Windows Won’t Recognize More Than One USB Storage Device

external hard driveusbwindows 7

Recently my Dell Studio 1550 laptop running Windows 7 x64 has started having problems with USB devices. I have two devices I typically connect: a Western Digital external HD and a SanDisk compact flash reader. Up until a few days ago, I could have both connected and they operated normally. Now, when I try connect both whichever is the SECOND device plugged in fails in a variety of ways. The order does not matter; the first device works and the second device always fails. The error message is usually "Windows does not recognize this USB device." or "Device driver software was not successfully installed." Sometimes it will appear under "My Computer" but attempts to access it cause Windows Explorer to hang. Anyone have an idea about what could be wrong?


Best Answer

  • I have never come across this, but, if you are getting the same in all sockets I would attempt a guess at a bad USB driver upgrade.

    Try taking a look in Reliability Monitor (Click the Start Orb and start typing Reliability (only need first few letters) and View Reliability History should pop up - click on it)

    From here, take a look over the last few days / since you noticed the problem starting and see if there have been any USB driver (or similar related) updates that have happened.

    ... Even Windows updates may have affected USB functionality, you can either attempt to see the release notes or manually update them.

    If it hasn't and manually updating drivers doesn't work - I am out of ideas other than to say if no updates have occured, it could be hardware failure. (Although, a reinstall of Windows should be done just to guarantee it is failure).

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