[TRACKING] USB-A an ongoing problem?

I was wondering if the ongoing problems of the USB-A port carry forward. The problem I’m referring to is the power issues that sometimes require things to be plugged in half-way to function. Is this an issue with all mainboards? Was this fixed on the Framework 16 laptop?

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I can’t say this is an issue I’ve noticed with the USB A module I received with my 13" 13th gen Intel last month

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@Edward_Bowden did you get to see this problem on previous mainboards you’ve owned?

Not sure which os you are using, however I use usb-a frequently on Framework 13 without issue.

If you are having this issue, it’s symptomatic of needing a ticket to track what is happening.

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I still have the problem (3rd batch framework ordered August 2021, Windows 10). It hasn’t been resolved by a ticket (on-going since February 2022). I’m thinking of reviving the 1 TB disconnect thread since this is where the most people noticed the problem. I at least have some more info to help people (e.g. a powered hub has helped me, and my problem appears to be usb-3 related. usb-2 connections don’t seem to disconnect). I’ll try to summarize what I’ve found if I do revive the 1 TB disconnect thread, though you can find info currently in these threads:






No, this is my first Framework I’m afraid

I had the problem on my original mainboard. Replaced the mainboard in December 2022 and still have the problem.

@brianshmrian My 13” 11th Gen is also from Batch 3.

@Staten_McClacherty I’m assuming they sent me a newer mainboard, but people in the 1 TB expansion card disconnect thread were complaining with newer framework batches too. I really wish they could use my old mainboard that I sent back in order to study the problem since they claim not to be able to reproduce it.

Another idea I had was to have them send me a Framework that they think works and I’ll send them back mine with OS and everything that reproduces the problem. That way, I have a working laptop and they have one that they can study to figure out what’s going on.

Still same here, too - I’ve just learned to live with my framework quirks. Sometimes, tho, that USB one can bug me and cost me productivity… whether Timeshift can’t find it’s drive, or I just HAVE to burn an .iso to a USB stick and have to pull out a 5 year old Thinkpad b/c FW won’t oblige…
I did get one response to remove a ‘metal like sticker’ on the right hand (I think) side that I haven’t completed yet - its said to block USB things, but I don’t buy into it - my errors are across all user ports (at times).
That, and I’ve never had a working mic since day 1 - but I love and believe in framework still and will buy new hardware one day.

I’ve mostly gotten used to it. I don’t absolutely need USB 3 speeds. For a long time the Anker USB-C hub was connecting at USB 3 speed and working well, but recently it started only connecting at USB 2 speed no matter how many times I uninstall and reinstall the drivers and reboot and do rain dances etc…

I like the idea of the framework, but it’s a bit flaky. I don’t know that I’d get another one. Better just to get a new, working laptop every few years.

(Also I don’t think I’m going to bother resurrecting the 1 TB disconnect thread and investigating further. I’m tired of the problem and don’t want to waste any more time worrying about it.)

Edit: I fixed my Anker powered USB-C hub problem by uninstalling a “port reset failed” USB device, shutting down, unplugging the hub from its power source, resting, and then booting back up. Or in short, I turned it off and on again. For some reason, I kept forgetting to unplug the hub from its power source. I was only unplugging the other side from the Framework. Once again, it’s a pretty decent device to work around the Framework USB wonkiness.

Just a reminder, if you have symptoms of a device that is not working to spec, please open a ticket as it will not likely be resolved in the forums if it’s a potential hardware issue.

I’m curious. How many people have had these sorts of USB problems?

  • USB devices not connecting or showing up
  • USB devices disconnecting
  • USB devices only connecting at USB 2.x speeds
  • USB devices only showing up when plugged in halfway
  • Generally flaky USB behavior

And how many people who have had these problems have managed to fix them? If so, how?

I’ll start. I have all of the above problems and have not fixed them through my customer support ticket.

However, I do have two workarounds. The best is to use a powered USB-C hub which results in stable and fast connections. Another workaround is to force devices to connect at USB 2.x speeds (by using USB 2.x dongles or cables) which results in stable connections at the cost of slower data speed.

Fair question - is on a percentage basis of overall units, the numbers are small. However, as those sales grow, we do see folks dealing stuff that doesn’t work as it is supposed to. Previous support roles, same.

Definitely get a ticket opened up. You will be asked to go through the support process, please do so and if it’s something that is determined to be a hardware issue by support, this will be addressed as well.

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Thanks, Matt. The thing that concerns me is that I don’t really see people posting here that their problems have been resolved or what the resolutions were. That would definitely be helpful.

For instance, are people getting new mainboards which resolve their USB problems? Did I just get unlucky to have 2 mainboards with the same problem? Or are there software fixes that resolve the problem?

At least I have the workarounds, but I’m curious to see how other people have resolved their issues. I probably should start a more generic USB problem thread since the problem isn’t confined to USB-A.

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Depends, it’s either the device connected or the expansion card itself. There are of course other situations where it may be something different. But this is why we have a ticketing system, many things are best solved through extensive troubleshooting with that user only.

Here are two cases which seem to have been resolved by mainboard replacements (including embarrassingly an instance in my own Quirky USB thread which I forgot about):

I wonder how often it’s the case that the weirdness is due to the hardware? Also, since I did do a mainboard replacement and still have the problem, does that disqualify me from getting another mainboard replacement? They indicated this in my support ticket. Anyway, what I’m really interested in is software fixes. That’s the holy grail here. Given all of the quirks, though, it really does seem like a hardware problem. Just to clarify on my old ticket, I’m currently waiting on Framework to release an 11th gen BIOS update which support said maybe would fix the problem. That would be awesome for everybody obviously.

Hey again @brianshmrian! I only skimmed the thread and a bit coincidental I got tagged in this as about 2 weeks ago I plugged an old but reliable Sandisk 64gb USB flash drive into a USB-A expansion card on the left side (don’t remember if it was top or bottom).

For some reason the drive wasn’t showing up unless I did the “insert-halfway” trick.

Did some minor troubleshooting and it did all work correctly in a USB slot on the right side (I don’t remember if top or bottom).

Oddly, the drive worked being plugged into a Google USB-C to USB-A dongle directly into the laptop’s USB-C port. I remember this being the case way back when was I ran into these issues as well.

So I’m not sure if the issue finally resurfaced on my mainboard replacement, or if it’s the USB-A expansion card (I only have 1 to test with), or if it’s some weird incompatibility issue between the USB-A, specific USB drive, and mainboard. I tested a USB mouse and it worked correctly.

Just leaving this info here in case it helps because this is a very minor issue that I can work around and everything else has been working very well (the mainboard in general with USB-C ports and HDMI). My previous mainboard had a flaky USB-C port issue connecting to my monitor which affected my daily workflow, but that was solved with the replacement.

FWIW I had a first gen Dell XPS 15 (9550) where a USB 3 ethernet adapter didn’t work on the right side USB-A port. I went to a Microsoft store, talked to some reps, and tested it on a display model where it didn’t work as well. So I figured it was an issue on that model and bought another adapter that ended up working.

shrugs I have an AMD mainboard preorder, hopefully I don’t run into any first gen issues there lol

A bit rushed typing this on my phone/scatterbrained – please feel free to ask for more details/I can run some tests on my device if it helps get to the bottom of this.

Hey good to hear from you again @Michael_Wu. It feels like the old days. Haha.

The thing I would be curious about is when you get the drive to appear in the wonky port, does it connect as USB 3? In Windows 10 you can go to the Bluetooth & other devices settings in order to see if it says “Connected to USB 3.0”. I’ve found that my problems all seem to be related to unstable USB 3 connections.

What the halfway plugin trick does for me is that it forces a drive to connect at slower USB 2.0 speeds. When a port is having trouble, forcing a drive to connect as USB 2.0 allows it to appear (or stay connected, if it can connect as USB 3.0 but then has problems with disconnections). A dongle or cable can also force this USB 2.0 connection if it’s not rated for USB 3.0 speeds.

Another thing I’ve recently discovered is that HDMI doesn’t work in one of these messed up ports (at least through my Anker 555 hub… see here for details).

I feel like there could be a grand unified theory of USB problems with drives, hubs, and monitors that is related to this USB 3 problem.

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Just adding in my own daily experiences.

I use USB-A daily, mostly on my 13th and 13th gen boards without issues. That said, I do not use my docks very often. When I do, I use limited USB-C/A connections with it for data driven stuff (webcam testing, USB headsets, dongles).

All external display pushing for myself is done through DP and HDMI expansion card(s).

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