How to Fix Computer Port Problems

by Joanne Mendes

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, computer ports simply stop working or start to turn themselves on and off. This can make running peripherals like printers, scanners and memory sticks impossible. Usually, this problem is caused by a conflict with recently added software or operating-system updates. You can fix this problem by updating the problem port's driver.

How to Fix Computer Port Problems on Vista

Click on the "Start" menu. Double-click on "My Computer."

Right-click on the C: drive and choose "Properties."

Click on the "Hardware" tab. A list of the computer's ports will appear.

Double-click on the first port on the list and check the device's status. If the device is working properly, move on to the next port on the list until you find the problem port. The port's device status will indicate either that this port is not detected or that there is a problem detected with this port.

Click on the "Driver" tab and click "Update Driver." Click "OK." Check the status of the port to see if the computer now detects it. If it does, the problem should be fixed. If not, repeat the steps.

How to Fix Computer Port Problems on Windows XP or 98

Click on the "Start" menu. Double-click on "My Computer."

Right-click on the C: drive and choose "Properties."

Click "Device Manager" and click "Universal Serial Bus Controller."

Scroll through the list of ports, looking for the problem port. It will have the words "PCI" or "Bridge" next to it. Right-click on this port and click "Properties."

Click "Update this Device." Click "OK." Check the status of the port to see if the computer now detects it. If it does, the problem should be fixed. If not, repeat the steps.

About the Author

Joanne Mendes has been professionally writing since 2007 and began specializing in education topics in 2009. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master's degree from Chatham University.