Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Most of my usb peripherals have had problems at one time or another. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Most of my usb peripherals have had problems at one time or another.
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: mxnmatch-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 25 Oct 2002 12:05 PDT
Expires: 24 Nov 2002 11:05 PST
Question ID: 89821
Most of my usb peripherals have had problems at one time or another.

Using my printer via its usb connector caused my mouse to lock up
sometimes when I tried to print something (the mouse pointer would
just freeze on the screen, I could still use the keyboard though). So,
I ended up connecting my printer via its parallel cable.

Every now and then (once a month maybe) my mouse simply stops
responding. It's a USB optical mouse that has red lights under it when
it's working. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the red lights on it
just shut off and even if I disconnect and reconnect it, the mouse
doesn't work again until I reboot my computer. I can still use the
keyboard though. (You can bet I'll never buy a USB keyboard.)

My zip drive connects via the usb port and sometimes during file
copies to and from it, the file copy will just fail.

Using the usb docking cradle for my Visor handheld caused my entire
computer to freeze up, requiring a reboot. Using the serial port
version of the docking cradle works fine.

However, my USB joystick and USB gamepad have never failed to work (so
far as I can recall).

I have 2 usb ports that are directly on the motherboard in the back of
the pc and I have a powered 4 port usb hub (made by D-Link) plugged
into one of those ports. I also have an unpowered 4-port hub (by
Hawking Technology) plugged into the powered hub. However, before I
tried the serial port docking cradle, I tried plugging the usb cradle
into the unpowered hub then the powered hub and then directly into one
of the 2 ports on the back of my pc. It didn't make any difference.
Syncing using the usb cradle caused my entire Win2k professional
system to lock up instantly requiring a reboot.

I'm assuming that I need some sort of BIOS or windows driver update,
but I don't know where to get one or what upgrade is appropriate.

Here's my stats:
  OS: Win2k Professional 5.00.2195 SP3
  RAM: 786M
  HDD: 3 drives, all with many gigs to spare

  CPU info from bootup screen:
    AMD Athlon 1200MHz
    CPU ID 0642
    CPU micro code updated to 0000

  BIOS info from bootup screen:
    Award Modular BIOS v6.00 PGN

  Motherboard info from bootup screen:
    IWill motherboard (
    KV200/35101A   Oct.04.2000

  Other misc info from the bootup screen:
    Plug and play BIOS extension 1.0A

  At the bottom of the bootup screen (I have no idea specifically what
this stuff is):

I've read that installing a separate USB card might help, but I don't
have any spare slots on my system. If worse came to worse I could buy
a USB card which also had ATA controllers or SCSI on it so that it
could replace one of those cards that I already have in there.
However, would that actually solve my problem? I'd rather just install
a bios upgrade or an os upgrade or something, but I don't know what
upgrades I need to look for.
Subject: Re: Most of my usb peripherals have had problems at one time or another.
Answered By: pwizard-ga on 25 Oct 2002 13:14 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings mxnmatch,

I'm going to try and help to solve the USB problems you are having
with Windows 2000. This is going to be a bit of a troubleshooting
exercise (as is most computer related problems). We'll do this by
utilizing the "ask for clarification" feature. I will assist you until
the problem has been resolved as long as their is a resolution to be
found and/or documented.

You are correct in assuming that a BIOS/DRIVER update should be the
first place to start. Looking at the IWill website, it seems that you
currently have the newest BIOS revision for your KV200 motherboard.
The next thing is going to be the actual driver set. According to the
IWill website, this motherboard uses the VIA 4-in-1 driver set. I'm
going to recommend downloading the newest version of these drivers to
see if it helps with your problem. That download can be found here:

The driver is version 4.43 and is for all versions of Windows. There
is also a patch available from VIA (the makers of the motherboard
chipset - including USB) that addresses specific problems people have
with the USB ports. It's called the USB Filter patch. I read several
newsgroup posts from people having problems similar to yours (with VIA
chipsets) and they had good luck with this patch. The newest version
is 1.10 and it can be downloaded here:

You might try the filter patch FIRST as it may fix your problem in and
of itself without having to update the entire set of motherboard

Once you have tried these two options, let me know the outcome. We'll
continue troubleshooting from there. In case they don't resolve the
problem, here's a few questions I would like for you to answer that
will help in my search for the answer:

How many USB devices do you have? Can you list them? Do you have this
problem when NONE of your USB hubs are plugged into the on-board

It's my suspicion that there is some sort of voltage or power
misreading or misdetection going on that is causing the issue
(possibly with the USB hubs). All USB devices draw different amounts
of power - some units REQUIRE a powered USB hub and others do not. The
driver actually regulates the power that is given to each device. If
it's not sensing the needs correctly or if a device is trying to draw
more than it's trying to allocate, it may simply be shutting the
service down or "overloading". I don't think at this point that there
is something wrong with the hardware component of your motherboard,
but I can't rule it out completely.

As you stated, purchasing an additional USB PCI card *may* correct the
issue, but it may not. I've had people that had malfunctioning
on-board USB ports and buying an additional USB card exhibited the
exact same problem as the on-board. We'll leave that open as a final
option, but hopefully we'll be able to find a solution.

I look forward to hearing back after you've tried the above fixes.


Request for Answer Clarification by mxnmatch-ga on 25 Oct 2002 20:48 PDT
I reattached the usb cradle for my visor and did a sync to make sure
it still failed. It did. The mouse froze up (but the keyboard still
worked, so I guess it doesn't cause the entire computer to freeze up).
I then installed the patch, rebooted, and synced and it froze the
mouse. I rebooted, installed the 4-in-one drivers, rebooted, and
synced again. It froze the mouse again. I checked the bootup screen
and no values have changed there. I think I vaugely remember
installing the 4-in-one drivers before (but I wasn't sure), so that
might be why there wasn't any change.

So, what should I try next?

Clarification of Answer by pwizard-ga on 26 Oct 2002 03:28 PDT
Can you try it with just the cradle and mouse hooked up to the
on-board USB ports? Let's take the USB hubs and all other USB devices
out of the picture and see what we get. Thanks.

Request for Answer Clarification by mxnmatch-ga on 26 Oct 2002 20:32 PDT
I removed the 2 things that were plugged into the 2 usb ports in the
back of my pc (one was the zip drive and one was the 4 port powered
hub I mentioned). I then plugged in the mouse and the visor cradle
into those two slots.

Syncing didn't fail halfway and didn't freeze the mouse. I even tried
adding a large application (prc file) and it synced it to the visor
with no problems.

My computer did lock up tight when I first tried this, but I'm pretty
sure that's an unrelated problem where my entire computer locks up (no
keyboard, no mouse, screen freezes, and sound freezes) for no apparent
reason every few weeks or so. There's no rhyme or reason to why it
locks up tight. I've had it lock up even when all I was doing was
using terminal services to access another computer, so the computer
was just acting as a terminal and it still froze up. I can't replicate
it though, so I'd only know if it was fixed if it didn't freeze up for
maybe 3 months. If you could help me fix it then I'd add another $20
to the question, but I suspect that there's nothing that you could do
because I can't replicate the problem.

So, it appears that plugging both devices directly into the 2 usb
ports on the pc seems to have fixed the problem. Now what? What's
wrong with my powered hub? Do I need to get a different one? If so,
what do I need to look for to be sure it won't do the same things that
the current one apparently does?

Clarification of Answer by pwizard-ga on 26 Oct 2002 21:23 PDT
Ahh.. now we're making some real progress. Just as in my experience,
using powered and unpowered hubs just sometimes can't replicate the
power that the onboard ports can deliver. I'm not sure if this is a
problem with the brand of hub or somewhere in the driver for the
device. I think your best bet is to find the best combination of use
for your ports. I would personally use the onboard for your Visor and
for your powered hub. I would then use the powered hub for your next
critical or most power-hungry devices (this might be printers and
joysticks). Mice, trackballs, keyboards and such are the least power
hungry devices and should fall at the end of your USB chain and not
cause any problems.

You can go to Device Manager (right-click My Computer, then
Properties) and look under "Universal Serial Bus Controllers". Click
on properties of your main USB ROOT HUB and your powered/unpowered
hubs. There should be a "Power" tab that will show you the power
requirement of each device plugged into that hub. This may help you to
determine the highest power requirements for your different devices.
I'm looking at this through Win XP, but it should be similar on Win

Another thing you might want to try is to see if there are any updated
device drivers for your USB hub(s). I know that I've had to update the
drivers for my hub a couple of times to correct a couple of minor
issues. You can usually find them on the manufacturer's website.

There is still always the option of adding additional USB ports via
PCI. Now that we know it's a power problem with the USB hubs, this
solution would probably work fine. You might also check your
motherboard manual as you might have additional USB ports available
from your motherboard that you can simply get a cable for and tie into
an open hole on your PC. Many motherboards have these additional
on-board USB ports so that you can connect FRONT case USB ports in
addition to the two located on the back of the PC.

In regards to your PC locking up on occasion, it sounds almost
definitely like some sort of hardware problem. When a PC locks up
tight like you are saying, 99% of the time it's hardware related. As
you probably know, Athlons run warmer than other CPUs and have a
tendency to be more receptive to overheating. Overheating can cause
lockups just like what you're describing. Whenever I have computers
that lockup routinely, I always look to heat as being a possible
cause. You might try increasing the airflow inside your case or
letting it run with the side of the case off for a couple of weeks to
see if it makes a difference. Other things can overheat as well,
especially the video card. If you continue to have this problem, I
would definitely have yourself or someone run a full hardware
diagnostic suite on the PC to make sure there are no defects in the
hardware. A stress test (such as Passmark's Burn-In
( would also be beneficial to run for like a
24 hour period to see if there are overheating issues with prolonged

Well, I hope this has helped increase your understanding of the
problem you are having and that you are able to come up with a
solution that is feasible. Please let me know if I can be of any
further assistance on this matter. I've enjoyed working with you.


Request for Answer Clarification by mxnmatch-ga on 27 Oct 2002 19:13 PST
Thanks for the help! I think the first thing I'll do is buy a
different powered hub and ditch both the powered and unpowered hubs I
have now. I'll see if I can find some reviews which would indicate
which ones have the least problems.

I'll try out that passmark tool and if it says I need a fan and then
I'll install another fan in my PC to see if that helps.


Clarification of Answer by pwizard-ga on 29 Oct 2002 07:44 PST
No problem... feel free to call on me again should you need my help in
the future. Always happy to help out!

mxnmatch-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
I have hope now! It appears that both of my problems may be solveable.
Thanks for the help!

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy