make sure you have the power settings correctly
Power management in Windows works great, but it’s not perfect and in fact there are times when it goes pretty badly if we don’t configure some settings and let the software decide what to do with the hardware. independently. We are obviously referring to the USB selective suspend option, one of the options built into the operating system that allows Windows to disable USB ports when it detects that they are not in use to save power. .
To check this setting, go to Control Panel -> Power Options, and in the window that opens, click on “Change plan settings” in the plan you selected at that time.
In the window that opens, click on “Change advanced power settings” and a new window will open, in which you will need to find and display the “USB settings” option and turn off the USB selective suspend option .
Disabling this setting prevents Windows from “turning off” USB ports when they are not in use, because this setting puts those ports to sleep and sometimes they cannot function until you restart the computer.
What if the USB continues to perform poorly or does not work?
If there are no obvious issues with the physical port giving you poor performance or not working, it is potentially possible that it has deteriorated completely and you need to find a workaround. In this case, we recommend that you remove the port or purchase a powered USB hub connected to a working port; If these are all the ports that are giving you trouble, it is possible that the chipset is not performing well and you will have to change the motherboard, although you can also choose to buy a PCI expansion card with USB ports.