How to fix the USB ports on a laptop without taking them out

Written by ken macdonald Google
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How to fix the USB ports on a laptop without taking them out
You can make some checks on a malfunctioning USB hub without opening your computer. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

USB ports provide the most common way of linking peripherals like printers, cameras and scanners to your laptop. If one or more of them stops working, the functionality of your machine is greatly reduced. There are a number of things you can do to troubleshoot a malfunctioning USB port. It's always worth giving these options a shot before you enter into the inconvenience of sending your computer in for repair, especially if it is no longer under warranty.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Small tweezers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Try more than one USB enabled device in the suspect port to ensure that the problem is not with one of your peripherals.

  2. 2

    Check the USB port visually to identify any foreign objects lodged in it that could be causing it to malfunction. If you see something, gently pull it out with a small pair of tweezers. Test the USB port to see if that has helped.

  3. 3

    Press "Start" then choose "Control Panel" from the right-hand of the "Start" menu. Select "Hardware and sound" from the control panel.

  4. 4

    Click on "Device manager" under the "Devices and Printers" heading. Click on "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" in the file tree on the left-hand of the device manager.

  5. 5

    Right-click "Generic USB Hub" and click on "Update driver Software..." This opens a menu box with options. Select "Search automatically for updated driver software." Repeat this operation for each entry of "Generic USB Hub." The number of entries is the same as the number of hubs your computer has.

  6. 6

    Windows now searches for a more recent driver for your USB port. If it finds one, follow the online instructions to install the driver. If this does not solve your problem, a visit to the repair shop is your next step.

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