All devices on USB hub sometimes freeze overnight

I bought my father a 10 port USB hub from Plugable via Amazon.

My dad (who’s 1500 miles away) reports that occasionally on some mornings he arrives to find his laptop’s USB keyboard and other devices have frozen. Hub is probably 90 days old, and started about 30 days in. While I’m not there, he doesn’t just buy new devices and plug them in. At some point in the mix, however, he did get a new iphone. I ruled that out when I made sure he wasn’t leaving it plugged in overnight).

It only happens sometimes (about 2-3x a week), and the computer functions fine at the laptop, just not devices directly in the hub until after a reboot (which is what he tries first, not b/c that’s well solved for). He has 2 computers, one each with this USB hub that are the same computer, same hub (although devices plugged in are different). Only has the problem with 1 hub.

Despite 90% of the time problems are in the software, I’m starting to suspect hardware due to the intermittent nature. Possibly something with the draw on the USB hub, or something along those lines. For $25, I’m just going to buy him another hub at least for a spare (same plugable hub – I have many of them, they’re great). There’s nothing in the Windows 7 admin tools that lead me to some driver type of issue as of yet. But I’m just starting.

Unfortunately he’s not super technical, he’s remote, and there’s a zillion things it could be. If this hardware swap doesn’t work out, I’m just wondering if someone here can provide me a common list of things that I should consider. I haven’t seen anything in a search of the forum here.

It’s a Dell Inspiron 17" laptop. The Plugable hub is the one with 10 ports. I think only about 6 ports are currently in use. Some are plugged directly into the laptop and those seem to be fine when this happens. We were at first swapping devices between the hub and the built-in laptop ports, but that wasn’t scientific enough to nail down the devices. Devices include a 2nd usb monitor, a USB hard drive, a wired keyboard, a wireless mouse, a USB cam, the iphone, and a printer.

Hi Erick,

Thanks for posting! We’ll be happy to help.

Just as a first check on both hubs, and particularly the one that’s freezing make sure that the AC power is connected and functioning. To do this, disconnect everything from the hubs and then reconnect only the AC power cord. The blue light should come on. If not, there’s something wrong with the power supply or hub. Either it’s not plugged in, the outlet is dead, the AC adapter has failed or the hub may have failed. If it looks like the adapter or hub have failed from this test, let us know and we’ll get a pretested replacement out to you.

If that checks out, the next test to do is a clean swap of the USB hubs, just move the hub units themselves, leave the power supplies and USB 2.0 cable between the hubs and the computers in place. If the problem follows the hub, then we’ll suspect it’s the hub and ship out a pretested replacement.

If the freeze stays with the computer and we’re sure the hub is powered by the AC adapter, then we’ll look at the Power Management settings and USB selective suspend in particular. To do this, go into device manager and find the entry for the USB hub in question. This can be kind of tricky because there are many, but double clicking on the Generic USB Hub entries one by one and selecting power will show which one has your devices attached. On that Generice USB Hub entry click on Power Management and uncheck the box labeled “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.

I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.