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Old 08-08-2012, 11:25 AM
Laurence Hurst
 
Default USB ports not working after device disconnect

Hi folks,

Occasionally, when I disconnect a device (usually a mass storage device)
from my laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad x201), the USB ports stop recognising
devices when I plug them in until I reboot. The ports are still powered
and will charge e.g. a phone if I plug one in but nothing at all is
registered by dmesg or logged in /var/log/messages.


Last time this happened lsusb showed a 'linux root hub' and an 'Intel
rate matching hub' and nothing else. I've rebooted the machine and then
had two of each of these (there was only 1 before) along with the
inbuilt fingerprint reader and a device just described as "Lenovo",
which suggests to me Debian is somehow losing one of the root hubs.


Before I rebooted it last time, I tried removing and reprobing the usb
modules (i.e. usbcore and anything which depend on it) but this made no
difference.


Anyone any idea why this might be happening, or what I can do to try and
fix it?


Thanks
Laurence


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Old 08-08-2012, 02:51 PM
Camaleón
 
Default USB ports not working after device disconnect

On Wed, 08 Aug 2012 12:25:46 +0100, Laurence Hurst wrote:

> Occasionally, when I disconnect a device (usually a mass storage device)
> from my laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad x201), the USB ports stop recognising
> devices when I plug them in until I reboot. The ports are still powered
> and will charge e.g. a phone if I plug one in but nothing at all is
> registered by dmesg or logged in /var/log/messages.

Weird. Check if there's a BIOS update, just in case.

> Last time this happened lsusb showed a 'linux root hub' and an 'Intel
> rate matching hub' and nothing else. I've rebooted the machine and then
> had two of each of these (there was only 1 before) along with the
> inbuilt fingerprint reader and a device just described as "Lenovo",
> which suggests to me Debian is somehow losing one of the root hubs.

Kernel does not usually lose USB hubs, it only shows what is there and
presents nothing when either a) a hardware problem arises or b) a bug is
hitting you :-)

So, to discard a kernel problem you can try by loading a different kernel
release (better an updated version). This can be easily done from a
LiveCD (nothing to install) or getting a new kernel version (from the
backports or compiling yourself from sources).

> Before I rebooted it last time, I tried removing and reprobing the usb
> modules (i.e. usbcore and anything which depend on it) but this made no
> difference.

Mmm... I was going to suggest precisely that (i.e., modprobe -r usbcore
modporbe usbcore).

What Debian flavour are you running?

> Anyone any idea why this might be happening, or what I can do to try and
> fix it?

Problems with USB ports usually come from power issues (a damaged USB
controller which cannot provide 5V to the ports can cause devices
attached to it that require more power are not properly detected or
experience random disconnects). You can run the usual tests: try with
different devices other than mass storage, replace the USB cable (if
any), attach the device to a different port, etc...

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 08-08-2012, 03:26 PM
Laurence Hurst
 
Default USB ports not working after device disconnect

On 08/08/2012 15:51, Camaleón wrote:


Weird. Check if there's a BIOS update, just in case.



I didn't think of that (d'oh!). There is a newer BIOS (more than one,
actually) on Lenovo's website for my machine. I will have a go at
installing the latest one and see if it helps.




Kernel does not usually lose USB hubs, it only shows what is there and
presents nothing when either a) a hardware problem arises or b) a bug is
hitting you :-)



Absolutely, the problem is figuring out which one...


So, to discard a kernel problem you can try by loading a different kernel
release (better an updated version). This can be easily done from a
LiveCD (nothing to install) or getting a new kernel version (from the
backports or compiling yourself from sources).



I am running a kernel from backports, as I had wireless driver issues
with the stock one, but I am fairly sure I was having this problem
before. Unfortunately the problem is intermittent - sometimes I can
unplug/plug devices without a problem and sometimes the ports stop
working. This is going to make it very hard to tell if the problem has
gone away permanently or it's just hibernating for a while.




Mmm... I was going to suggest precisely that (i.e., modprobe -r usbcore
modporbe usbcore).



Sorry to have beaten you to it!


What Debian flavour are you running?



Stable (6.0.5) on amd64 (the laptop's a Core i5) with iceweasel and
linux-image from backports (only those 2 packages, and their required
dependencies)




Problems with USB ports usually come from power issues (a damaged USB
controller which cannot provide 5V to the ports can cause devices
attached to it that require more power are not properly detected or
experience random disconnects). You can run the usual tests: try with
different devices other than mass storage, replace the USB cable (if
any), attach the device to a different port, etc...



Hmm, given this is a laptop I suppose a power problem is a strong
possibility. This usually happens with my iPod and/or USB cd drive so I
would not be surprised if they were trying to draw more current than the
USB port (and specs!) can provided. Perhaps I need to try using a
(powered) hub for a while and see if that stops it happening.



Greetings,



Thanks for your input,
Laurence


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