Question USB port not working/not configured properly ?

EssKayKay

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Please bear with me as I have posted a similar question but now have new info which may help resolve my issue.

I have two XPS13 9350 laptops that are configured very similarly both running Win10 Home (same SSD, memory, video, etc.). The primarily (and maybe only) difference is one is an i5, the other is an i7.

I am trying to run two Logitech webcams simultaneously through an external 4-port USB-A 2.0 hub. It works fine on one machine (i5) but does not work on the other (i7). When both cameras are plugged into the hub, I can only view one camera on the i7 (can view both on the i5). If I plug one camera into the hub and the other directly into a USB port on the laptop it works fine. However, I really don’t want to do this as my space is very limited.

Apparently there is something set differently on the i7. I assume it is some hardware setting (USB, motherboard, ?) but being technically challenged as I am I, do not know how to resolve this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve K.
 

EssKayKay

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If this is not an externally powered USB hub then you are likely exceeding the ability of the USB port on one laptop to power the ports on the hub. Nothing you do on the host side can fix this.
I have tried both externally powered and non-powered. Both work fine with the i5 machine; none of them work with the i7. So to me (the dummy in the story) it sounds like some setting (OS, hardware, whaever). Maybe it's just a faulty laptop motherboard or who knows what.
 

EssKayKay

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There's nothing setupwise, either BIOS or Windows that would account for this. It's either hardware or software. Start with the software. Assuming identical software on both then it's a setting that you've missed.
Yes, software (Win10) should be very similar if not identical. I'll try to see if anything varies but I really don't know where to start.
 

Paperdoc

Polypheme
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The power suggestion is a good one, so be sure that you have tried using a USB2 Hub WITH its power brick attached and working.

Another POSSIBLE idea is that the second (does not work for 2 cameras) laptop is confused about two nearly identical devices attached to the USB2 system. The following sequence is to force that laptop to forget about these cameras, then re-discover them separately. It MAY help, but can't damage anything.

  1. Connect both cameras and the USB2 Hub and power brick to the second laptop, and turn on.
  2. Go into Device Manager and find those cameras. For each in turn, DELETE that device and its drivers until you have NO cameras anywhere. DELETE also the USB2 Hub. Now unplug the cameras and the Hub from the laptop, exit from Device Manager, and shut down.
  3. Boot up, and check Device Manager, Make sure there is no camera or Hub detected. Back out of Device Manager.
  4. Plug in the Hub and its power brick only. You should see a brief window saying a new USB2 device was detected and its drive was loaded. Go back into Device Manager and verify it is there with NO Yellow caution flag. Back out of Device Manager.
  5. Plug in ONE camera. Again, you should see a brief window saying a new USB2 device was detected and its drive was loaded. And again, check Device Manger to verify it is there OK. Back out, and test that the camera does work. Shut down.
  6. Boot up again, check that all is still working. Plug in the second camera and you should see another device detected - driver loaded display. Check for that in Device Manager, verify it is listed separately and has no Yellow flag. Back out. Try the second camera. Now try both. Do they work?
 

EssKayKay

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The power suggestion is a good one, so be sure that you have tried using a USB2 Hub WITH its power brick attached and working.

Another POSSIBLE idea is that the second (does not work for 2 cameras) laptop is confused about two nearly identical devices attached to the USB2 system. The following sequence is to force that laptop to forget about these cameras, then re-discover them separately. It MAY help, but can't damage anything.

  1. Connect both cameras and the USB2 Hub and power brick to the second laptop, and turn on.
  2. Go into Device Manager and find those cameras. For each in turn, DELETE that device and its drivers until you have NO cameras anywhere. DELETE also the USB2 Hub. Now unplug the cameras and the Hub from the laptop, exit from Device Manager, and shut down.
  3. Boot up, and check Device Manager, Make sure there is no camera or Hub detected. Back out of Device Manager.
  4. Plug in the Hub and its power brick only. You should see a brief window saying a new USB2 device was detected and its drive was loaded. Go back into Device Manager and verify it is there with NO Yellow caution flag. Back out of Device Manager.
  5. Plug in ONE camera. Again, you should see a brief window saying a new USB2 device was detected and its drive was loaded. And again, check Device Manger to verify it is there OK. Back out, and test that the camera does work. Shut down.
  6. Boot up again, check that all is still working. Plug in the second camera and you should see another device detected - driver loaded display. Check for that in Device Manager, verify it is listed separately and has no Yellow flag. Back out. Try the second camera. Now try both. Do they work?
Thanks for the input PaperDoc. Since my last post there is a bit more info on this.

I believe this is a Windows 10 issue. As noted, I have two Dell XPS13 9350 machines configured very similarly. The only difference I am aware of is one is an i5 processor, the other an i7 (i.e., same video, hard drive, memory, OS version, etc.).

When I run the cameras on the i5 thru the 4-port hub all works perfectly. As a test, I “cloned” the i5 machine to an external USB drive. I then connected the external drive to the i7 and configure it to boot from the external drive – all cameras worked perfectly. So I know it’s not a hardware issue but presumably an OS issue.

I next performed a Windows reset on the i7 machine reinstalling Win10 but leaving all programs and files intact. The machine rebooted and the reinstall “appeared” to be OKAY. However, I could still only view one camera through the USB hub at a time. Apparently the “reset” didn’t work.

My question if you please – what Win10 setting could possibly be causing this? I really don’t want to do a complete Windows 10 reinstall if possible as you can imagine this would be very invasive.

Again PaperDoc - much appreciated. . .
 

Paperdoc

Polypheme
Ambassador
You're lucky the two machines were so close to identical that the clone OS worked. That does confirm that the issue is a setting in software, not hardware. But exactly what, and where, I cannot say. My suggestion above to TRY (it may not work!) is based on a hypothesis that there is a difference between the two machines in where the repective OS's think the cameras are connected. By removing all reference to them from Windows' stored configuration info and then re-connecting them one at a time you MAY allow Windows to identify their locations clearly.
 

ex_bubblehead

Polypheme
Moderator
I went through all the steps you outlined above but no-go. I still could only view one camera at a time. I then rebooted using the external drive with the other XPS13 (i5) machine’s system on it. Again, all worked fine. So it really does appear to be some OS or other software setting (not hardware) but how/where do I go about attempting to resolve this?

Thanks
SKK
Full wipe and reinstall. No other option.
 

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