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Windows 7 laptop & USB ports

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Andrew

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on: February 01, 2019, 07:40:02 PM
Hi

Somebody brought in a windows 7 laptop today that is quite old, and I can't remember the exact make and model (sorry for that) but they only have two usb ports on it and they are having trouble with the ports.  I looked in Device Manager to see if there are any errors but there isn't any.  I also found that it was not recognising the various memory usb sticks we tried with it to back it up.  There isn't a lot to back up on there.  I think it maybe it is a HP laptop but as I see so many computers, tablets and mobiles at the computer clinic it is hard to remember and I should have written the model and make down.

When I booted the computer with the mouse plugged in it, it worked perfectly but when I unplug it to try the memory sticks in one or either ports and then plug the mouse back in it does not work.  We have tried 3 mice, 2 wireless and 1 wired and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  Someone silly disabled the touch pad so we can't use that, I have had a look in control panel but was struggling to find the option to enable it because the mice was intermittent and I was running out of time before we finished.

The computer is quite slow it has a 3.3 rating on the windows experience on the computer and the web cam has stopped working a while ago and when we googled that problem with the web cam we found it had been happening to other people and there was no fix.

I was going to try booting into linux with a linux stick next week to see if the mice and memory sticks work in there and I could possibly try safe mode too.  As I will have to back it up in case the computer is on the way out.

Any advice?

Thank you if you can help.

Andrew
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 09:48:11 PM by Andrew »


Wooster

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Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 08:04:54 PM
I'd guess dirt.

Get your reading glasses on and have a look inside the USB ports, they could be packed with lint and general dirt.
You could use an isopropyl spray to clean the contacts, but if you're careful not to bend the copper contacts you could use a wooden cocktail stick (or plastic toothpick) to clean out any debris that may have gotten packed in there, then use the spray.

This is a common problem with the ports on Tablets and Mobile Phones as well.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 08:06:48 PM by Wooster »


Andrew

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Reply #2 on: February 01, 2019, 09:52:13 PM
Ok thank you for that I didn't think of doing that.

If you have any other ideas in the mean time let me know please, thank you.  I am back at the technology clinic on Friday.


Andrew

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Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 05:29:42 PM
Sorry to ask again.

Could it be anything else?  As when I boot the laptop with a mouse it works ok but when I remove the mouse and plug it back in it does not work also we couldn't get memory sticks working at all.

It's very slow as I said.

I don't think it could be dirt.


Glamdring

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Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 05:54:57 PM
Do the sticks work when plugged into another laptop?


Andrew

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Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 06:59:37 PM
One of them definitely does as I borrowed it from another volunteer who is an expert on computers.  The others I used was the person's own ones who owns the problem laptop.


Wooster

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Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 07:36:32 PM
If it's old and slow I'd be wondering if Windows 7 is an upgrade, which could mean poor driver compatibility or out of date drivers.
It may also be running something that prevents the recognition of USB devices.
https://blogs.systweak.com/2017/06/how-to-enable-or-disable-usb-ports-in-windows-7/

If it recognises the USB mouse from boot, but doesn't if removed and reinserted, then something is awry within the Operating System (software, not hardware).


Andrew

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Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 07:42:13 PM
Do you know how I would renable the trackpad?  As someone has disabled it and with the mice not working some of the time it is sorely needed.  I think it is a HP laptop from memory.


Wooster

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Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 08:29:41 PM
Is that not working either?  :rolleyes:

Definitely sounds like a bad OS installation, or poorly implemented upgrade.
You'll probably need to hit the (HP?) website and update all the Win 7 drivers available.

If that doesn't work, tell them to bin it or live with it.


Glamdring

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Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 09:42:10 PM
My trackpad is part of F9 on my Asus. Perhaps there's something similar.


Andrew

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Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 10:31:44 PM
I think the person had it disabled because when they were using the keyboard they kept touching it with their arm.

OK I will try that Glamdring.  Thank you.


Wooster

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Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 11:12:30 AM
My trackpad is part of F9 on my Asus. Perhaps there's something similar.

I'd forgotten about the Function Key shortcuts.
They don't show the device as disabled in Device Manager either.


Andrew

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Reply #12 on: February 08, 2019, 05:21:51 PM
I tried the laptop today again and the ports, mouse and memory sticks were working ok!  So I am bit baffled by that, but we have made a backup in case it happens again and if it is an intermittent problem.


Glamdring

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Reply #13 on: February 08, 2019, 09:27:27 PM
Well, hope it keeps working!