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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    A while ago one of the two USB ports on my ancient (1998, self built) PC stopped working, i.e. if I plugged my USB stick into it nothing happened but if I used the other one everything was OK. I put this down to yet another one of the many quirks of this PC (It runs Win98FE plus all the patches plus various other unofficial tweaks) and didn’t investigate. Yesterday the second USB port stopped working, so now I can’t use my USB stick at all. The stick is fine, it works perfectly in at least two other PC, one running Win98SE and another running Win2K.

    I doubt very much it is bad connections within the USB ports because the ports are on the back of the box so there is an extension cable plugged in. The cable is OK, it works fine on other PCs. Also, the extension was not frequently pulled in & out of either port, it stayed plugged into one (until it failed) and then it was moved to the other. Nor was the connection to either of the USB ports strained, pulled or bent in any way.

    My repair attempts so far have been:
    1) Reinstall the dedicated driver for the USB stick, no luck.

    2) Remove the dedicated driver and try a generic driver USB driver for Win98FE, no luck.

    3) Remove the USB controller (in Device Manager), some luck. Win98 ‘found new hardware’ and reinstalled the USB controller, implying the hardware is not at fault since Win98 could ‘see’ it but although the dedicated driver then installs with no error, the USB stick still doesn’t work.

    4) The nuclear option, delete the primary partition and reinstall Win 98 from scratch (no big deal really because all the data & key application profiles are on a separate partition), similar effect to removing the USB controller, i.e. Win98 detects the USB ports and installs the controller, the dedicated driver installs with no error but the USB stick still doesn’t work.

    Is it possible for USB ports to fail like that? Work at a low level such that Win98 can detect them but not at a higher level that allows to actually function?

    stuck

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Oh dear it looks like this sort of thing is possible and it's not really repairable:
    see here on another site

    It appears that the on-board fuses to the USB ports have blown.

    Think I'm going to cry now,

    stuck
    PS the boys will be cheering though, Dad will finally, finally, have to admit defeat and get a more 21st century compatible PC.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    If you have any available PCI or ISA slots (PC age dependant of course), you might be able to find an expansion card to enable your USB needs again.

    It's a cheaper option than buying a new PC, and will show your lads the importance of never admitting defeat <grin>.
    Christopher Baldrey

  4. #4
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    I may yet do that as I do have empty PCI slots and you're right it would be an educational experience for the boys

    Meanwhile, even I must admit it's time for an upgrade of the basic hardware to something at least XP compatible so the repair of this machine will have to take a back seat while I sort out 'new' hardware.

    Ken

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger pauliez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    I may yet do that as I do have empty PCI slots and you're right it would be an educational experience for the boys

    Meanwhile, even I must admit it's time for an upgrade of the basic hardware to something at least XP compatible so the repair of this machine will have to take a back seat while I sort out 'new' hardware.

    Ken
    That's what I did to give myself more USB ports.

    I found a very inexpensive one at New Egg for under $15 and it has never failed me in the year and a half that I have had it.

    The card I got (I don't know the name or model of it off hand unless I open my PC) gave me six extra ports when in reality all I needed was two.

    Very easy to install and set up.
    Catz

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliez View Post
    I found a very inexpensive one at New Egg for under $15
    With a bit of luck I'll find one at a local computer recycling project for a mere 1 (~$1.66)

    stuck

    Edited 19 Nov to add:
    For a mere 0.50 I got a two USB port PCI card and my Win 98 box lives to fight another day - result!

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