USB 3.0 Fault on a Medion notebook

I spent more of last weekend than planned on setting up a new Medion Akoya S4213 for a family member. I am very glad I had it yo set up, as for a beginner it would have been a very traumatic experience! At first all went well, the machine is really nice to look at, feels well made (apart from a slightly iffy bouncy keyboard), is quick, well specced and cost just £315.

The trouble started after the second round of Windows Updates. The laptop rebooted, everything looked fine, I clicked the touchpad to login – nothing happened. That’s weird. I pressed a key, and still no response. At this point I started to get a bit worried. After a quick internet search on a different device I found the suggestion to plug in a USB keyboard and mouse. This half worked, the mouse did the truck but although the keyboard gave the right plug in noises nothing actually happened. With a working mouse I could login using the on-screen keyboard from the convenient Accessibility menu. Once in I looked in the Device Manager and found plenty of yellow exclamation marks. After trying to fix a couple of drivers it soon became clear that the USB system was badly corrupted. With it being a brand new machine and there being no data on it I had no hesitation in doing a factory reinstall. Once an OS has got mangled like that it will never be quite right! Medion use Cyberlink PowerRecover as their disc to disc system and it was very easy to use. They also provide two DVDs including a WINDOWS 8 INSTALLATION DISC and another with applications and drivers. This is a cheap laptop from a budget brand, why the hell can’t other manufacturers do this?

Rant over. After a full clean reinstall everything was back to how it started, and assuming the first fault was just a glitch I carried on a normal. Until exactly the same thing happened again. Actually it was worse because I’d been using the USB mouse from earliecomputers. of the touchpad, and now that driver was screwed too, so I had no input at all. After some intensive Googling I narrowed it down to a similar problem encountered by other people with different brands of new computers. The common element seemed to be they ask had USB 3 ports. After a bit more delving I found an article by somebody who’d manage to resurrect their computer by disabling the (Microsoft provided) USB 3 driver.

Now I was ready to try again! This time, after reinstalling for a second time, the first thing I did was to disable this xHCI driver in Device Manager. Hey presto, since then everything has been working fine, all updates have worked and I’ve done the Windows 8.1 upgrade too. This reenabled the xHCI, but I’m hoping the driver has been updated to fix what seems a common problem. I’ve certainly had no issues since. Please feel free to borrow this advice if you find yourself in a similar position!

Discount 4G Mobile Broadband

Last weekend I bought a new mobile wifi dongle from EE. It was half price at £24.99 and on just a 30 day contract, at £21 for 5GB data (which is not especially cheap). But I cancelled the contract after two days and got myself a new £130 modem for £46, which I don’t think is too bad, especially as I can currently get 20GB per month for £20 from a company called Mobi-Data. They use Three’s mobile network, which is very good for data. Their 3G speeds are nearly as fast as EE’s 4G, and when Three upgrade to 4G there will be no price rise, supposedly.

For details on unlocking and upgrading this router click here.