I have 5 USB ports. Only one seems to work. Is there something on the motherboard I can replace to fix this problem or do I have to replace the whole board?
Didi you manage to fix the problem using the suggestions above?
Let us know
I solved this problem just a couple of days back. My Windows XP was also utilizing only one USB port. After lots of drivers installation and R&D, I found WinXP service pack 3 was missing. After installing this, it detects all USB ports. Try this out.
If the answer above does not solve your problem, here's another line of thinking. In what way to the ports not work? Do you get an error when you plug devices into them, or is there no reaction at all? If the former, then it's almost certainly a software issue, and can be fixed. If the latter, read on...
It's possible that the hardware is actually faulty. It's very rare, but it has been known to happen. Most motherboards have pairs of USB ports, each of which is connected to a hub, so it could be that two controllers (e.g. on the back of the PC) are dead, while a third one (such as the front connector) is OK.
Also, it's possible that your device uses more power than the USB bus can provide. The USB specification calls for ports to supply 2.5 watts of power (0.5A at 5V). Some devices (e.g. printers) use their own power, while others, such as USB flash drives and mice, use the 'bus power'. Ocassionally, a device comsumes just a little more than what the port can produce and malfunctions. Mostly, you'll get a warning message to that effect, but sometimes the device is not detected at all. In general, the front ports provide less power than the rear ones so plugging the device at the back often resolves the problem. Also, some devices have a connection to an external power supply for such contingencies. To test for this, try a self-powered device (e.g. printer) on the suspect ports, and if it is detected, you'll know that the port is OK and the problem is most likely with the amount of power used by your device.
If you're referring to the fact that the USB mouse or keyboard that plugs into a particular USB slot doesn't work when you move it to another slot, that's a common behavior, but rebooting the PC with the device in the new port usually fixes it. There is always the situation, however, where someone disabled USB ports in the device manager or BIOS.
First - check device manager: start -> settings -> control panel -> system -> hardware -> device manager -> look for the usb port in the list to see if it's disabled (you should be able to enable it).
Second - check your BIOS. You'll need to know how to get into BIOS for your particular computer, and of course be careful about changing anything that you are unsure of...
Try USBDEVVIew (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html) to view the ports, also try uninstalling all USB ports and rebooting , Microsoft OS's will automatically rebuild the ports on reboot.