3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 7, 2012 7:46 AM by edmacke

    Back Panel USB Problems (DZ68BC)

    edmacke

      I am having some odd USB issues with my DZ68BC mobo. This is all on a very recently built home-grown PC (Win7 64-bit Home Premium, 16GB G.Skill, i2700).

       

      It *seems* like the USB2 ports on the back I/O panel are acting flaky.


      Issue 1.
      I have a Belkin 4-port USB (powered) extension hub plugged into a USB2 port on the back panel - in one of those ports is an SD card reader. Yesterday I tried copying a small 70MB file from the SD card to my HDD, and it was taking *FOREVER*. Finally, I got tired of waiting and pulled the card reader from the Hub and plugged it a USB2 port on my case's front panel (which is plugged into a mobo USB2 header). In the front panel port, everything worked great and the file copied instantly.
      Issue 2.
      I have an external ioSafe drive plugged into a USB2 port on the back panel (again, it has its own power). The other day the drive just mysteriously disappeared from Windows. I cursed at Windows and rebooted, but that fix the problem. I power-cycling the external drive, and it showed up again and everything was fine. I thought it was odd, but didn't think too much more about it.

      Issue 3.
      Last night, my nightly backup to the external drive started failing with Windows "semaphore timeout period" errors, which Google searches say happens when the drive isn't responding for some reason. This time, the drive still appeared in Windows, but any attempt to navigate just hangs. At this point, I started to get suspicious....

      It seems unlikely it's an issue with my devices - both the card reader and external drive have worked fine for years on my old computer. Plus, the card reader works fine in the front panel USB port, just not the rear. These devices were seemingly OK a few days ago on my current PC, and AFAIK nothing has changed.

      Now, I do have other USB2 devices connected (keyboard, mouse) to the back panel, and they *seem* to be OK - I haven't noticed anything, at least.
      But the common thread with the failure seems to be they are both devices connected to back IO panel USB2 ports. Maybe the fact that they are storage devices (external drive and SD card) has something to do with it?

      I've updated my mobo BIOS to the current version, and I've used the Intel Driver Utility to ensure my drivers are all up-to-date.
        • 1. Re: Back Panel USB Problems (DZ68BC)
          edmacke

          i2700 should be i7-2600. Too early on a Monday....

          • 2. Re: Back Panel USB Problems (DZ68BC)
            edmacke

            Update1: I think the external hard drive is an issue with the drive, not the USB port. It doesn't seem to work in any USB2 or USB3 port now - front or back, and is making weird noises. I hope it's the hard drive going bad on it's own, and wasn't caused by some USB port problem. It does seem very coincidental that my external hard drive bites the dust *AND* my memory card reader slows to molasses on the same day. Couldn't be some odd voltage in the USB2 rear ports, right???

             

            Update2: this thread seems to have almost the exact problem I'm describing (although his issue was with a webcam, but still....). The interesting part is that in both of our cases, the USB ports aren't entirely dead - they are just *REALLY* slow.

             

            In that thread, "Jose_Intel" advised to email them (or chat or phone). I emailed them but no response yet (nor to the forum post).

            • 3. Re: Back Panel USB Problems (DZ68BC) - Belkin Hub
              edmacke

              I figured out what the problem was, so I'll post here in case anybody else runs into the same problem.


              Basically, it was the fact that I had my iPod *and* memory card reader plugged into the same USB hub, combined with some bad luck.


              I have a Belkin powered 4-port USB hub plugged into a rear panel USB2 port. Plugged into the hub are 1) my memory card reader, and 2) my iPod cable.


              When the iPod is plugged in, any attempt to access the memory card was basically useless. It would kind of work, but was so slow as to be unuseable, and sometimes got "device not available" errors. Unplugging the iPod fixed everything.


              It was almost as thought the iPod was sucking up every bit of available bandwidth. Interestingly, it seemed to do this even when it wasn't sync'ing, and even when iTunes was closed.


              I now have the iPod plugged into a rear panel USB2 port and the Belkin hub plugged into a separate rear panel USB2 port and everything is working fine.


              The bad luck part was that the external drive decided to fail on me at the time all of this was going on. It looked like another USB2 port symptom, but really it was just a coincidence.


              For the record, the drive having a problem was an ioSafe Solo unit, and their customer support has been fantastic. The inital diagnosis is a bad power supply and they are sending another one free of charge. If that fails, they will repair / replace the unit under the 3-year warranty free of charge including round-trip shipping.