Question USB ports stopped working, how can I tell if its a hardware or Windows problem?


Oct 1, 2013
I plugged in and out a few times in short succession a wireless adapter to test it, and since then the USB 3 port I used and another such port next to it (which are both inside the same box on the motherboard) stopped working. Although I think I might have used the other one too at some point, not sure.

After a while I got a message from the BIOS saying "overcurrent detected on USB device, shutting down". So I unplugged whatever was still connected to those ports.

I've tried to follow Windows 10's instructions for this exact problem ("If you quickly and repeatedly insert and remove a USB device, the USB port may stop responding") but I reached a part where they suggest to uninstall all USB entries from the Device Manager and I refuse to do that because I suspect I will get stuck with no mouse or keyboard input and they won't reinstall again.

Please see screenshot of my Device Manager USB section. In total I have 6 USB-3 ports and 2 USB-2 ports on this computer. Can you tell from this screenshot if they are showing up on the device manager? I don't know what is what here.

How can I tell if some hardware problem has occured or if Windows has just disabled them? I can't disconnect them from the motherboard. Is there something I can do before taking this to a technician?

Thank you
Last edited:


Mar 2, 2023
I've got the same number of USB Root Hub (USB3.0) entries on my laptop, i.e. two, but it's only got two USB3 ports. Your machine has six.

I seem to remember my desktop PCs with four, six or eight physical USB3 ports have the corresponding number of USB Root Hub (USB3.0) entries.

Whether or not there exists a true one-to-one correlation between physical USB3 ports and USB Root Hubs I've never bothered to investigate.

You appear to have lost two of your six USB3 ports but don't want to "make things worse". Can you use the remaining four USB3 ports with short extension leads or hubs?

An over-current condition was detected and Microsoft described options to reset the condition. You could create a Restore Point and try their suggestion. If it doesn't work, roll back the Restore Point. Unless you try the Windows repair, you won't know if it's fixable.

If the over-current protection circuits didn't save your USB chipset, it's probably just a bunch of burnt transistors. Components do fail. Unless you own a very expensive motherboard/laptop, it's probably not worth having it repaired.



Update your post to include full system hardware specs and OS information.

Include PSU: make, model, wattage, age, condition (original to build, new, refurbished, used)? Heavy gaming use?

Disk drive(s): make, model, capacity, how full?

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer: any error codes, warnings, or even informational events that can be linked to the USB Port failures?