USB (Universal Serial Bus) is one of the main technologies that have had a huge impact in today’s computing world. USB’s friendly plug and play has made it extremely easy to connect peripherals like a printer or a keyboard to your computer or a laptop. Although, USB drives are on the rise and cheap, USB ports rarely cause any issues, and when they do we usually blame the USB drives.
Now, bear in mind that since USB flash drives are so popular and cheap, not all of them are created equal. There are many faulty USB drives or USBs that won’t last for a couple of days, so you really get what you pay for. If you want a reliable one then go for brand names such as Kingston or SanDisk and stay away from cheap USB sticks.
However, troubleshooting a USB port is simple and I will show you how with these steps.
1. Restart your computer
Just to be sure, first restart your computer. It could be that your USB drivers stopped working or failed to load, so restarting it should fix the problem. If however that doesn’t work then you can go to the next step.
2. Install your motherboard’s drivers
First thing first, and especially if you have just installed a fresh copy of Windows, make sure that you have installed the USB drivers of your motherboard, specifically if your motherboard has USB 3.0 ports.
You can check to see if you have missing drivers via the Device Manager. To access Device Manager, click on the Start button in Windows and type devmgmt.msc in the search box and hit enter. The Device Manager’s window will pop up showing you categories of all the devices that are connected to your computer. Under Other Devices, expand the selection to see all of the devices that don’t have the drivers installed. Once you see “unknown devices” then you need to install a driver for it. To do this, you need the motherboard’s installation CD. Every motherboard comes with an installation CD, so make sure you’ve installed all of your motherboard’s drivers. If you don’t have that CD and you don’t know what type of motherboard you have, then you can download and install CPU-Z and it will tell you what type of motherboard you have. Use Google to find it and download the drivers from your motherboard’s manufacturer’s website, and then restart your computer after the installation.
3. Uninstall and then re-install/update the USB drivers
Another reason of your USB port not working might be from corrupted drivers. Go to Device Manager, and under Universal Serial Bus controllers, uninstall the “Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller”. Then click on the “Scan for hardware changes” at the top and see whether it installs new drivers or not. If it doesn’t for some reason, then follow the above steps to either install it from the motherboard CD, use CPUz to download the drivers from the manufacture’s website or you can use Driver Magician to install it for you. If this step doesn’t work as well then go to the next step.
4. Fix the damaged USB Port
If you tried the above steps and nothing seems to work then you have a defective USB port. It could be that you had a USB cable connected and then you tripped over it and you broke the pins or it has been damaged, since USB ports are pretty fragile. You can either fix it by yourself by following this video or you can take it to a computer repair shop and get it fixed by a professional. If you have no experience with fixing computers or laptops then it’s best to leave it to professionals.