Non-existent USB device installs repeatedly

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All USB devices are currently unplugged (even going back to PS/2 keyboard atm). Despite this, something installs itself, comes up with "USB device not recognized" in a bubble by the clock, disappears, then comes back. Repeat >20 times in the time it took me to write this. You hear the ding-dings as well. I don't think it's a faulty port because I inserted a USB stick which came up fine on all ports. Just using mobo ports for now. Front ports/sound jack connector is currently disconnected. No card reader present. Any ideas before I lose my sanity?!
 

mrk

mrk

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Have you checked every USB port on your computer that there isn't a rogue spider in there LOLing by shorting the pins?

tumblr_m2lsf31CSe1r3xy4mo1_500.gif
 
Soldato
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Does it have onboard Wifi etc? Some manufacturers will use USB versions of these to save money and will wire them up directly to the chipset.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the suggestions.

- no WLAN devices present
- turned PC off/on to no avail
- have checked ports, bit of dust but no arachnids as far as I know

Here's something interesting though: the motherboard only has 4 USB ports but in Device Manager, "USB Root Hub" is showing up as having 10 ports.

When I plug a USB stick into ports 1, 2, 3 or 4, the location shows up as Port_#0001.Hub_#0001, Port_#0002.Hub_#0001, Port_#0003.Hub_#0001, Port_#0004.Hub_#0001 respectively. However! The offending non-existent device shows up as Port_#0005.Hub_#0001... USB port 5! Where the hell in my computer is that? Or are 5-10 'logical' location as opposed to physical? If that's the case, how can I disable these ports and thus prevent the message from keep popping?
 
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Could it be an on-board USB header which is shorting ? (you know, that you could connect case or backplate headers to, but haven't ?)
 
Soldato
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Thanks again guys!

Regarding USB headers, I thought the thing was usually soldered onto the board? 4 ports arranged in a 2x2 block and it looks fairly firmly seated when looking inside the case. The front 2 ports does have a header though and is currently disconnected in process of elimination.

Will have a look at chipset drivers though, last time checked being back in July.

P.S. had Microsoft Security Essentials as realtime scanner since day 1 to rule out virus activity. Windows 7 Home 64-bit.
 
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