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USB port playing up


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#1
Welshhobo

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Ok, my Auntie has asked me to fix her computer because her USB ports weren't working. I took a look at it and found that there were no drivers installed for the USB ports (just came up as "Base System Device"), ethernet cable, wireless card or video card. I managed to find an ethenet driver and installed it on the laptop via CD so i had internet access. I then proceeded to install drivers for everything else off the manufacturers website - Dell. I also installed three years worth of updates including Service Pack 1 & 2 for vista.

The laptop has 3 USB ports, two on the left and one on the right. The two on the left are wobbly and don't give any power to my flash drive when i pop it in, i'm convinced that the USB ports have snapped off the motherboard and will need re-soldering. The USB port on the right gives power, but isn't recognised in Windows, and by that, i mean it doesn't even see the device at all. I have tried turning off USB emulation in the BIOS and made sure that USB ports are enabled. All drivers have been installed for USB ports, and for everything in fact. All windows updates have been installed.

I think the USB ports on the left don't work because they are snapped off the motherboard but I am at a loss as to why the USB port on the right doesn't work

Any ideas? :/
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#2
SpywareDr

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It may be because only one (or more) of the contacts on the right USB port are broken.

Someone with a habit of abusing (wiggling while jambing) devices into the left ports would also abuse the right port(s)?

Best habit for most all connectors: Straight in, straight out ... gently.
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#3
Welshhobo

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Ahh, so the contact thats giving power isn't broken, while the contacts that transmit data are?

Never thought of that :)

Will soldering from home work?, or will i need to replace the actual port all together, or install new firmware etc...
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#4
SpywareDr

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Ahh, so the contact thats giving power isn't broken, while the contacts that transmit data are?

Because the other two ports were apparently broken, that's the first thought that crossed my mind.


Will soldering from home work?, or will i need to replace the actual port all together, or install new firmware etc...

Depends on the extent of the damage and your soldering skills. :)

When simply repairing/replacing the connector, you shouldn't have to install any firmware.
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#5
phillpower2

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I addition to what SpywareDr has said you would also need suitable
equipment & materials for the task such as a low voltage soldering
iron & cleaning solutions for example, unless you have any previous
experience of repairing laptops I would recommend it be left to a
suitably qualified person to do the repair, as even putting the
wrong sized screw in the wrong place can be disastrous, below is a
link on how to repair a laptop power jack but the technique & the
required equipment are the same, please note the authors disclaimer
& inference that the task should only be attempted by a person with
previous experience of soldering computers & associated components.
http://www.laptoprep...k-repair-guide/
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#6
Welshhobo

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I've taken the laptop apart to get a closer look at the USB, and it seems that a few of the connectors are totally loose against the board. The soldering is waaaaay too fine for my un-steady hands so i don't really want to risk it.

I have however found a replacement piece for the entire board. If i buy and install this piece, will it work without any having to install any software for it?

This is the piece in question:
http://cgi.ebay.com....1-/120498752920
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