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USB 3 Instability Issues - Windows 8.1 - Windows 8, The USB 3 Stack Is Unstable On Multiple PCs And Many Devices RRS feed

  • Question

  • The USB 3 stack is unstable in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8. I was hoping the upgrade to Windows 8.1 would improve the stability but no.

    On two different motherboard systems I have had the same experience with 64 bit Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro compatibility with various USB 3.0 devices and hubs including:

    An AFT PRO-57U front panel card-reader/hub, various Anker, Syba multiport hubs, and these are just a few I have tried, there are many more.

         

    Symptoms are the same.

    For example: the AFT PRO-57U slots are enumerated correctly as drive letters in Windows 8.1.

    Then the drives (the PRO-57U slots) disappear, then reappear, then disappear, and reappear and so on. This happens consistently and the cycle time to disappear/reappear varies from 10 seconds to 10 minutes.

    The Windows Device Manager shows the devices appearing and disappearing as enumerated devices. I have tried many trial and error methods to solve this, uninstalling and reinstalling USB motherboard drivers, different cables to the AFT PRO-57U device different USB 3 ports for the devices and many more...

    One of the hubs I bought specifically because it has the latest chip and firmware: Anker® USB 3.0 9-Port Hub + 5V 2.1A Smart Charging Port with 12V 5A Power Adapter [VIA VL812-B2 Chipset and updated Firmware 9081] This hub FAILs to enumerate some external HDDs and other devices.

    To troubleshoot I have tried many things:

    • I have disabled Windows Power Options, USB Selective Suspend.
    • I have disabled power options for each and every USB device in Windows Device Manager
    • I have uninstalled the Asus AI Suite 3 software and the issues remain.
    • I have tried BIOS settings for Legacy USB devices on and off and the issues remain.
    • I have tried BIOS setting for xHCI Mode - Auto, Smart Auto, On, Disabled
    • I have updated to the latest Intel chipset drivers 9.4.0.1026
    • I have all the latest BIOS, drivers, firmware, devices, - anything that is involved with the USB 3 stack.
    • Etc. etc. etc...

    I have contacted Asus, Gigabyte Intel, AFT, Anker Syba, etc. and they are all finger pointing.

    I have tried so many trial and error methods to solve the problem and I have run out of ideas.

    It is clearly an unstable USB 3 stack and I am not sure who is responsible although I suspect Intel chipset drivers. 

    USB 2 is fine BTW. All devices work correctly when plugged into USB 2 ports.

    From what I can tell, the entire USB 3 environment is a problematic P.O.S.

    If anyone has any ideas I am willing to try anything I have not already tried.

    Thanks,

    Michael Downs

    P.S.  Here is my system information. I have all the latest BIOS, updates, drivers and etc. for all devices.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    • ASUS Maximus VI Formula w/ BIOS 1002
    • Intel Core i7-4770K  BX80646I74770K      
    • G.Skill Trident X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 2400 Model F3-2400C10D-16GTX
    • Samsung 840 Pro 256GB  SSD Seagate Constellation CS ST3000NC002 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB
    • EVGA GeForce GTX 760 ACX 2GB 256-bit GDDR5  
    • Corsair Carbide Series 330R Mid-tower Case
    • Corsair RM850 850W 80 Plus GOLD Certified
    • Cooler Master Seidon 240M - Liquid CPU Water Cooler
    • Pioneer 15X BD-R SATA Blu-ray Burner BDR-2208
    • AFT PRO-57U All-in-one USB 3.0 5.25" Media Card Reader

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then there is a similar system with the exact same USB 3 issues:

    Gigabyte - GA-Z77X-UP4TH

    Intel i7 3770K

    etc.


    mdd



    • Edited by michaeldowns Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:21 PM
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:59 PM

All replies

  • try this:

    Help! After installing Windows 8.1, my USB device doesn't charge or it disconnects and reconnects frequently
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2013/11/08/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-device-doesn-t-charge-or-it-disconnects-and-reconnects-frequently.aspx

    and this:


    Help! After installing Windows 8.1, my USB drive disappears or file transfers stop unexpectedly
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2013/11/01/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-drive-disappears-or-file-transfers-stop-unexpectedly-r-a-post-title.aspx


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Friday, November 15, 2013 5:28 AM
  • If your USB3.0 ports are Intel Chipset based you may want to modify, switch driver signing off in Windows 8(1) and install the Intel USB3.0 eXtensible Host controller drivers for Windows 7.

    This will resolve all of your USB3.0 headaches in windows 8(1) as it has for many.


    • Edited by Win7ine Sunday, November 17, 2013 10:12 PM
    Sunday, November 17, 2013 10:11 PM
  • try this:

    Help! After installing Windows 8.1, my USB device doesn't charge or it disconnects and reconnects frequently
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2013/11/08/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-device-doesn-t-charge-or-it-disconnects-and-reconnects-frequently.aspx


    Help! After installing Windows 8.1, my USB drive disappears or file transfers stop unexpectedly
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2013/11/01/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-drive-disappears-or-file-transfers-stop-unexpectedly-r-a-post-title.aspx


    Hi Andre,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate it. Unfortunately the reg hack did not work on the first or second device I tried. And I have many USB 3.0 devices that exhibit the anomalous behavior. I am working to find a system level solution especially since it seems to be a system level bug.

    Michael


    mdd

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:42 AM
  • If your USB3.0 ports are Intel Chipset based you may want to modify, switch driver signing off in Windows 8(1) and install the Intel USB3.0 eXtensible Host controller drivers for Windows 7.

    This will resolve all of your USB3.0 headaches in windows 8(1) as it has for many.


    Hi,

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a way to install the drivers. I have disabled driver signing and attempted both through the setup.exe included in the download and manually through Windows Device Manager - both methods fail. If it worked, this would seem to be a system level solution.

    I am open to suggestion.

    Michael


    mdd

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:53 AM
  • reply to the Blog, the MS employees try to figure out the cause.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 6:09 AM
  • You need to modify the inf's to be able to install the Windows 7 drivers as described here (and in many other places).Once you modify the original inf's there is a need to turn off driver signing.

    Here a link to some instructions as to how to modify the inf's as there are new drivers and the inf's published may not be up to date.

    • Edited by Win7ine Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:09 PM
    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:04 PM
  • reply to the Blog, the MS employees try to figure out the cause.

    Hi Andre,

    I sent email directly to the authors of the blog.

    No reply after 12 days

    Michael


    mdd

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013 7:29 PM
  • You need to modify the inf's to be able to install the Windows 7 drivers as described here (and in many other places).Once you modify the original inf's there is a need to turn off driver signing.

    Here a link to some instructions as to how to modify the inf's as there are new drivers and the inf's published may not be up to date.

    Thanks for the reply and links. I did not come across these in my many online searches.

    I did indeed download the latest drivers directly from Intel and modified the INFs very carefully and disabled driver signing. The drivers did install but then after reboot, I lost connectivity to ALL usb ports. Had to restore from a drive image after booting from an optical drive.

    So... I am still stuck with an unstable USB 3 stack in Windows 8 and 8.1

    I will keep trying and trying.

    Michael


    mdd

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013 7:36 PM
  • How strange ... also not sure why you had to restore the entire machine from an image as you could have just removed the drivers in Device Manager and Windows would have reinstalled the default Microsoft drivers.
    Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:05 PM
  • reply to the comments. Maybe it was deleted (SPAM filter)

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Thursday, November 21, 2013 5:40 AM
  • How strange ... also not sure why you had to restore the entire machine from an image as you could have just removed the drivers in Device Manager and Windows would have reinstalled the default Microsoft drivers.

    Yes, very strange. Also could not remove the drivers or roll back with no keyboard or mouse which are connected via usb (which all ports were unavailable due to driver conflict/incompatibility).

    mdd

    Saturday, November 23, 2013 9:44 PM
  • ... And you don't have any usb2 ports on those machines which are usually used for keyboard and mouse?

    The drivers you were trying to install are for USB 3.0 only!

    Saturday, November 23, 2013 10:32 PM
  • All USB ports went out. So I did an image restore.

    If have tried a few more things in my process of elimination to fix the USB 3 stack instability, including some new hubs. No solution yet.

    At this point it seems I will have to wait for a fix from an unknown source. A new BIOS, driver or something.


    mdd

    Friday, December 13, 2013 10:06 PM
  • I am having the same issues in Server 2012 R2 Essentials it is driving me nutz and there doesn't seem to be any solution. My computer does have a new BIOS version that came out in the beginning of the month but I haven't gotten around to installing it yet.


    Derek Smith

    Saturday, December 21, 2013 10:12 PM
  • any solutions yet? all my usb and keyboard froze but after a restart it was fine.
    Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:56 AM
  • Hello,

    I have a same experience like you. I tried many things but I didn't solve this problem, which is very, very irritating.

    Specially when you watch some movie, disk lost connection and stop a player, after that you have to stop player and restart. I can't understand how Intel or MS didn't solve this great bug in the last big (700 Mb) update of Win8.1 (April 2014).

    It's a shame that they support several years old USB 3.0 standard in such bad way.

    In the and of my agony with USB 3.0 disks (Transcend 1 Tb and WD 750 Gb) my Synaptics touch pad stop to work. I am sorry because I can't help you with some good suggestion. I try to find too.

    I wish you (we all need it with win8.1) good luck. 

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:58 PM
  • Hi All,

    I'm having similar issues with my desktop machine, recently upgraded to Win8.1 with all updates applied.

    I have a number of USB devices, including a webcam and scanner, that when plugged in cause BSOD. The devices in question have downloadable Win8.1 drivers however these do not resolve the issue.

    The behaviour is that when the device is plugged in, it works correctly for about 10 seconds then BSOD. The devices that cause the problem are USB-powered but I can't say if that is the determining factor. I have a number of externally-powered USB devices that are stable and working correctly.

    The setup is ASUS P6T motherboard, Core i7 920, 12GB RAM.

    Ed.

    Friday, May 23, 2014 8:08 AM
  • Hi Ed,

    USB-powered it's not determining factor. I don't have a problems with USB 2.0 Disks and USB 3.0 stick. Only with USB 3.0 HD. But, BSOD is a little heavier issue, which I didn't have. You have to check a drivers, reinstall it.Try to run from command prompt sfc /checknow, and wait to the end of process. After that open CBS.log file and check a error states if you have alert in the end of sfc checksum.

    Worm regards,

    Pedja.   

    Friday, May 23, 2014 1:50 PM
  • Any solution yet? I've had this problem ever since upgrading to Windows 8.1. (USB 2.0 works fine, USB powers up my hard drive but doesn't recognize) Like you have tried absolutely everything.

    I managed to fix it a month ago by simply uninstalling all the USB drivers and surprisingly fixed it.

    But happened again mid last week. I've spent quite a few hours the past few days searching for an answer but nothing! 

    Incredibly poor effort!

    Sunday, May 25, 2014 5:18 AM
  • There was some talk at my local BestBuy Geek Squad support center that many customers reported this and other hardware not working correctly, including touchpad and video drivers. They said you have to do a clean Windows 8.1 install instead of the upgrade/update from 8 to 8.1.

    But, before you are able to do a clean install I'd try downloading the DriverPack Solution DVD program from the drp.su site as a last choice for "3rd-party updated drivers" that might work, and disable Driver Signature Enforcement prior to installing/upgrading the USB drivers. You can also extract the DVD program with a utility like 7zip, instead of just burning it to DVD. But, this should be a last option as I usually advise against using 3rd party driver-updaters because of the issue of spyware and/or data-mining stuff that may get installed if you are not careful.

    • Edited by JRM592 Sunday, May 25, 2014 5:50 AM Alternative solution
    Sunday, May 25, 2014 5:38 AM
  • Hello,

    I have a same experience like you. I tried many things but I didn't solve this problem, which is very, very irritating.

    Specially when you watch some movie, disk lost connection and stop a player, after that you have to stop player and restart. I can't understand how Intel or MS didn't solve this great bug in the last big (700 Mb) update of Win8.1 (April 2014).

    It's a shame that they support several years old USB 3.0 standard in such bad way.

    In the and of my agony with USB 3.0 disks (Transcend 1 Tb and WD 750 Gb) my Synaptics touch pad stop to work. I am sorry because I can't help you with some good suggestion. I try to find too.

    I wish you (we all need it with win8.1) good luck. 


    As for your touchpad, I solved mine by disabling the startup entry for TouchPad Enhancements. Or, you just have to use a usb 2.0 mouse.
    Sunday, May 25, 2014 6:30 AM
  • I solved problem with touchpad, I was guilty (I disable it).

    But I still have problems with USB 3.0 disks.

    Thanks JRM592.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:40 AM
  • I have similar problem. HP 17--CPU
        Intel Core i7 3630QM @ 2.40GHz    57 °C
        Ivy Bridge 22nm Technology
    RAM
        16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 798MHz (10-10-10-28)
    Motherboard
        Hewlett-Packard 181F (U3E1)
    Graphics
        Generic PnP Monitor (1920x1080@60Hz)
        Intel HD Graphics 4000 (HP)
        2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (HP)    45 °C
    Storage
        698GB Hitachi HTS7275 (RAID)
        8GB SAMSUNG MZMPC03 (RAID)
    Optical Drives
        hp BD ROM BC-5550H

    USB 3 ports just suddenly stopped working. They apparently have power--lights appear on thumb drives.

    I've done all the disabling, unstalling, downloading new drivers etc.

    Saturday, June 7, 2014 3:06 PM
  • What is your OS ahardcastle?

    Is it Win 8.1 update 1 x64, or something else?

    I have this problems only with external USB 3.0 HDD, not with USB 3.0 sticks or any disk in USB 2.0 standard.

    I tried to solve this problem, communicated with MS technical support, and I did all they suggest me. But, I didn't succeeded to solve this problem. MS as I know didn't made any patch for this and how knows when will it does.

    Only which we can do is to wait, maybe Win 9.0!

    Good luck to all Win 8.1 users!

    Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:46 AM
  • I just built a new system with an ASRock Z97 chipset board and a Haswell Celeron CPU.  I installed Windows 8.1 from April 2014 Update media and now I find that I can't use my trusty Iomega eGo portable HDD, a drive that has been used on many different systems (Windows 7, OS X) for the past two years without a single hitch on any them until now.  That linked MS blog post makes it sound like the problems they were specifically acknowledging were fixed in 8.1 April 2014 Update, so I don't know what to think.  I have Windows 8.1 Update on an older system at work with an SIIG USB3 PCIe add-in card and I don't recall any external HDD problems with either this Iomega drive or a different Seagate model I use.  Based on all of the research I've done so far, it appears that these problems are specific to Intel's USB3 implementation on Windows 8.x?

    Sunday, July 6, 2014 9:15 PM
  • Hey, I hope this helps you out a bit... I have had the same issue on my Asus K55A notebook with Win8.1 Pro x64 from the beginning! Thru my extensive research I found something interesting and the possible cause to all this! What I found was that by design the xHCI Host Controller has virtual HS 2.0 Ports linked to the 3.0 Ports... Enabling compatibility with 2.0 devices ok... What happens is that the xHCI stack is unstable just like you say... The ONLY WAY I was able to fix the problem was by unlocking the UEFI/BIOS to allow me full access to USB Configurations... I had to disable 2 of the HS ports under the xHCI Controller since I have only 2x 3.0 ports... This allowed 3.0 devices to be enumerated correctly under the xHCI stack and 2.0 devices now were enumerated under the EHCI 2.0 stack... That's what worked in my case... I'm still digging around for more info about this issue because I find it so odd that no one discovered this when designing xHCI stacks and drivers at MS for Win8/8.1 x64... I hope I shed some light on this issue... Good luck and keep us posted!

    • Proposed as answer by roquen Sunday, July 27, 2014 6:44 PM
    Friday, July 25, 2014 3:03 AM
  • Hey, I hope this helps you out a bit... I have had the same issue on my Asus K55A notebook with Win8.1 Pro x64 from the beginning! Thru my extensive research I found something interesting and the possible cause to all this! What I found was that by design the xHCI Host Controller has virtual HS 2.0 Ports linked to the 3.0 Ports... Enabling compatibility with 2.0 devices ok... What happens is that the xHCI stack is unstable just like you say... The ONLY WAY I was able to fix the problem was by unlocking the UEFI/BIOS to allow me full access to USB Configurations... I had to disable 2 of the HS ports under the xHCI Controller since I have only 2x 3.0 ports... This allowed 3.0 devices to be enumerated correctly under the xHCI stack and 2.0 devices now were enumerated under the EHCI 2.0 stack... That's what worked in my case... I'm still digging around for more info about this issue because I find it so odd that no one discovered this when designing xHCI stacks and drivers at MS for Win8/8.1 x64... I hope I shed some light on this issue... Good luck and keep us posted!

    Hi, Sebastian. I have the same problem but i'm getting crazy trying to solve it. Can you help me to unlock the UEFI to access full USB config? and give me some suggestions on how to solve the problem?

    My mail is roquen(at)gamail(dot)com

    Thanks in advance!


    Sunday, July 27, 2014 6:44 PM
  • Hey, I hope this helps you out a bit... I have had the same issue on my Asus K55A notebook with Win8.1 Pro x64 from the beginning! Thru my extensive research I found something interesting and the possible cause to all this! What I found was that by design the xHCI Host Controller has virtual HS 2.0 Ports linked to the 3.0 Ports... Enabling compatibility with 2.0 devices ok... What happens is that the xHCI stack is unstable just like you say... The ONLY WAY I was able to fix the problem was by unlocking the UEFI/BIOS to allow me full access to USB Configurations... I had to disable 2 of the HS ports under the xHCI Controller since I have only 2x 3.0 ports... This allowed 3.0 devices to be enumerated correctly under the xHCI stack and 2.0 devices now were enumerated under the EHCI 2.0 stack... That's what worked in my case... I'm still digging around for more info about this issue because I find it so odd that no one discovered this when designing xHCI stacks and drivers at MS for Win8/8.1 x64... I hope I shed some light on this issue... Good luck and keep us posted!

    Hi All,

    Update on status - USB 3.0 instability is still an issue on my systems as described in the first message in this thread.

    I have tried all such UEFI permutations and USB 3.0 is still a huge #USB3FAIL


    mdd

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014 8:30 PM
  • Agreed.  In my particular case, the issue appears to be that the model of Iomega eGo portable HDD I have is running in UAS mode (USB Attached SCSI) and there doesn't appear to be any setting change that can make it work reliably.  Those blog posts linked above are specifically *not* for UAS, only for devices doing BOT (Bulk Only Transport).   I have yet to find any blog post about the fact that UAS is broken in Windows 8.x.


    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 3:12 PM
  • Instability issue still persist, after installation of update 2 (Sep. version) for Win 8.1 x64. It's very strange that Microsoft didn't solve this problem yet. I bought new Transcend SJ 2 Tb USB 3.0 external disk and it's recognize correct but it is unstable in working specially when I watched HD films. It loose connectivity, for 1-2 sec. every 10 min. of movie playing. I have one more bad issue, my mini converter port (Acer port) it's not recognize by win 8.1 and drivers for this don't exist. I hope that Win 10.0 will resolve all this problems. Thanks for your attention. 
    • Edited by PedjaK Friday, December 12, 2014 1:01 PM
    Friday, December 12, 2014 1:00 PM
  • Update on status - USB 3.0 instability is still an issue on my systems as described in the first message in this thread.

    Sounds like the problem that I had with my (powered) USB 2.0 hub and my Surface after an update early this year (otherwise I am sure I would have been aware of this thread before now.)  W8.1 decided that my hub was no longer a recognized device.  That took out everything that I had attached to it, including my wireless mouse and keyboard receiver (so that's why I have been reporting this incident in threads about no mouse and no keyboard.)  But my solution to that problem may be more general.  I used Device Manager to remove all USB hubs and controllers, then detached everything, powered off everything, rebooted still with nothing attached, waited for the OS to get ready and then started attaching things the way I wanted them.  That has worked, twice, for both Surface Pro and Surface RT.  Another thing I discovered is that incongruously my powered hub "device" was being allowed to turn off "to save power".  WTH?  I don't know if that contributed to my problem symptoms but that has been changed too.

    FYI



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, December 12, 2014 2:07 PM
  • Hello,

    I have one question about Update 3 for Win 8.1 x64 from Nov. 2014. Did it solve a problem with USB 3.0 external HDD. My new Transcend 2 Tb USB 3.0 work ok, but when I want to play films, or larger video clips they lost connectivity for 2s or 3s and after that continue to play (in some parts of the film). I feel like that I am in 1999. or 2000. with Pentium II. It's really disappointing.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015 2:06 PM
  • This is ridiculous, has anyone found an answer to this yet?
    Sunday, May 22, 2016 9:04 PM
  • This is ridiculous, has anyone found an answer to this yet?

    No, this has not been resolved even in Windows 10.

    It is worse with USB 3.1

    In fact with multiple new motherboards from Asus and Gigabyte the USB stack is just terrible.

    Four different Z170 chipset motherboards with Intel, ASMedia and Renesas USB 3 and 3.1 drivers are totally unstable. The ASMedia and Renesas provide more ports in addition to the ports provided by the Intel chipset. None of these USB stacks function properly in Windows 10 x64


    mdd

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:13 PM