How can I get Windows to just see my devices when I plug them in and be sure they will work via hubs?

I am using a notebook PC w/ Windows for the first time for some production purposes. I'm coming from Mac; there, I plug in all of my devices (Audio Interfaces, USB Cameras , Keyboards, Capture Cards, et al.) and everything works instantly without installing a bunch of stuff.

With windows I apparently cannot use some devices through a hub. When I plug something into a port, it installs software "drivers" that allow it to run. If I then plug it into a different USB Port than I used the last time, it will not work.

Everything is up to date; the Ports and Hubs are all USB 3.0, whereas the devices are all USB 2.

I need to use more devices than my notebook PC has ports for, and so this whole thing has been frustrating. I can't imagine that PC users in 2019 really have to install different software for every class-compliant device, and then must remember which specific port they used for each device, and cannot use hubs.

  • 5
    It ought to install 'new' drivers if you change port - I know that feels weird to someone used to never having to actually install a driver, but that's how it works. Mac kind of does the same thing, it's just less visible. – Tetsujin Jan 30 '19 at 16:31
  • 3
    That's why its called "plug and pray" in Windows. – Moab Jan 30 '19 at 16:32
  • 1
    I mean I don't care what it does but I stopped using Windows in 1998 because of this kind of thing and I can't believe they still haven't gotten things to work correctly. – Electrik Dave Jan 31 '19 at 17:11
  • 1
    Please click edit and add to your question so all may see the addition: 1) Make & model (from the serial number plate underneath) of your notebook PC. 2) Make & model of the USB hubs. 3) Which version (7, 8.1, or 10), edition (Pro vs Enterprise vs Home), type (32-bit or 64-bit), and release (run ver_ from a Command Prompt window) of Windows you use. It's important to add to the original question, for everything describing the problem has to be where everyone can see it, and Comments get hidden when there are too many – K7AAY Jan 31 '19 at 17:35
  • 2
    Dave - you're not going to 'beat' it, only learn to live with it. Let K7AAY help if he can. I had a brief foray into audio production on Win, mid 2000's, I've been back on Mac since 2008. I still have Win machines here, but I don't let them do anything 'serious', so I can't actually help, sorry. – Tetsujin Jan 31 '19 at 20:26

Suggest you add a USB 3.x multiport card to solve your issues. They are reasonably inexpensive, and some add ports not only on the back of the card itself, but also have 'internal' USB 3.x ports which allow you to add ports on the front of your PC with an extender such as this. Then you have a port you can assign permanently to each USB device. Seems strange to have to add hardware to solve the inadequacies of an OS, but it will solve your need.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    That doesn't help me because this is a portable rig that runs off a powerful notebook. – Electrik Dave Jan 31 '19 at 17:09
  • 1
    Oh, bother. See the latest comment to your original question, not giving up on you. – K7AAY Jan 31 '19 at 17:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.