Question Motherboard USB Ports Randomly Shut Off - Worried This is Hardware Failure

Sep 7, 2022
5
1
15
0
Hello all,

I've been having an issue for the better part of 2 weeks now and could use some help diagnosing the problem. Here's the issue in a nutshell.

At random times, my USB devices connected to the back of my computer will suddenly shut off for a few seconds and then turn back on again. Here's my motherboard and what all is connected:

Motherboard:
  • ASUS Strix Z270-E GAMING LGA 1151
Accessories
  • Razer Huntsman Elite
  • Razer Viper Chroma
  • StreamDeck (small version)
  • Logitech HD 1080p Webcam (forget the model name but its the one everyone has)
  • Sennheiser EPOS Amp/DAC
Now the eagle eyed reader will notice that given the motherboard, I would not have enough ports to connect all my devices, which is correct. I have elected to connect the stream deck, keyboard, mouse hub and amp to the a USB-3 data hub I purchased on Amazon (link here). At first I thought this might be the issue, having something to do with overloading the hub and forcing it to cut power to avoid a short. I removed the keyboard and amp from the hub as these would (in theory) draw the largest amount of power. The problem still persists. Furthermore, I removed the USB hub and plugged into a laptop while plugging in peripherals and leaving them on to see if this caused the power to short. Everything remained fine.

Here are the fixes I have tried thus far:
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the USB serial bus controllers
    • I did this for both the generic driver and the Intel driver
  • Plugged peripherals into different USB ports
  • Turning off the power saver mode on all available USB serial bus controllers
  • Rebooted the system and looked for any Windows updates
  • Ensured that the most recent version of the USB serial bus controllers was installed (through the Windows update feature)
If anyone has any guidance on this, it would be greatly appreciated. I've been in the PC building/troubleshooting game for around 5 years now and I've never seen an issue like this. Whenever I've seen USB ports fail, they fail outright and its usually one, not all of them at once. My worst fear is that the motherboard is failing and this is the first sign of trouble. Not the end of the world to update my motherboard and CPU but its an expense I would rather not have.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Personally, I despise hubs, since they can be the root of pretty much all connectivity issues. Your board has internal headers whereby you can break away with PCIe expansion slots brackets that help keep the USB devices plugged in from the rear of the case.

What BIOS version are you working with for your motherboard? If you're on Windows 10, what version(not edition) are you working with? better yet, please parse the specs to your build like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
Monitor:

Have you installed all drivers(including MEI) in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator? You're advised to work with drivers listed on your motherboard makers site, not from elsewhere(that's what I'm assuming is your referral to generic drivers).
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Make sure you have latest BIOS version for your motherboard installed.

Go into the advanced power settings and make sure USB selective suspend is disabled.

Go to the product page for your motherboard, download and install the latest chipset driver (.inf) for your motherboard.

For chipset, audio and network adapter drivers you generally SHOULD be using whatever the latest drivers are on your motherboard's product page and NOT rely on Windows native drivers which are typically generic/universal in nature UNLESS there is a problem with the motherboard manufacturer supplied driver in which case then trying the MS driver is an option.
 
Sep 7, 2022
5
1
15
0
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Personally, I despise hubs, since they can be the root of pretty much all connectivity issues. Your board has internal headers whereby you can break away with PCIe expansion slots brackets that help keep the USB devices plugged in from the rear of the case.

What BIOS version are you working with for your motherboard? If you're on Windows 10, what version(not edition) are you working with? better yet, please parse the specs to your build like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
Monitor:

Have you installed all drivers(including MEI) in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator? You're advised to work with drivers listed on your motherboard makers site, not from elsewhere(that's what I'm assuming is your referral to generic drivers).
Thanks for the quick response. I've provided a quick snapshot of my PC using Speccy where you can see all of the info requested, other than the chassis, which is Phanteks Evo Enthoo TG.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qs4ImYJ8o-ykn4ZV-Hxgj3wVd4EZ2QRG?usp=sharing

2 quick asides, I forgot to mention that I did move the USB adapter for the Viper Chroma to the front of the case (so Phantek's USB ports) and that also loses power when everything goes offline. Secondly, the "generic" USB bus controllers I was referring to were ASMedia. Just to make sure all bases are covered.

Once I am off work today I will begin the process of updating my BIOS as I just checked and its from 2018. Another user below suggested checking the power settings inside the BIOS as well so I will be checking on that.
 
Reactions: Dark Lord of Tech

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Once I am off work today I will begin the process of updating my BIOS as I just checked and its from 2018.
This alone COULD be the fix, because, a lot of modern drivers and Windows configurations rely on the idea that hardware will have at least "X" as far as specifically up to date CMOS information and instructions. Without it, a modern driver or registry entry can break an otherwise functional system if it is lacking a recent enough BIOS configuration to support those changes. And, it just as well might NOT fix it, but in the modern era, since maybe 2010 on, BIOS updates aren't like in the old days where you rarely wanted to attempt them unless absolutely necessary. Now they are more like driver updates in frequency, even if they are at least a little more involved to install. I'd try the BIOS first, which certainly can't hurt to be on the latest version anyhow. We've seen a lot of instances where newer graphics cards, for example, won't even be recognized or work in a system with a BIOS version that is several years or more old.

And the advanced power settings I'm referring to are in the Windows power settings, advanced section, not the BIOS. Windows power plans, advanced power settings, USB, disable USB selective suspend. But, first update the BIOS because it might be all that is needed. Don't forget that after updating the BIOS it is usually necessary to reconfigure all your custom BIOS settings such as fan profiles, overclocking configurations, memory XMP configurations, etc.
 
Reactions: ghostlead_67

Inthrutheoutdoor

Reputable
BANNED
Feb 17, 2019
255
66
4,790
6
If you insist on using a hub, get one that has it's own AC power adapter. That should resolve most if not all of your issues, aside from the outdated BIOS of course.

Or as already mentioned, get a USB pcie expansion card (or 2) to connect your devices to.

Sometimes people seem to forget that not only is power draw a possible concern for USB ports, especially when 1 is being used to power 4, 5, or 6 others on a hub, the number & bandwidth requirements of the connected devices can also cause issues too...
 
Sep 7, 2022
5
1
15
0
If you insist on using a hub, get one that has it's own AC power adapter. That should resolve most if not all of your issues, aside from the outdated BIOS of course.

Or as already mentioned, get a USB pcie expansion card (or 2) to connect your devices to.

Sometimes people seem to forget that not only is power draw a possible concern for USB ports, especially when 1 is being used to power 4, 5, or 6 others on a hub, the number & bandwidth requirements of the connected devices can also cause issues too...
Yeah the responses I'm hearing are to go through the PCIe bus, which would definitely have siginificantly more bandwidth to play with. Might not be an upgrade I go for right away but definitely one I would use for the future. Have any recommendations?
 
I just wanted to add some info on USB design related to this. Every USB root HUB is allowed to provide a certain amount of power based on the cable type, e.g., a USB-C provides a different max current than a USB-A. When you have a HUB of your own, then power of that root HUB must be divided into the secondary HUB plus everything plugged into that HUB. No one device could then reach the max spec because the sum of device current draw would still need to never exceed the max on the root HUB. There are basically two kinds of overcurrent protection involved, and if either trips, then your USB devices would appear to turn off, and then later back on. The active overcurrent protection can enable again fairly quickly during recovery, but there is also a solid polymer fuse type which takes more time to restore power.

The polymer fuse is basically conductive, and melts when too much current goes through it. Quite literally it self repairs by cooling back down, but cooling one of these takes significant time (perhaps as long as a full day in some cases).

If you want to debug this you should use an externally powered HUB. This does two things:
  • Increases the spec of how much current that type of connector is allowed to provide.
  • Removes the delivery requirement from root HUB to secondary HUB, which means the original fuse is no longer involved.
Try running with an externally powered HUB. I personally always use externally powered for anything other than a keyboard and mouse (they are trivial in power requirements). Most powered HUBs work just fine without power as well, and revert to root HUB power source if external power is removed, but can then be powered when debugging is needed to by pass root HUB power requirements.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you insist on using a hub, get one that has it's own AC power adapter. That should resolve most if not all of your issues,
Actually, it wouldn't solve ANY of their issues, aside from devices that ONLY need charging power, because if the ports the hub is plugged into are shutting off then no data is going to shuttle between the hub and the PC no matter if you had ten power cords connected to it or not.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
And, if you DO use an external hub with many devices connected to it that are all going to be running mostly at the same time, I'd be sure to plug them into the pink/red USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A port on the back of the motherboard, as it has somewhat higher capabilities and better throughput than the older USB 3.1 Type A blue ports.
 
Sep 7, 2022
5
1
15
0
Update: I just reinstalled the BIOS and turned off selective disabling. Going to throw a game on and see if it does it again for another 30 minutes.

So far so good
 
Sep 7, 2022
5
1
15
0
Back here again guys, sorry I had a very busy end to my week.

Sadly the problem continues to persist, though I will note that updating the BIOS did reduce the frequency at which it decided to disconnect/reconnect.

I'm a bit perplexed by this, because as stated in a previous comment, the USB adapter for my wireless mouse is now connected to the front ports on my case, and also goes offline when my USBs "reboot themselves" for lack of a better term.

This makes me wonder if doing a windows repair might solve the issue? That said, I am looking to replace the hub with a PCIe card here within the next week. I've read a decent amount online about how this particular one is good for VR so I'm assuming it would work just fine for my purposes. If anyone has any recommendations I welcome then!

Inateck PCIe to USB 3.2 Gen 2 Card, Total Transfer Rate 20 Gbps, with 4 USB Type-A Ports and 1 USB Type-C Port, RedComets U23 https://a.co/d/irmD48Y
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
So, if the USB ports are actually "shutting off", entirely, for both charging and shuttling data/feedback, it certainly COULD be related to a driver or Windows issue I suppose but it would be a lot more likely that it is simply a board problem. It probably WOULD be a good idea to go ahead and try a CLEAN install of Windows followed by installing the latest available motherboard drivers from the motherboard's support page, first.

And if that doesn't fix the problem then an expansion card might be your only other option as the use of the PCIe bus might avoid whatever is going on with the USB bus or controller, although it is just a band aid really, but that might be unavoidable since that board is long out of warranty and repair is generally not an option. So unless you're willing to upgrade the platform with a new motherboard and CPU (Buying a costly replacement Z270 board seems senseless at this late date) that might be your best option. Probably worth a shot anyhow and of course no matter what it isn't a waste as the extra USB ports are always nice to have.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS