All my USB ports went dead

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by marthamydear, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    I am a buck private in the Linux army, so if anyone is so kind to respond to this, please keep it simple because I am a
    beginner. I'm now an analog bottom-feeder trying to adjust to a digital world.

    My Hewlett Packard Compaq nc6220 has lost its USB ports. I was using Linux 15 Olivia. First my wifi stick stopped working. So I plugged into one of the other of its 3 USB jacks a scanner. It didn't work. Fortunately I was able to save all the profiles onto a Corsair flash stick. When I plug in the flash stick everything freezes and I have to hard shut it down...I know...I know, that's rough on the hard drive. But if CTRL-ALT-DEL and CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE don't work, what \s
    a person to do? Anyway, I tried installing Linux 16 Petra (from a CD) thinking that might fix it. It didn't. So I used Darik's Boot and Nuke to wipe the hard drive naked and reinstalled Linux 15 Olivia. Still, the USB ports remain dead. When I plug in the flash drive the LED flashes a few times but it does not become recognized and appear in my file system of my home file.

    Can anyone walk me through the troubleshooting process to reclaim my USB ports? I read the blogs and everybody tosses around "just flash your BIOS" ---how the heck do I do that? I did run a command line from TERMINAL to find my BIOS version and it was "version F.16" issued on 07/24/2009. But that's probably not much help to anyone.


    I'd be grateful to anyone who might help me through determining how to restore my USB ports if indeed they are even restorable (there's a lot of depressing talk on the Internet about it being motherboard problems). It's weird because this laptop works great otherwise. Just no USB input.

    Help. Thanks.
  2. Falcao

    Falcao New Member

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    Hi marthamydear,

    when you used live CD, do the usb ports worked? Do yo have any bootable pendrive that you could use for tests? It may be a hardware failure not related to linux. Please also check whether your bios usb setup is correct, if you do not know how to do that, you can set it to failsafe or factory defaults trough correspondent bios setup menu option.
  3. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Thank you Falcao.

    I did hit "F10" for the HP laptop's setup menu. While it doesn't offer any choices other than "Set system defaults" and there is no "BIOS" option in anyh of the menu items, I did go ahead and hit "Set system defaults." There was no change and my USB port still did not recognize my Corsair Voyager flash stick.

    Then I put my Linux Olivia disk in my laptop, turned off my laptop and turned it back on to boot from the disk; which it did. While the Corsair Voyager does not appear on the screen like it used to when the USB port was working (as in "Plug and Play"), this time when I opened the "COMPUTER" file on my desktop the Corsair Voyager flash drive was recognized aklongside my other two drives (hard drive and DVD/CD player). When I click the Corsair Voyager to open it I get a pop up message that says, "UNABLE TO MOUNT LOCATION - Can't mount file."
    May I ask where to go from here? Thanks for any and all help.
  4. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    1) How are your USB sticks formatted?

    2) What happens when you open a Terminal and issue the command: lsusb

    3) USBView might show something.
    It is probably available from Repository. Connect to the Internet. Open a Terminal and issue the command: gksudo apt-get install usbview

    What does it show?

    4) Sometimes by USB sticks don't appear to be mounted. I then open the File Manager, they appear in there and are mounted.
  5. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Thanks for jumping into the fray of my little problem, Arochester. You've helped me in the past and I was delighted to see your posting.

    When I "lsusb" in Terminal I get the following:
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

    As for my sticks format I am not sure. I copied my PROFILE from Thunderbird onto the stick and it worked to transfer the profile info a couple weeks ago. Then last week I found I could no longer use my scanner, my wi-fi wireless stick and my Corsair storage stick in any of my USB ports.

    As for USBView, when in Terminal I input the command:
    gksudo apt-get install usbview

    I only get;

    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done

    I'm going to snoop around on my laptop to see if "USBView" is somewhere else as a program.

    I will check my File Manager to see if it says anything about USB sticks being mounted.

    I'd really like to see if I can get that USBView program to work because it sounds like it would give me the most information about the health of my USB ports.
    I'll report back here if I have any success tonight. Thanks.
  6. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Does the USB drive appear in Gparted or with this command:
    Code:
    fdisk -l
  7. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Ryan...
    I've been poking around the Internet and realizing how little I know about this stuff, so please bear with my incompetence.

    When I plug in the flash drive and bring up the computer file manager I get the name of the flash drive (Corsair Voyager) displayed. If I right click the Corsair icon I get a window that offers (among other things, to "mount." If I click "mount" I get a pop up window that reads "Unable to mount this location."

    Having said all that I've done a couple things in Terminal, one is to run the command you suggested
    sudo fdisk -l

    ...and the response is:
    Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4864 cylinders, total 78140160 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0002711e

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 2048 77109247 38553600 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 77111294 78139391 514049 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 77111296 78139391 514048 82 Linux swap / Solaris

    Disk /dev/sdb: 16.2 GB, 16240345088 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1974 cylinders, total 31719424 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x04dd5721

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 2048 31719423 15858688 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

    I also ran the following command:
    ls -al /media

    ...and got the following response:

    total 12
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jun 7 20:02 .
    drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4096 Jun 6 20:25 ..
    drwxr-x---+ 2 root root 4096 Jun 7 20:02 martha

    (martha is the "name" of my computer).

    I don't know if the "ls -al" command info is of any help but I saw it mentioned on another Linux forum for a user who was having problems mounting.

    I am thinking my problem is "mounting" more than the USB ports not working because it seems that the USB ports are conveying some info into the computer. Does this make sense?

    I am also wondering if my partitions are somehow. I ran GPARTED and it displayed the following:

    /dev/sda1 ext4 (mount point) / (size) 36.77 GiB (used) 4.23 GiB (unused) 32.54 GiG (flags) boot

    /dev/sda2 extended (size) 502.00 MiB -- --

    /dev/sda5 Linux-swap (size) 502.00 MiB -- --

    Thanks for any suggestions, advice.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  8. Nay Lin

    Nay Lin New Member

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    Hi marthamydear,
    Are you sure about that your HP notebook's USB ports work properly with other flashdrives?If USB ports are OK, you will find any removable media which you plug in within BIOS.If you see your flash drive in BIOs setting, then you need to mount flash drive in order to access it.


    Have fun with Linux.
  9. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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  10. Falcao

    Falcao New Member

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    Sorry, I was absent yesterday.

    Based on what I could understand from your answers...

    a) no matter which device is connected to usb ports it does not work (pendrives, mouse, scanner, etc)

    b) it happened suddenly in the exactly moment you plugged a pendrive to the system

    c) it also does not work with live CD

    d) reloading pre-defined profiles (Bios defaults, safe defaults, etc. Varies a bit from bios to bios)

    If all those statements are correct, it SEEMS to point to hardware failure, but you still need to be sure about that, please follow as colleagues suggested above and please see bellow how to extract the correct information from gparted.

    Gparted
    change device on upper right side from </dev/sda> to the appropriate descriptor of your pendrive (e.g /dev/sdb in my case), then it will return informations about that. BE SURE TO HAVE PENDRIVE PLUGGED prior to run gparted or update plugged devices trough menu <GPARTED>, then you change device descriptor trough the button as I said.

    upload_2014-6-8_10-23-8.png

    here the result:
    upload_2014-6-8_10-25-59.png

    as you can see here, gparted informs, among other things, that my pendrive filesystem is fat32
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
    Nay Lin likes this.
  11. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Falcao...thank you for all the time you are taking to help this novice out.

    I never noticed on the upper right hand side of the GPARTED screen the window to select devices. Here is what I see when I select my sdb flash drive:

    /dev/sdb1 fat 32 CORSAIR 15.12 GiB
    (used) -- (used)-- (flags)LBA

    If I right click the line on the GPARTED screen I get a pop down menu that asks if I want to reformat to any of several others formats. Do I do anything with that? If I do, won't that wipe all the data from my CORSAIR flash drive stick?

    I'm standing-by anxiously...
  12. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Arochester...I was encouraged when I followed your link to the thread you provided. However I am using Linux Olivia 15 and there is no path that coincides with the one given (MENU-COMPUTER-SYSTEM SETTINGS etc). I've looked around to see if something similar is "hidden" elsewhere but no joy.

    I know there is a lot of conjecture about this being a hardware problem but it seems off that, for instance, when I run GPARTED that the flash drive appears. It seems to me that it is being recognized. I just can't "mount" it I guess for whatever reason.

    I wish I could find a command to do what your link suggested which would automatically mount removable storage devices.
  13. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    There are apps like usbmount or pmount

    usbmount
    pmount
  14. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    I am stick stuck without my USB drives. I know the easy solution is to "just go buy a new laptop" or "just have a shop fix it." I can't afford either. However I have been continuing to read threads on the Internet and have been seeing some disquieting things about network drive letter assignments screwing up USB ports. I wonder if my network drive has grabbed a letter previous used by my USB ports. How can I tell if this has been done? If it has, how can I fix it?
    By the way, several days ago....and very weirdly...I plugged in my flash drive and it worked long enough for me to transfer some files off of it onto this computer. Then the USB port went dead again.
    As always...thanks to all for suggestions and help.
  15. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    When you Google something like "usb not working linux" or even "usb not working linux mint" it comes up with lots of different stuff.

    @Falcao said "when you used live CD, do the usb ports worked?". I think what he might have meant is "If you boot from a Linux LiveCD (other than Linux Mint/Ubuntu and Debian types) , and do not use your Hard Drive at all, do your USB ports then work?

    Can you boot from a Linux LiveCD? I would suggest that you try something like PCLinuxOS,v to stay away from Linux Mint/Ubuntu and Debian types.

    Even try moving away from Linux altogether to something like BSD e.g. http://livecd.sourceforge.net/

    That would indicate whether the problem is Linux itself. If the problem persists it *might* point more towards a hardware issue.

    Linux Mint is now issue 17. Have you tried that?
  16. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Its weird that the USB drive is not auto-mounting. But it is there and the ports are working.
    First, like @arochester said the current version of Linux Mint is 17. I agree that you should install the new version.

    Then you should try the USB drive again. If it does not work automatically, let us know and we can manually see if it can be mounted.

    P.S. I have a Compaq Desktop that works fine as well as an HP laptop. HP/Compaq actually has some of the best Linux supported hardware available. Most of the Ubuntu certified computers are actually HP/Compaq. Your system is supported, at least it is according to the specs page.
  17. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Thank you Ryanvade and Arochester. I am heartened to learn that this ol' HP/Compaq nc6220 is supported under Linux. Please tell me this: Arochester made a statement that you evidently agree with, "I would suggest that you try something like PCLinuxOS,v to stay away from Linux Mint/Ubuntu and Debian types." Yesterday on another computer I downloaded Linux Mint "Qiana" 17 Xfce RC to a DVD disc. I also see a version called Linux Mint "Qiana" 17 KDE RC. Arochester suggested moving AWAY from Linux. Ryanvade suggestests to load the current version 17. Which one of these Qiana's
    would be best? I am somewhat confused by the "Debian" versus "KDE" versus Ubuntu versus Arochester's "PCLinux OS"----the significance of all this multiplicity of versions and names is pretty murky to my mind. I'm ready to "eighty-six" my beloved Olivia Mint 15---but would appreciate guidance as to which of the Qiana versions would be best for this HP/Compaq nc 6220. Thanks to both of you for the help!
  18. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    I was not advocating a permanent move. I was only suggesting trying a LiveCD, to try and pin down the problem. If PCLinuxOs works temporarily or BSD works temporarily it shows that there is a software problem, not a hardware problem. If neither work it suggests a hardware problem.

    Try either of the Linux Mint 17 versions by all means. They should provide a LiveCD environment to try without installing. You can try the LiveCD and check your USB ports . Do they work or no?

    If you decide to completely erase 15 then, if you can, copy off your Home to an external Hard Drive to keep anything worth keeping.
  19. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    The saga continues...
    Sometimes...sometimes...when I plug in a USB device such as a flash drive or CD, it works. Then other times when I plug something in the pointer on my screen freezes and I have to hit CTRL-ALT to get it to move again.
    If I play with hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL or, sometimes, CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE, my computer brings up a screen that shows my current version of Olivia, a "safe" version of Olivia and another entry that says just "PREVIOUS LINUX VERSIONS." I am wondering if, in all my dumb fat-fingering I have installed more than one identical operating system on this computer. How do I get rid of everything but just one? Maybe that's my conflict?
    The other thing is I downloaded both PCLINUX and Linux Petra and Linux's newest Cinnamon (17) and burned them to different DVDs.. Aren;t these supposed to boot up automatically if I put them in the laptops CD/DVD device? That's how it worked when I installed Olivia. I can "open" each of those disks and the file folders and files are displayed, but how to do LAUNCH those OS to work or install?
    I would like to wipe this hard drive clean and install a fresh OS; maybe that would clear up these anomalies.
    Any ideas are most appreciated.
  20. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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