I spent a few hours this week troubleshooting this and hopefully this will help anyone who comes across it
I built a new desktop machine between Christmas and New Year’s at the end of last month. Earlier this week the Belkin USB hub that I’d had to RMA arrived back and I hooked it up only to find that it didn’t work. I plugged it into my laptop and it came up with no problems so I knew it had to be something with the computer and not the device. Since both machines were running Windows 7 64-bit edition, I felt it should be something fixable.
I tried Google and didn’t find anything so I had to put it off until this weekend when I had a chance to better look at the problem. The first I place that I go anytime hardware doesn’t work is Device Manager. There I saw something that caught my attention, a Bluetooth device that I didn’t remember being there before named “Bluetooth USB + EDR Adapter Class1 v2.1”. It also had the little yellow triangle that means it’s not working. To verify this was my hub, I right clicked on it, select Uninstall. Then I disconnected the hub and then reconnected it. Sure enough the device returned. So now I knew my problem, the hub was not being recognized as a hub it appeared, but instead as a Bluetooth radio.
After searching both Google and Bing again using the incorrect device name I found some interesting articles saying a Windows Update might be the cause, but in my case apparently not as there are no updates on the laptop where it worked compared to the desktop where it does not. The fixes in those articles didn’t work in any case.
So in the end I decided to try setting the driver to a generic USB hub to see if it would work. To do this, I right-clicked on the device and chose Properties and then went to the driver tab and then the Update Driver button. The key is not to let Windows do it, but pick the Browse my computer for driver software option which will let you choose the driver.
Now if this was some specialized device, I would then pick a directory where I’d extracted a driver from the manufacturer’s web site, but with a USB hub, I just need the generic USB driver so I use the Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
With the show compatible hardware option selected to filter out the irrelevant drivers, I saw two options. The first was the device that had wrongly been selected. The next was Generic USB Hub which is exactly what I wanted. So I select that and click Next.
Windows then installed the driver and the hub is working perfectly now. In effect when Windows doesn’t recognize a device correctly, sometimes you just have to tell it what to do.