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I have Windows XP SP2 on an Intel motherboard with a P4 processor. All of its USB ports are malfunctioning. When I connect a speaker, mouse or anything through those USB ports, they are working fine. But as soon as I connect a USB drive (pen drive), it detects it for around half a minute.

As I try to copy something to it or to use it any other way, it shows:

The device is not available

I connected an external PCI USB card, but that card is also facing the same problem. The system is not infected.

What can be the causes of this problem and what are the remedies?

EDIT: booted with Ubuntu live CD. problem still persists.

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Is this only with a specific drive? Have you tried using a different USB drive? – Mokubai Jun 18 '11 at 15:30
If your USB ports work with other devices, then I doubt the ports themselves are malfunctioning. Try the key in another computer and report back. – Breakthrough Jun 18 '11 at 15:47
ya I tried with different USB drives. Same result. And the USB drives are working fine. The problem is indeed in the ports. – narayanpatra Jun 18 '11 at 16:09
I formatted my machine and now everything works fine. – narayanpatra Jul 14 '11 at 6:36

I would open Device Manager, delete all the USB Universal Host Controllers and USB Root Hubs, and then go to Action>Scan for hardware changes and have them reinstalled. Other than than, I would try a system restore.

Did you mean you installed an INTERNAL PCI USB card?

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I would almost say that this issue is completely due to the fact that the power in your system is fluctuating in an evil way.

It could be a good idea to try an externally powered USB hub or an externally powered USB hard drive to confirm the diagnostic. If that would work well, you could try to replace the PSU (although it is not unlikely that the mainboard circuit is damaged).

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