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Old 09-13-2010, 05:45 PM
Jennifer A. Heise Jennifer A. Heise is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 108
Default Troubleshooting a possible USB connection problem

Hoping the Power computerRangers here can give some suggestions.
I've got a computer with a barcode reader and a scanner (with ADF) connected to it via USB cables. It's running 3 different softwares that need access to the scanner (and don't get along all that well, unfortunately-- scanning with one sometimes blocks the other 2 from being able to reach the scanner even when the original program is shut down).

Periodically, not only do *all* of them claim to not have access to the scanner, but rebooting doesn't bring the scanner back. Neither does unplugging the USB cable and plugging it back in-- though that did work for a little while.

Reimaging the thing from scratch and reinstalling the software is a temporary fix-- I've done that 4 times now. Now, if I switch the plugs for the barcode reader and the scanner, it lights up, pings, notices the bar code reader, and says basically OH HI U CAN HAZ SCANNER NAO. And that often works to resolve the problem.

Like all really fun computer problems, the behavior is intermittent, but once the cycle really gets going, we eventually end up reimaging the computer. Since that puts the computer out of commission for a half a day or more, not to mention the limping along it does before we give in and reimage, I'd love to find a way of pinpointing the problem and maybe even solving it.

I know there's a good chance this is a software conflict that's degrading over time (can you have something that actually does that in the Windows system? It seems somehow unlikely), but I'm also wondering if there's an intermittent USB port problem where it's actually losing track of the USB device. We had this happen with a few computers that had USB mice at one time. How would I troubleshoot that? I assume the first step is to use a different USB cable. Any other suggestions?
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