Discussion in 'Asus' started by me, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. me

    me Guest

    I have two external usb drives and once in a while one won't show up in
    windows explorer. Could it be that I need to re-load the usb driver? I am
    confused as to which driver to download. Can someone lead me in the right
    direction please? Thank you.

    BTW, I am not using ESATA, gave up on that disaster long ago!
    me, Aug 10, 2011
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  2. me

    Paul Guest

    If this is a USB2 driver, the driver actually comes from Microsoft.

    What'd you'd do is, first start with your Intel chipset. Find the
    Intel chipset download (something like INFINST or similar). Now,
    examine the README, to find out how to get the .exe to deposit
    all the installer files into one directory. When you look in there,
    you'll find the Intel USB installer has a line like

    include blahblah.inf

    which is a call to the Microsoft installer. So the Intel installer
    adds very little to the picture. It just calls the Microsoft driver
    already in the OS. And adds a descriptive line of text, to Device
    Manager, identifying the USB items.

    Alternately, you can start with Device Manager, and look at the
    drivers used for each device in question. How many of the drivers
    are traceable to Intel ? How many to Microsoft ? Microsoft
    won't allow companies like Intel, to offer the actual USB2 driver,
    as the driver belongs to Microsoft. And like many other USB stack
    items, Microsoft designed them to standards, so they'll work on
    more pieces of hardware. As long as the hardware has the necessary
    base register set and responses, then the driver can work.

    I don't know what the situation is like on USB3. The driver there,
    might be more specific to the various host chips. I don't know
    if Microsoft was ready with a USB3 driver, the first day the
    NEC chip became available. And there might be as many as three
    other brands of host chip now - and it's unlikely they'd just
    "borrow" the NEC driver. So this would be a separate research topic
    (and as I don't have any USB3 motherboards here, I can't even start
    with some practical experiments).

    Intel still doesn't have native USB3, as far as I know, so there
    is no reason for Intel to be addressing USB3 in their INFINST type
    driver packages. Intel has "missed the boat" on USB3, instead
    having some other strategy up their sleeve. Seeing as they make
    virtually all the chipsets now for their processors, they hardly
    need a strategy (it's the Intel "happy meal" approach). And if a
    motherboard manufacturer doesn't like what Intel has done, they
    can always add a NEC USB3 chip and bump the price $10 to $25.

    One disadvantage of such an approach, is you're less likely to be
    able to boot at USB3 speeds. The BIOS usually only supports booting
    via chipset specific logic blocks. And a reason for that,
    is a lot of the BIOS is written by Award/AMI/Phoenix, and a lot
    less of it, by the motherboard manufacturer. And those companies
    work on basic support for the chipsets, not for third party
    chips like the NEC USB3. If any board is going to be booting from
    USB3 right now, it's likely to be an AMD A75 FCH based motherboard.



    To answer your original question, no, I don't see a point in
    reinstalling the driver package.

    It's possible there is something bonkers in the registry,
    and you can wipe out the USB stack and let Windows reload
    it. An example of such a procedure is here.

    http://www.usbman.com/Guides/Cleanup Device Manager Safe Mode.htm

    A semi-automated way of doing it, is via a script based on "devcon".


    Both of those options are "backup before doing this" material.

    If you don't use those procedures, and just reinstall drivers,
    the result is likely to be the registry content is neatly preserved,
    problems and all.

    In past years, you could delete everything under ENUM and let
    Windows rediscover it all. But that's a bit extreme.


    Strictly speaking, every USB device should have a serial number in its
    data structure. Having a serial number, allows the OS to "track" when
    a device moves from one port to another. So that a lot of
    duplicate entries don't end up on the system. The OS can still
    handle devices without serial numbers, but there is more
    opportunity for surprises later.


    Network shares and USB storage can conflict when it comes to
    drive letters. So if you were having problems, you might consider
    whether any network shares were involved. The following site
    has a tool for managing drive letters - and other pages on this
    site are very useful for understanding USB storage issues.


    Paul, Aug 10, 2011
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  3. me

    Rob Guest

    Unlikely that a USB driver is at fault.
    When you next plug-in the drive and it doesn't show in explorer,
    have a look in device manager and disk management, to see if
    the drive is actually there, but simply has no letter assigned.
    If so, then see Pauls's reply regarding where to look to solve
    Rob, Aug 10, 2011
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