Ubuntu: USB Hub can only detect pendrive



Question:

I have two USB3.0 ports at the back of my desktop. No problem when connecting devices directly to them. But when I use USB hub, only pendrives can be detected, not other devices, not even external hard disks.

The hub is also USB3.0 and has external power supply. My USB devices are also 3.0.

My OS is Ubuntu 16.04.

Output of lsusb:

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub  Bus 001 Device 003: ID 046d:c534 Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver  Bus 001 Device 018: ID 0781:5581 SanDisk Corp. Ultra  Bus 001 Device 004: ID 2109:2812 VIA Labs, Inc. VL812 Hub  Bus 001 Device 002: ID 2109:2812 VIA Labs, Inc. VL812 Hub  Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub    [27082.105132] usb 1-4.1.3: device descriptor read/64, error -32  [30177.601111] usb 1-4.1.3: new full-speed USB device number 17 using xhci_hcd  [30177.693142] usb 1-4.1.3: device descriptor read/64, error -32  [38832.731988] usb 1-5: new high-speed USB device number 18 using xhci_hcd  [38832.872908] usb 1-5: New USB device found, idVendor=0781, idProduct=5581  [38832.872912] usb 1-5: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3  [38832.872915] usb 1-5: Product: Ultra  [38832.872917] usb 1-5: Manufacturer: SanDisk  [38832.872919] usb 1-5: SerialNumber: 4C530001310928119590  [38832.873568] usb-storage 1-5:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected  [38832.874025] scsi host4: usb-storage 1-5:1.0  [38833.881832] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 122224640 512-byte logical blocks: (62.6 GB/58.3 GiB)  [38833.882657] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off  [38833.882660] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00  [38833.882957] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA  [38833.908311]  sdc: sdc1  [38833.909598] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk  [38834.275610] FAT-fs (sdc1): Volume was not properly unmounted. Some data may be corrupt. Please run fsck.  [458548.228280] usb 1-4.1.3: new full-speed USB device number 19 using xhci_hcd  [458548.320303] usb 1-4.1.3: device descriptor read/64, error -32    NAME   FSTYPE LABEL   UUID                                 MOUNTPOINT  sdb    ext4   TOSHIBA cf824f59-6244-4db5-a3a9-423fc91d8c0f   sr0                                                          sdc                                                          â""â"€sdc1 vfat           EFC1-33E3                              /media/kin/EFC1-33E3  sda                                                          â"œâ"€sda2 ext4           9fda4715-3eb4-46e7-b401-8749e936f287 /  â"œâ"€sda3 swap           22e295fe-66bf-4aff-a010-63036f22cff8 [SWAP]  â""â"€sda1 vfat           1768-BCF6                            /boot/efi  


Solution:1

I have two USB 3.0 hubs (not externally powered though) and they do behave differently. The cheaper one has a similar problem but I find if I unplug the hub (with the drive still connected) and then plug it back in again it usually works. Something to do with soft or firmware or something like that inside the hub. My only other thought is there might not be enough power coming out of just one of the hub's ports to power a bigger drive, having divided the power from your computer's port between all the ports in the hub. You'd think the external power supply would compensate for that but it might not.


Solution:2

Make sure you are using USB 3 cables

Although you can plug USB 2 cables (usually black) into USB 3 devices they are not the same as USB 3 cables (usually blue). From this write up we learn:

To get USB 3.0 speeds, you need special USB 3.0 cables. Yes, USB 3.0 cables are different. Even though you can connect a USB 3.0 device via a USB 2.0 cable, in order to achieve full USB 3.0 speeds you need to rewire any existing cabling. USB 3.0 cables have more internal wires, are usually blue, and are noticeably thicker than the old USB 2.0 cables.

Another consideration is distance. USB 3 is limited to 9 feet whilst USB 2 can travel 15 feet.

Finally when it comes to an external HDD powered via USB there is an important consideration:

A USB 2.0 cable may not be adequate for a high current USB 3.0 device. Some USB 3.0 devices draw more power than USB 2.0 devices. The power conductors in USB 3.0 cables need to be able to carry 900 mA versus 500 mA for USB 2.0 cables.


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