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Recently my motherboard's built-in USB ports started malfunctioning. On Windows it said power surge in USB port, and in Linux it says nothing but also in Linux USB ports malfunction. So I installed a PCI card that have USB port in it. And in Windows I can disable malfunctioning ports by device manager. How can I disable those malfunctioning USB ports.

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2 Answers

Probably the easiest way is through the BIOS; many BIOSes have an option to disable onboard USB.

Disabling it in Linux would involve preventing the driver for the USB controller from loading. This wouldn't work if the chipset in your motherboard USB controller is the same as the chipset in your PCI USB controller.

Do some research on your motherboard and find out who makes the USB controller on it. You might be able to find out with a simple lspci. A little bit more Googling and/or observing the output of lsmod ought to tell you what kernel module is responsible for it. You can then take a look at this and prevent the module from loading.

I'm sure there's a way to identify by some sort of unique ID and then disable or "unregister" certain USB "branches" in the USB "tree"; hopefully a more enlightened person can share if possible.

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My onboard chip-set is Intel and PCI card's chip is VIA, I think BIOS method will work for me. Thank you. –  Roshan Dhananjaya Jul 13 '11 at 5:47
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You can switch off the power to a USB port with

echo suspend >/sys/bus/usb/devices/usb42/power/level
echo disabled >/sys/bus/usb/devices/usb42/power/wakeup

I don't know if this has the same effect on the hardware as disabling the port through the BIOS or Windows.

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Linux 3.2.5 says WARNING! power/level is deprecated; use power/control instead –  poolie Aug 19 '13 at 3:57
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