USB Ding-Dongs: One more thing to try…

September 4, 2009

mechanicAs I mentioned in a recent posting, I’m having intermittent issues with my USB wireless mouse connecting and disconnected from my Vista OS system. When it happens I can switch USB ports with the mouse wireless dongle, but the connect/disconnect still continues to occur. What’s strange, is that after about 15 minutes or so it all stops and the mouse begins to work ok again. I tried using two different mice, but I have the same ding-dong problem.

I can only imagine the problem might be hardware related, as my system was working just fine for the last several months. So is the hardware issue a peripheral device or the motherboard? That’s really hard to say without disconnecting everything and running for a while, and reconnect each individual device. I tried some of that for a bit, but I still had the damn USB ding-dong problem. So, I’m thinking the problem is with the motherboard and it should be replaced.

But before I do that, I wanted to see if something came loose in my Desktop PC computer case which could be causing these intermittent problems. So, I unplugged everything from the back of my PC, pulled it out from under my desk, opened up the cover panel, and proceeded to make sure every connector was seated well into position. I also pulled out both memory sticks, swapped them around and reinserted them into the motherboard for good measure. So far as I could tell, nothing inside the case was loose or possibly shorting out.

I then placed my PC back under my desk and proceeded to reconnect each USB device one-at-a-time, making sure the Vista OS identified it and installed the proper driver. Everything went ok, so I’m now in testing-mode hoping that whatever I did fixed the problem. I’ll probably know by the end of today or tomorrow if my doctoring skills worked in resolving the USB ding-dong problem. If not, I’ll be heading off to Fry’s Electronics tomorrow to get a new ASUS P5C Deluxe motherboard to replace this one and hopefully that will fix the problem!

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Motherboards… which to pick?

September 2, 2009

motherboardI often buy from Newegg.com because they usually have really good deals, ship fast, and have good specification information on their products. I also like reading their customer review section for each product to get an idea on how good their products actually are. Recently, I’ve been looking at the reviews for a replacement motherboard for my desktop PC system, and the user comments are just making my head spin! It seems that whatever motherboard I look at, there’s always negative postings about quality, etc. The two boards I’ve been looking at are the ASUS P5Q Deluxe and the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P. With either board, I’ve read user postings that describe Dead-On-Arrivals (where the board wouldn’t boot up), memory incompatibility issues, and vendor support problems. Of course, you really need to take all these comments with a grain of salt since typically people are vocal when things go bad and not so much when things go good. Because of my past bad experience with the Gigabyte motherboards, I’m leaning toward the ASUS boards, however, the ASUS P5Q Deluxe seems to be over a year old and could be discontinued soon.

Since I can purchase either board at my local Fry’s Electronics store, I might opt for getting the Gigabyte board first and if that doesn’t work out exchange it for the ASUS board. Luckily, returning such items to Fry’s hasn’t been a big hassle in the past. I would love to order the boards from Newegg.com, however I don’t want to pay for return shipping and wait two weeks if the are bad. Oh, the joy of DIY computer upgrading…


USB Controller Ding-Donging at my door…

September 1, 2009

doorbellOut of the blue my main desktop PC is having issues with my wireless USB mouse, specifically, dropped connections. As I’m using my Logitech mouse, I’m constantly hearing the “Ding-Dong” sound of a USB device disconnecting and reconnecting. It’s a intermittent occurrence, which I can temporarily fix by rebooting my system. More than anything, it’s a giant annoyance! I’m also occassionally having disconnect issues with my wireless WiFi adapter (also a USB device).

I’ve tried using a different wireless USB mouse, but I have the same issue. I just can’t figure this one out. I’m coming to the conclusion that it could be, (1) A hardware issue with my motherboard, (2) USB or BIOS driver issue, (3) Something corrupt with my Vista OS installation. I tried updating all the chip drivers and BIOS for my ASUS motherboard, but that didn’t seem to help. I also change several different BIOS settings which didn’t do anything. I really don’t want to re-install Vista, since I’m planning to install Windows 7 in about two months (when it is officially released). The motherboard is less than 1-year old, so I can’t believe it is the problem (although it might be). Man, this stuff is just so hard to diagnose sometimes.

If this USB ding-dong issue keeps up, I’m thinking about replacing the motherboard. I like the ASUS motherboard I have now, but they no longer make this model. After some Googling and reading customer reviews newegg.com, it appears that the quality of the ASUS motherboards maybe going down hill. The Gigabyte motherboards are getting great reviews on some computer tech sites, but I had problems with two such motherboards during a recent upgrade attempt. Neverthless, I might still try another Gigabyte motherboard because I can buy one at a local Fry’s Electronics store and return it quite easily if it doesn’t work out.