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How to troubleshoot problems with USB devices

USB19143376.jpg Why won't my system recognize my usb device?This is a great question.It's a great question because it happens all the time-your computer is on, you're ready to work, you plug in your usb device, and.nothing.It was just working!What's going on?Why is it that all of a sudden nothing is showing up?You know that your computer can recognize it, but why won't it?In fact, just as I was starting to write this article, my computer decided that it no longer wanted to recognize the usb device that I had been using for the last couple hours, that was still plugged in to the computer, but I guess that the computer had had enough of usb devices for the day.

We all know how great usb devices are.You can slip them in your pocket, carry them around with you wherever you go.No more bulky and easy-to-damage hard discs.No more large and even easier-to-damage cd roms.Instead you have all the ease of your storage drives being carried around on your key chain.And they can hold so much more than those old hard drives and floppies.Basically, USB's seem like the ultimate dream come true.

Until they don't work.

What do you do if your USB drive doesn't work?All of a sudden there's no way for you to access your data.Let's say that you're going to an important conference or business meeting.You put all of your presentation on your USB, of course.Then you get to the place and you find out that for some reason, they only have older computers at the convention center (it happened to me once-a conference held at a convent in France).Of course your presentation isn't on a hard drive.You stopped using hard drives five, six years ago.But there's no way around it: that older operating system just won't recognize your USB.

And here's where we hit upon one of the main culprits of USB non-recognition.Your system, or someone else's system that you happen to have to be dealing with, just is too old.It won't recognize the USB technology.Of course you can plug something in there-the port is exactly the same-but it won't recognize any of the data or even the existence of your USB.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that your computer is generally up to date.

  1. Update your system BIOS.BIOS is especially important to making sure that USBs work and that they're recognized by your operating system.You can update your BIOS by simply clicking on the "Update" function on your computer.Check with your computer manufacturer for more information.

  2. Update Windows.Windows makes constant updates.A lot of them are extremely important for a number of different reasons-security updates, Windows Media Player updates, and other things like that.But there are also constant updates to the USB support component of Windows.Make sure that you have the latest version of Windows so that you can have the best possible USB support
  3. .
  4. Running Windows XP?Do you know if Windows itself is damaged?If you don't know, then run the System File Checker.

  5. Conduct a virus scan.

  6. Review all of the software that comes with your USB.If it's not installed right, and if it's not updated, you've got a problem right there.

Update your USB hardware drivers.Talk to your computer manufacturer, or the USB port manufacturer.This second option is for you if your USB port is part of an add-in card.

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