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I purchased a new USB cable here and for some reason it works on my Ubuntu laptop, but does not with my Windows Vista computer when I attach my EPSON CX8400 printer. I previously used another cable and that worked.

My Windows Vista computer keeps giving a pop up on the bottom right corner saying

USB Device Not Recognized, One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and Windows does not recognize it. For assistance in solving this problem, click this message.

Does anyone know if there is a driver you need to manually install that Linux already has?

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What's connected to the other end of the cable? Surely, Ubuntu does not think the air is a USB device. :P – iglvzx Jan 26 '12 at 7:25
Sorry, it is an EPSON CX8400 printer. BTW, I previously used another USB cable and it works going from printer to both Ubuntu and Vista computers. – O_O Jan 26 '12 at 7:58
FYI the previous usb cable was shorter than the newer one. (6' vs 10') – O_O Jan 26 '12 at 15:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Hardware solution

The message appears mostly if device has bad data comunication. That can occur if cable is more than 3m (three meter) and data stream is needed (like webcam oder video recorder or frame grabber).

Sometimes also too much power consumation wich result is bad data communication on device side. USB devices should not overload above 500mA.

I found also a small walkthrough for USB:

I had a lot of USB devices here. I would say, if device works not on Windows the cable is cheap (high resistor value inside) or too long for communication. If it works on linux thats a good test, but it depends on driver and in this case it will not say too much how to solve it.

Software solution

Because of some reasons, I already had success on computers with the following USB Fixit solution (free) from Microsoft:


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Do you know for sure that the problem is with the cable, and not with the device you're trying to hook up? The cable is just a connector. It should work exactly the same under different operating systems, and shouldn't require any special software.

It seems much more likely that Windows is having a problem with the device itself. You should specify what you're trying to hook up (a hard drive? a webcam? a keyboard?) and search for Windows drivers for that.

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I'm trying to hook up a printer and have had success with a previous usb cable (please see comment), so I'm sure it is the usb cable. Thx :) – O_O Jan 26 '12 at 8:01
are the two cables the same length? – Journeyman Geek Jan 26 '12 at 10:06
No they are not, the older one is much shorter. – O_O Jan 26 '12 at 15:00

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