How to test USB controllers, ports, hubs & cables?

Any ideas, thoughts - not necessary related to Hard Disk Sentinel.

How to test USB controllers, ports, hubs & cables?

Postby wwcanoer » 2020.02.23. 16:55

On one Windows 10 Lenovo T430s laptop I have had seemingly random USB HDD disconnects. Are there any (simple) tools to test the USB controllers, ports, hubs & cables?

So far, I have only found this Microsoft tool: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/usbcon/usb-test-tools

The same USB HDDs haven't disconnected on a different Lenovo T430s laptop, so I'm doubtful that it's the drives, their power supplies or cables.

I have:
- Uninstalled the drivers and rebooted to have windows automatically reinstall them.
- Numbered my cables to ensure that problems aren't always with one cable.
- Tried different power supplies (A/C adapters). [Previously, I have always used the original adapter that came with each external USB drive, I assume that those with the same voltage & current would be ok to use on any matching drive. Correct?]

My next step:
- Clean the USB ports (Suggestions? Use IPA on a Q-tip?)
- Windows 10 re-installation that keeps all programs and data.
- Try the above Microsoft tool.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Brian
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Re: How to test USB controllers, ports, hubs & cables?

Postby hdsentinel » 2020.02.24. 13:36

Yes, there is good chance that the USB connector of the laptop is damaged (or just dirty) and may not provide correct connections.
As described on https://www.hdsentinel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=12756&p=18265
the best way would be to perform a Read test on any device (which is otherwise good, working correctly) like a pendrive, SD card or external hard disk.
This would reveal if there is anything wrong in the storage chain, then the device will likely disconnect and timeout happens.

For external 2.5" USB hard disks, a very-very common problem is the insufficient power which provided by a single USB connection. As a result, the hard disk may not work properly (very frequent cause of weak sectors and even failing drives).

Not sure, but if you have the opportunity, maybe try an USB hub with external power supply (which will not drain power from the laptop) as it can greatly improve the stability.

> Clean the USB ports (Suggestions? Use IPA on a Q-tip?)

Personally I use WD40 for cleaning connections, not sure but others may work too.

> Windows 10 re-installation that keeps all programs and data.
> Try the above Microsoft tool.

To be honest, I do not think these would help in any ways....
Maybe you can check if there is a BIOS update available and if that may be related to the USB controller of the laptop but I do not think so.
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