USB devices, such as an external USB hard drive or a USB printer, are designed to be "plug and play," which means they don't require any special set-up procedures. In some instances, the device may not work properly if your computer's USB ports are experiencing problems. To fix a USB issue with your Dell XPS computer in Windows XP Professional you need to ensure the operating system is recognising the ports and make sure you have the latest BIOS.
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Unplug the USB device from whichever USB port it is currently connected to. Plug the device into a different USB port on the Dell XPS computer to see if the problem is with one specific port.
Open the computer's "Start" menu and click the "Control Panel" option. Choose "Performance and Maintenance" and select the "System" option.
Navigate to the "Hardware" tab and click "Device Manager." Click the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" heading. Right-click the first USB port entry and choose "Uninstall."
Repeat the uninstall process on each USB entry listed under the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" heading. Close the "Device Manager" window and restart your XPS computer.
Follow the installation instructions that appear on the screen when the "Found New Hardware" prompt appears. Remove the USB device and plug it back in. Attempt to use the device to see if the issue is resolved.
Navigate to the Dell support home page. Click "Select Model" and choose "Desktops." Click "XPS" and choose the specific model of XPS computer you have.
Click the "BIOS" heading and select the download link for the most recent BIOS version. Double-click the BIOS file and go through the installation steps. Restart Windows XP after the installation completes.
Tips and warnings
- If problems persist, the issue may be caused by your USB device and not your Dell computer's USB port. Try plugging a different USB device into your computer to see if the port is working properly.
- Downloading the latest Windows XP updates may also fix the issue. Open the "Start" menu and click "All Programs." Select "Windows Update" and choose the option to download the latest updates available.
- Some USB devices have a locking switch that prevents you from modifying the data on the device. Remove the USB device from the USB port and check to see if the plastic switch on the side is set to "lock" or "unlock."
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