How to fix USB stops working problem in Ubuntu

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This tutorial will explain how to fix USB stops working problem in Ubuntu

Note: The success (or otherwise) of the following solution will depend on your hardware and possibly which version of *buntu you are using. Feel free to add your feedback to this thread and alternative solutions

Open a terminal type

gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

You will be asked for your password -- don't worry if your password doesn't show, this is normal. Just type in your password as usual, and it will be accepted.

When the editor opens, scroll down to the line which reads

# defoptions=quiet splash

and change it to read

# defoptions=quiet splash acpi=force irqpoll

Save the file, exit the editor

Now you need to update the grub using the following command

sudo update-grub

Finally Restart your computer.

For Grub2 Users (Ubuntu Karmic) follow this procedure

gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

Find the line


and place the boot uptions there, like

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi=force irqpoll”

Save and exit the file

After that, update the bootloader with:

sudo update-grub

Thanks to our reader laryllan


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37 Responses

  1. dunbrokin says:

    9.10 Netbook Remix there is no /boot/grub/menu.lst file???!!

  2. qwerty says:

    This tutorial doesn’t work for grub2. Is this bug reported to Launchpad?

  3. qwerty says:

    dunbrokin: If your Ubuntu UNR (Ubuntu netboot remix)9.10 is a new install, then you have grub2 which means that you can’use this tutorial.

  4. kyio says:

    can you proide a tutorial for grub2?

  5. laryllan says:

    For Grub2 (Ubuntu Karmic):

    gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

    Find the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”” and place the boot uptions there, like
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi=force irqpoll”

    After that, update the bootloader with:

    sudo update-grub

  6. Raymii says:

    Trying it on 9.10 with an asus m3n78-vm… I’m hopeless my mouse hangs after 20min… hope this helps…

  7. serge says:

    unfortunately in 9.10 there is not a grub file in default.At least in my system. Nor for that matter the line is in any file of the /boot folder.

  8. alex says:

    doesn’t work in ubuntu 10.04 rc

  9. Zunino says:

    Tried the suggested fix for GRUB2 on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lynx) and, for a moment, believed it had done it. I was able to use the system for longer than I had been until that point. However, my USB mouse’s cursor suddenly froze all over again.

    So far, my experience with Lynx has been an unreliable and frustrating one. And I’ve had mostly joy with Ubuntu, since 2005. I hope this gets sorted out soon. One can see on the forums that this is not an isolated issue.


  10. slk says:

    This does not work in 9.10 or 10.04… and is solely a linux problem. Doesn’t happen on same box that is dual-booted with Windows 7.

  11. ayenack says:

    Is it me or do MSI motherboards and Linux not play nice together in terms of USB. I’ve found using other makes of board seems to help.

  12. Raymond says:

    Hi. Could you do a updated version for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx?

  13. Raymond says:

    Try running this:
    sudo aptitude purge irqbalance

  14. Dale says:

    Tried grub nothing in menu1. Tried grub2 usb still not working. My external HD and dvd cdrom unavialable. Did sudo aptitude purge irqbalance thing. No go An irq is an interrupt in machine language from my programming days.

  15. harvlad says:

    Hi, what worked for me with karmic 64 was to go into synaptic and type in mouse. Then if not already enable/install choose mousetweaks and mouseemu.

    My usbmouse work now

  16. darthpenguin says:

    “gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

    Find the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”” and place the boot uptions there, like
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi=force irqpoll”

    After that, update the bootloader with:

    sudo update-grub”

    Thanks! That worked for me.

  17. ToniMe says:

    Thank you very very much! After I had spent hours and hours googling around to find out a way to make usb devices work again, I came upon this tutorial. Whatever had I tried, it never worked. Twice fresh install Lucid and Maverick, nothing. I had installed ubuntu on many other machines, no problem at all. And now, on my son’s and my daughter’s laptops – bump! The solution provided in the above tutorial worked like a charm! Great! Thanks!

  18. me says:

    The solution didn’t work for me (ubuntu 10.10/11.04 beta), but combining this tutorial with another one i found on the web y replaced the
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi=force irqpoll” line with
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”pci=nocrs” and worked like a charm after rebooting.
    I? not a linux expert so i really don’t know what this does.. perhaps someone can explain it to me.

    thank you very much for the post!

  19. degraded_array says:

    On my amd64 system, after the update to 11.04 my problems (mouse and keyboard failing after boot) returned. Had previously done the acpi=force to make it work (10.04/10.10).

    Just did it again, got me about 60s of running x-windows before the mouse died. Just trying “me’s” suggestion of pci=nocrs. Both settings cause X-windows to take ages to start the window manager. After taking an age to come up- the kb and mouse died before login… Second boot was better so failure is still random (within the first minute). Tried installing mouseemu too to no avail… looking further afield now.

  20. MockY says:

    I have never had this issue with any computer I have ever built, but with my new i7 based system, this is definately a problem. Like ayenack mentioned above, I now have a MSI motherboard so maybe the statement is correct. Don’ buy MSI if you plan on running Ubuntu.

    I will try to apply some of the “fixes” stated above and report back.

  21. Dale Mitchell says:

    I have 3 puters with XP and Ubuntu 11.x installed.
    2 Acer laptop’s no problem.
    Desktop with a MSI g41m4(ms7592)1.0 board, a 2.7 gig Pentium duel. usb keyboard and use Targus card reader. All puters use many different usb connected devices and no problem. Boinc/seti do have a problem. When I upgraded from 10.04 to 10.10 on another machine, usb was dead in the water. Never did get it fixed. 11.x however worksjust fine.

  22. Zeno Laiti says:

    I have the same problem on my laptop (AMILO L7310GW). With Ubuntu 11.04 (i386), following this guide, i solve the problem (adding “acpi=force irqpoll”).
    But now, with Ubuntu 11.10 (i386) it doesn’t work anymore. Any ideas?

  23. Zeno Laiti says:

    I forgot one thing, with “acpi=off” or “pci=noacpi” usb port work well, but wireless doesn’t work.

  24. name says:

    i have the same problem
    mouse suddenly freezes
    and in /var/log/messages
    USB disconnect, address XX

    me help reinstall compiz

    sudo apt-get purge compiz*
    cd $HOME && rm -rf .compiz/ .config/compiz/

  25. Wesam says:


  26. David Haras says:

    Thanks this fixed the problem with my USB mouse & keyboard.

    DH 🙂

  27. Nathan says:

    My usb ports were not working. “lsusb” would not detect anything that I plugged into the ports. I have a laptop (compaq nc6220) running Ubuntu 12.04.

    The second fix for Grub2 working beautifully for me.


  28. DarkTomas says:

    Awesome Thank you!

  29. Alexey says:

    Thank you! Works for me on Ubuntu 12.04 but with turning off irqbalance in /etc/default/irqbalance config file (ENABLED=”0″). I have a Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000, which is really comfortable for me but its occasional hanging really frazzle me.

  30. Michael says:

    Work’s for me.
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    Mouse: MODECOM MCWM4

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