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After losing no small amount of work from this, I'm somewhat aggravated. I'm on Vista Business 32-bit on a Toshiba P300-011 business laptop, and occasionally all my USB ports stop responding, and Windows acts as if no USB devices are plugged in. When this happens, I have to restart my computer in order to get USB working, and if my computer attempts to enter standby mode, it will hang because the USB system isn't responding. There's no error reported, so windows still behaves as if USB is in fact working.

Is this a known problem at all, and if it is, what solutions are available?

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Is Vista on SP2? If not, download and install the update.

Next, try downloading and installing the latest chipset drivers from Intel. This will in turn most likely update the drivers for the USB host controllers, which I think is a good place to start for your particular problem.

I would also get the BIOS updated to the latest version.

There is also a hotfix on Microsoft's KB which may be worth applying if all of the above does not work.

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Go to device manager, USB, and uncheck the box on the power management tab "allow the computer to turn off this device to save power"

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