Operating System: Windows 98SE (Note: might work with other versions of this os.)
Search the newsgroups on the web, and you will find hundreds of desperate Windows 98 SE user who are facing this problem The lightballs will not lit when the USB hub is inserted in the computer's USB port. Instead an "Unknown Device" is being installed in the Device Manager, and no matter what you try to do with the USB items in the Device Manager (update drivers - delete - reinstall), nothing works. The USB hub will not be activated.
If you have this problem, it may very well be a hardware issue. On the Microsoft website it is stated that if you have
- An AMD processor (running at 350 MHz or faster)
- A VIA Technologies USB controller
there may be problems with the USB hub. See the Microsoft Knowledge Base, article 240075 (support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb EN-US 240075)
To find out whether you have the hardware in question, rightclick on "My Computer", choose "Properties", go to "General" and "Device Manager/Universal Serial Bus-Controllers".
Microsoft offers a patch that is supposed to solve the problem (updating uhcd.sys), but unfortunately it does not do the trick in all cases.
VIA Technologies has released some patches to its USB Controllers in Windows 98 SE. These patches are of questionable value as "stand-alone" patches.
However, by bringing the Microsoft and the VIA Technologies patches together, you stand a fair chance of making the USB hub work.
This is what you need to do to
Download the zip-file "VIATech_USB_Controller_drivers.zip" and extrackt it to a folder on your harddisk. The zip-file contains five patches
1. Microsoft patch 240075.exe The patch in the zip-file is written in English (USA), but it is released in various languages. Find out which language your existing uhcd.sys is written in Open Pathfinder and go to C \Windows\System32\Drivers - rightclick on uhcd.sys, choose "Properties", "Version", "Language". If it is not English (USA), go to the above mentioned Microsoft Knowledge Base and download the patch according to this.
2. Microsoft patch 4756us8.exe. This patch is not language sensitive.
3. VIA Technologies patch VIAPFD105.exe.
4. VIA Technologies patch Hyperion4in1 4.46.
5. VIA Technologies USB 1.10 Filter Patch.
Install the patches
Disable any program that may be running, especially anti virus programs. Note Your computer will restart five times in the following proces, so if you do not disable the anti virus program "permanently", you must disable it each time after start up.
It is essential that the patches mentioned are being installed in the above specified order.
When the installations are carried out, restart Windows and insert the USB hub. It should work.
Change BIOS settings
In your BIOS you may want to disable the "Power Settings". It may be beneficial in some cases.
All problems solved - not really
From time to time (not very often) Windows may "forget" the new USB patches at start up and do the annoying installing of an "Unknown Device". The easiest way to deal with this is to remove the "Unknown Device" in Device Manager, pull the plug on your computer, restart, and let the blue/yellow ScanDisk scan your system. After this Windows will recognize the new USB patches and the USB hub will work. This is not a very elegant way to deal with this issue, but it is no use to restart Windows the normal way - Windows will then do the "Unknown Device"-thing again.
For some reason this inexpedient matter happens when you cut off the power to the computer - that is pulling the plug or clicking the on/off button. If possible keep your computer in hibernation when you are not using it - and when you do have to cut off the power to the computer, pull the plugs to the USB devices attached in the USB hub and insert them again after restarting Windows and inserting the USB hub.
One more thing The USB hub might - in spite of all the efforts - let you down if you download huge amounts of data trough it, e.g. large programs or video.
Also see www.usbman.com
Here you will find suggestions to various BIOS updates and BIOS settings which may improve your USB.