How to diagnose and fix a USB port on a laptop that does not work?

USB ports are very useful for daily use on your computer. But what about when a USB port stops working? Here’s how to diagnose and fix a USB port that does not work.

Is one of the USB ports on your computer not recognizing devices? If you have already connected a USB drive or other device to your computer, just to test, and nothing is recognized in it, there is a good chance that the USB port has a problem. But what can you do? Here’s how to diagnose and fix a USB port that does not work.

How to diagnose and fix a USB port that does not work?

Before proceeding, note that you need to make sure that the defect is in the USB port, not the device you are connecting.

To determine what the problem is, connect the device to another USB port. If it works, then the problem was the first door; If the device remains undetected, you may have a defective device. If you can not format the USB drive, you will need to replace it.

If there is a problem with your USB port, you will notice this thanks to one of these things:

  • The device is not detected
  • Your operating system displays a device-related error message (removing and replacing the device may resolve this)

Either way, you should investigate the status of the USB port. Has it been damaged in any way? The safest way to find out is to turn off your PC or notebook.

Then look at the USB port. Is it clean and dust free? If you are using a desktop, or the USB port is on the back of a PC tower, there is a chance that dirt, dust, and debris, in general, may have been incorporated into the port.

Dust reduces airflow, causing system overheating. It is particularly harmful to notebooks where overheating can reduce performance. Clean the unit with a can of compressed air. A vacuum cleaner can also be useful.

Finally, grab a USB cable (or pen drive) and gently move around the door. If the drive is moving and appears loose, you have a hardware problem. Contact a technician and ask to replace the USB port.

How to fix physical problems

If the USB port is loose, be aware that it can be attached to the motherboard, but it is usually a secondary PCB. With regular use, the doors can become movable, sometimes completely disconnected.

This often comes down to the shape of connected USB devices. While small Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is unlikely to put any significant pressure on the physical port connection, older memory drives are different. So it’s the USB devices themselves that are to blame. Its size and weight act as a lever, helping the USB ports to release.

Replacing a USB port is not easy. On a desktop computer, you can find a replacement board that can be docked without much effort. However, if you are using a notebook, you will need to weld. Ideally, take your notebook to a repair technician, but there will be costs.

How to Fix a USB Port That Does not Work

Let’s look at some software fixes for you to try if you’re not sure, that the problem is not physical. Check software fixes first.

Restart the computer

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Incredibly, sometimes this works.

With your unrecognized USB device properly inserted into the suspected USB port, restart your computer. After the operating system reboots, it must detect the USB device. Otherwise, it is worth searching for the device in the Windows device manager.

Right-click on the Start Menu and click the “Device Manager” option.

Device Manager lists the devices connected to your computer, grouped into categories. It is arranged alphabetically so you should find  Disk Drives at the bottom of the list.

Expand the list and look for the device you’re trying to find. It may be that your device is called the  USB Host Controller. Did not find anything? This may explain why your USB device does not work.

To correct this, the dialog box  Device Manager, click on the menu  Action and Scan for hardware changes. This will initiate a scan of all connected hardware and in most cases will detect the USB port and anything connected to it.

If this still does not work, it is worth taking the time to reinstall the USB Host Controller. Right-click on the USB Host Controller items, and select Uninstall on each. Please wait while they are uninstalled and restart your computer.

As Windows restarts, the USB Host Controller will be automatically reinstalled. This “update” can help fix problems with the USB port.

If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!

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