USB 3 Hub connection problems

I have a few devices that I need to use with my Surface Pro 3 (i7/512GB) often:

  • A Toshiba 1TB USB 3 hard drive
  • A Samsung external USB Blu-ray drive (Samsung SE-506CB/RSWD)
  • Various USB 2/3 memory sticks
  • Wireless Transceiver for Microsoft sculpt ergonomic desktop keyboard and mouse.

I have a USB 3 hub (HooToo 2-in-1, 3 USB ports + ethernet adapter) which I used to test out all of these devices connected simultaneously (e.g. copying files from the stick to the hard drive) and the results are abysmal. The storage devices keep disconnecting and reconnecting every 30s, interrupting any file transfers. The wireless mouse and keyboard become extremely slow and erratic. I do not get any messages about too much power being drawn or devices malfunctioning.

As a side note, the external Blu-ray drive, (which is only a USB 2 device I might add so should use less than what USB 3 is capable of outputting) won't even work when plugged in directly to the Surface's sole USB port. There it keeps connecting and disconnecting.

All other devices work as expected when connected directly to the USB port.

Thinking power consumption might be a problem I tried lessening the load (even though an i7 machine should be able to handle something like this no problem. Even having just two, solid-state, USB 2 flash drives plugged in won't work. The adapter has been tested on a much older machine and works fine there so the Surface is at fault.

Is there a software fix for the issue? I have tried going into Device Manager and disabling Power Management for all USB devices (and then restarting the machine) but that didn't work. I'm wary of registry hacks as they may be reverted/reset in OS upgrades or cause more problems than they solve.

I noticed some other posts along similar lines, but none mentioning a USB hub and multiple devices. I hope more hardware purchases (USB Y cables/connectors/adapters or powered USB hubs) are not the only way to fix this, because of the additional costs after spending so much on the device and accessories already.

(Out of curiosity, how does the Surface Pro 3 dock handle all those USB ports if it can't handle 3 properly right now?)

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Answer

Personally I found that a powered USB hub has managed to solve the problem. It's not elegant but it works now.

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I would recommend using a powered USB Hub, instead of one just powered from the USB port. It is highly likely the USB port has insufficient power, sorry.
A computer is a device, that requires human input to operate efficiently.
Alas we humans do fail!!!!

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Last updated June 18, 2020 Views 11,747 Applies to: