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How to rehabilitate USB ports

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How to rehabilitate USB ports: The USB ports of the PC you are working on don’t seem to work properly? If you insert a USB stick, mouse or keyboard, nothing happens in them and the computer cannot “see” any of these devices? Don’t immediately think of the worst. It is not said that the computer broke, there may simply be a blockage of the USB ports at the software level. In this case, you can take action by going to re-enable the USB ports. How do you say? Don’t you have a clue how to do it? Well, but you don’t have to worry … I can give you all the explanations you need, both as regards Windows both as regards OS X.

Before you can be alarmed and think about who knows what I want to clarify right away that beyond the big words and despite appearances rehabilitating the USB ports is not that complicated. To be successful in the company, it is therefore not essential to be an expert in computer science, just having a few minutes of free time and a minimum of attention besides, of course, a good dose of concentration, trust me.

Having said that, if you are therefore actually interested in finding out how to proceed in order to rehabilitate the USB ports, I suggest you get comfortable in front of your computer and concentrate on reading this tutorial. I am sure that in the end you will be able to solve your problem and that in case of need you will also be ready and well available to explain to your friends in need of receiving a similar advice on how to proceed. Ready? Yes? Very well, then let’s roll up our sleeves and start immediately to get busy!

Note: Before putting into practice all the various operations to rehabilitate the USB ports that I am going to show you, make sure that it is actually your computer that is having problems and not the device you intend to connect. To do this, try connecting other USB devices to your computer as well. If you continue to experience the same difficulties, the problem is certainly attributable to the computer and not to the various devices you are trying to connect. Obviously, otherwise, the execution of the following steps may not prove effective.

Re-enable USB ports on Windows

Do you have a computer with Windows installed and are you interested in how to rehabilitate the USB ports? If the rest is “yes” then know that all you have to do is go to the Windows device management panel and enable the computer’s USB ports again.

To do this, open Explore Resources or File Explorer (the item may vary depending on the version of Windows in use) by clicking on the icon depicting a yellow folder located on the taskbar then right-click on the computer icon located in the left sidebar and select the item Property from the menu that appears.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

In the window that opens, click on the link Device management which is located in the left sidebar and then wait a few moments for a panel to appear with the list of all the devices on the PC: among the components in the list, locate the item USB controller, expand it by clicking on it and check if there is any USB port disabled. If so, there should be a black symbol next to its icon.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

At this point, right-click on the icon of the USB controller to be reactivated and select the item Enable from the menu that appears. Once this is done, time a few seconds and the previously disabled port should return to normal operation, recognizing sticks, mice, USB keyboards and so on.

To verify that everything went in the right direction, try to connect the device that was not previously recognized to one of the USB ports of the computer. If the device is correctly detected … well, congratulations: you have just successfully completed the procedure by which to re-enable the USB ports. If not, don’t worry, the last word is not yet said: you can try to cope with the inconvenience by putting into practice the alternative procedure that I am going to show you.

If this operation did not give the desired results, you can try to rehabilitate the USB ports with a slightly more drastic method: uninstall the USB controllers instead of deactivating them. To do this, you must right-click on all the devices listed in the category USB controller on the device management panel and select the item Uninstall from the menu that opens. Afterwards, restart your computer and wait for Windows to automatically reinstall all USB devices.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

In the event that despite having carried out the steps I have just indicated, you have not yet managed to rehabilitate the USB ports of your Windows PC, it is most likely because it is a registry lock.

If you need to rehabilitate the USB ports blocked voluntarily or involuntarily in the system registry (through the inappropriate use of security software, for example), you must open theRegistry editor included in Windows. To do this, type in the key combination Win + R on your computer keyboard to bring up the panel Run, type the command regedit in the appropriate empty field that you see in the window that went to open on the screen, then click on the button first OK and then on the one with written on it Yes.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

In the window that opens, locate the left sidebar and then click first on the arrow located next to the item HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then on the one next to SYSTEM, then on the one placed next to CurrentControlSet and then click on the arrow located next to the item services then click on USBSTOR. Now, in the right part of the screen that is shown to you, double click on the key Start present on the right side of the editor. In the window that will open at this point, fill in the field below the entry Value data: typing 3 and click on OK to save the changes.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

If everything is spun in the right direction, at this point you should be able to use the USB ports that were previously blocked again.

But keep in mind the fact that these changes to the system can be made only and exclusively if you have an account with administrator privileges. Otherwise, or if the USB ports have been voluntarily blocked by the system administrator and you are not the latter, the above procedure cannot be applied. To learn more, you can take a look at my tutorial on how to log in Windows 7 administrator and to my guide on how to log in Windows 8 administrator.

Re-enable USB ports on OS X

If, on the other hand, you own a Mac and trying to connect a pendrive or any other USB device to one of the appropriate ports on the computer, absolutely nothing happens, you can try to cope with it by resetting the SMC.

The SMC (acronym for System Management Controller) is in fact a chip responsible for energy management and control of some components of Apple computers, such as fans, keyboard lights and the sensor for automatic brightness adjustment. The malfunctions found in using one or more USB ports on your Mac may therefore depend on an incorrect configuration of the SMC firmware. As a result, resetting can allow you to re-enable the USB ports on OS X.

To reset the SMC, the procedure to be carried out varies according to the Mac model in your possession and based on the fact that the one you use is a desktop or a laptop. Anyway, don’t worry, below you will find all the explanations of the case.

If you own a iMac, a Mac Pro or a Mac mini the steps you need to perform are the following:

  • Turn off your computer completely by selecting the item Switch off from the menu bar located at the top left.
  • Unplug the MagSafe power supply and allow 15 seconds to pass.
  • Reconnect the power cord to the Mac.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

If you use an old man MacBook or a MacBook Pro produced before 2009, to reset the SMC in order to rehabilitate the USB ports, you must follow this procedure.

  • Turn off your computer completely by selecting the item Switch off from the menu bar located at the top left.
  • Disconnect the MagSafe power supply from the Mac.
  • Remove the battery from the Mac by opening the battery door on the back of the computer.
  • Press the key Power on the Mac keyboard and hold it for 5 seconds.
  • Reinsert the battery into the computer.
  • Connect the MagSafe power supply to the Mac.
  • Turn on the computer.

How to rehabilitate USB ports

If you use a MacBook Pro produced after 2009, a MacBook Pro Retina or a MacBook Air do the following.

  • Turn off your computer completely by selecting the item Switch off from the menu bar located at the top left.
  • If you have not already done so, connect the MagSafe power supply to the Mac;
  • Press the key combination shift+ctrl+halt+power on the Mac keyboard;
  • Turn on the computer.

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Once the SMC has been reset, you should finally be able to rehabilitate the USB ports on your Mac. To verify that everything went in the right direction, try to connect the device that was not recognized to one of the USB ports on the computer. If the device is correctly detected you can finally be satisfied.

In the unfortunate event that the implementation of the procedure I have already indicated has not had any effect, you can try to rehabilitate the USB ports on OS X by resorting to the use of the program Onyx as I indicated to you in my post Cleaning Mac or, lastly, you can perform a Mac reset by following the instructions in my guide on how to restore mac.