Monday, February 20, 2012

A few minutes of USB Outage

Yesterday one strange problem occurred in my laptop. I booted to vista for weekly backup. I have a Transcend external hard drive as well Seagate. The laptop has only 3 USB ports and I do not have a USB hub. The Transcend drive has two USB cables one for data and one for power. The other port was occupied by mouse. I had to plug out mouse for make room SeaGate hard drive.

As soon as I removed USB mouse, the windows started complaining about USB device malfunction. However SeaGate drive was detected while plugging both Transcend and mouse windows gave repeated errors. I rebooted and again problem was there. I did hard reboot nope again the problem persists. I booted to my xubuntu box, the same problem. ‘dmesg’ showed ‘Unable to enumerate USB device’. I got confused. The boot process took very long time. I was not able to check even bios due to CPU hog (by whom?).

I thought for a while. Hey wait a minute. If none of the OSes are unable to recognize then BIOS firmware ran into problem. I immediately went to download site of DELL and downloaded the BIOS firmware. The BIOS was flashed with the firmware I downloaded. After reboot I inserted the mouse and Transcend external hard drive. Hurrah!! It works. I am still confused why this sort of inconsistency happened with BIOS firmware. Is it the problem with inserting multiple external hard drives at a time? No, this is not possible. I am not hardware expert. Something went wrong with BIOS for sure