Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime...

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Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime...

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:28 pm

Hello. This started about a week ago.

My workstation, running Windows 8 Pro, occasionally plays the wav file that signifies that a hardware device has been unplugged. There is no discernable behavior, frequency, or "when I do this it does that". And, it happens even when I'm not in the room...even while the system is locked and just folding. The folding logs don't show anything failing or disconnecting either. There is no corresponding "device plugged in" sound. It always plays the "unplugged" sound.

The system is otherwise behaving normally; which is to say it only gets booted after Tuesday updates, and it runs folding 24/6.5...and it's fast as hell even when folding. I can't find anything in the event viewers, but then I'm not sure I'm looking in all the places I could.

This is annoying. Where should I look first?
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:47 pm

Sounds like (no pun intended) a second hard drive in the system is going into power saving mode and windows is playing the 'disconnect' sound. Go into the power options and see what is set for default value.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:02 pm

On Battery: 20 Min
Plugged In: 60 Min

It has chimed several times in the last 20 minutes and I have been using it to browse the web and read news.

Good thinking; thanks. I'm not sure hard drive sleeping would be the cause here, but I will explore my other power settings and see if anything looks suspicious.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:03 pm

Have you considered turning off all windows sounds?
I like Windows 8.
Seriously.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:15 pm

No, of course not. :-? Windows sounds are a feature of Windows and they should work correctly, don't ya think?

I rely on the sounds as part of using Windows. I also have quite a number of USB devices and they get plugged in/switched on only when I need them. Audio confirmation of connection/disconnection is more than just a convenience for me.

Edit: This train of thought made me think of checking out all my system sounds for the current theme in use, to make sure that the sound being played was indeed associated with the "device disconnect" event and that there were no other events that could be playing the same sound. So I did. And it is. And there are not.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:38 pm

Sounds like buggy drivers to me.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:57 pm

This can happen for various reasons - power supply not providing enough power for some device (especially if you are stressing your hardware during playing games or folding), motherboard going bad or shortening out somewhere, some PCI/PCIe card not being seated in properly, some USB device going bad, etc. Good luck trying to figure this out!
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:47 pm

JohnC wrote:This can happen for various reasons - power supply not providing enough power for some device (especially if you are stressing your hardware during playing games or folding), motherboard going bad or shortening out somewhere, some PCI/PCIe card not being seated in properly, some USB device going bad, etc. Good luck trying to figure this out!


John, your post made me think of something to check on. Time to crawl under the desk!

EDIT: So far so good. Earlier this afternoon, I was digging around. Needed to plug a new USB hub into a pre-existing hub. The new one has rocker switches for each USB device, and I wanted to put some of my music devices on that new hub, so that I could switch them on and off without using the switch on the device itself or having to manually plug/unplug the USB cable. Yuck!

Native Instruments bus-powered devices are notorious for not even having power switches, so the USB ports get heavy use if you're like me and prefer not to power them when you are not using them.

Yeah, I know I'm running a risk plugging hubs into hubs, but in my home office/studio, the computer is in the middle and already has long USB runs out to the perimeters. Not much I can do about that...

Anyway, once I plugged the errant free-dangling power supply into its hub, the sound seems to have stopped. I probably won't be 100% confident unless it stops happening for at least a couple hours.

Edit 2: By the way, I did notice that Device Manager seemed to blink TWICE with each disconnect sound. I suspect that one was the disconnect sound, followed by a successful reconnect but no accompanying sound. It may also be plausible that the new hub, though it was itself plugged into AC power and not powering any devices, may have been causing a draw on the unpowered hub, bringing it occasionally too low (on bus-power alone) to maintain communications with Windows. It would disconnect, then immediately reconnect. And a few minutes later would do the same thing all over again.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:13 pm

Well, that didn't take long. It's sounding off again.

I've begun disconnecting hubs and other devices 2 or 4 at a time to see if the sound stops. It's too bad NIRsoft's USB logger doesn't work with Windows 8. Sigh.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:14 pm

My PC gaming system is running 8.1 now from 8 and in BOTH it has done the EXACT same thing. I'm fairly sure it's the MSI board I'm using since I have a slightly different ASrock board and I swapped all the components into that board with no issues.

So I wondered and wondered about it and ... It's the Intel vPro crap. I uninstall it on the MSI board and POOF it all goes away. YMMV of course.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:52 pm

Well, I am playing with another little tool from NirSoft, called USBDeview. Amazing! It's not a logger, but you can see the devices that are connected and/or disconnected, and the hub and port they were last connected to.

I have not figured out anything as yet, but it's interesting to see which devices are actually "multiples". For example, I have an SIIG USB 3.0 + 2.0 HUB, and of course it sends two "disconnects" when you unplug it. You can see this in the USBDeview display, along with the date/time of last connection (sometimes it's in the "Create" column, not the "last plug/unplug" column).

Not perfect, but this can still be a good little debugging tool and this looks promising. I'm sure I'll figure this out in the next week or so. Will be back!
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:03 am

This is quite interesting, posting for notifications.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:43 am

BIF wrote:Edit 2: By the way, I did notice that Device Manager seemed to blink TWICE with each disconnect sound. I suspect that one was the disconnect sound, followed by a successful reconnect but no accompanying sound.

If two events with an associated sound occur in rapid succession, the second sound doesn't get played. At least that has been my experience on Windows 7; YMMV since you're on 8. But it would be consistent with the symptoms you're seeing.

Absent USB event logging capability, your strategy of disconnecting devices until the issue goes away sounds like a logical way to proceed.

If it is intermittent hardware you might be able to diagnose it by booting a Linux live CD. One of the log files in /var/log (kern.log on my Ubuntu 12.04 system, but may depend on the specific distro) should have the USB connect/disconnect events in it. And if it doesn't happen at all under Linux, that points to the culprit being a Windows device driver.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:14 am

Forge, I'm flattered that I can still find interesting problems for people on this forum! :D :lol:

JBI, it may have been precisely that SIIG hub. It has no devices plugged into it right now (it used to go in my travel bag because it can drive both USB types and is nice as a travel unit), but currently doesn't have AC power (I need to find the AC adapter). After my playing around last night, I left it unplugged and went to bed. But now in retrospect, I haven't heard the sound in this room for the rest of the night or this morning. Cross fingers...

Thanks also for the Linux Live idea; I'll keep that as an option.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:44 am

It could also be a flaky USB cable.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:46 am

You can do a USB event trace in Windows - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library ... 73(v=vs.85).aspx

This will let you view all of the USB events and then figure out what device is causing it.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:55 am

If you look at device manager, view > devices by connection, you can see a breakdown of interconnects. If you're hearing the chime, you could probably sit there and stare at it and see when it updates any items in the list. It updates in pretty much realtime as far as hardware detection goes, so you should be able to catch it.
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Re: Windows 8 unexpectedly plays "hardware unplugged" chime.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:01 am

Bensam123 wrote:If you look at device manager, view > devices by connection, you can see a breakdown of interconnects. If you're hearing the chime, you could probably sit there and stare at it and see when it updates any items in the list. It updates in pretty much realtime as far as hardware detection goes, so you should be able to catch it.

He already mentioned that Device Manager "blinked twice" every time it happened. Sounds like maybe it was too fast to see?
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