Solved! USB 3.0 port only works for 2.0 electronics

Rad3on

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Dec 13, 2013
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One of my laptop's USB 3.0 ports seemed to have died, as it wouldn't detect my external hard drive (the drive powers up normally, it just isn't detected by Windows), though connecting it to another port worked fine. I tried the regular stuff - Disk Management didn't show it, deleting everything under Universal Serial Bus controllers in Device Manager (as to force driver re-installation) - nothing worked.

But then I tried connecting my phone and an Arduino Uno board to this "faulty" port, and they both worked. So I thought... could the port be working only in 2.0 mode for some reason? To find out, I connected an old USB 2.0 hub to it, the external drive USB cable to the hub, and the drive was immediately recognized by Windows.

My question is - how can a USB port stop working in 3.0, but somehow still work fine in 2.0 (shouldn't it just break completely)? And is there anything I can do to fix it?

Thank you! :)
 
Did you try the drive on another machine to see if USB 3 would work there? It's possible there is a problem with the drive or the cable. USB 3.0 is 10x faster and puts more demands on the cable (although I've never heard of a problem).
 
Did you try the drive on another machine to see if USB 3 would work there? It's possible there is a problem with the drive or the cable. USB 3.0 is 10x faster and puts more demands on the cable (although I've never heard of a problem).
 
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