USB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus


  1. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Home Edition
       #1

    USB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus


    My computer has been running into a few random problems over the last few months and I am a bit concerned.

    Rebooting has helped solve the problems I am about to describe - only temporarily. They are persistent and unpredictable however.

    I purchased this computer, an HP Pavilion 15t-cc500 CTO, in late January 2018. The first suspicious occurrence may have less to do with Windows 10 and more to do with my anti-virus software, ESET internet security, but I'm not sure. Several times a day, a notification will pop up asking for permission to access my webcam, requested by "DeviceCensus.exe". I disallow permission and tell it to remember not to ask again but it keeps asking and even allows it on its own sometimes. This started happening around late September 2018.

    On October 3, 2018, I had my first major problem. I was listening to music in Winamp, when suddenly every file I tried to play would fizz out and stop playing at 00:11 seconds until Winamp just crashed. VLC media player crashed and then none of the programs on my computer would play any of my files. I then went to look into my external hard drive through Windows explorer to find that several of the folders which used to store many files now read "empty". I disconnected my external drive, via "Safely remove hardware" and I also unplugged it, but it was still recognized in Windows Explorer and I could still browse through the folders, strangely. Suddenly, my USB mouse stopped working. It's like everything was just gradually ceasing cooperation.

    I was very alarmed and rebooted my PC immediately, and everything was back to normal. About a week ago, my USB ports suddenly stopped working once again. I connected/disconnected my external drive along with a few other devices several times, and they were not recognized. Upon disconnecting and reconnecting my USB mouse, it was no longer recognized. I rebooted and once again my mouse was now recognized and I could plug in my devices. I expect this to happen again and I'm worried that if I do not take action now, something irreversible could occur and ruin my PC or my data.

    I would much appreciate any ideas or suggestions on any of these issues, or more importantly what it means as a whole. Thanks.

    *What also may be important to note: I never restart my PC for any reason besides this, or to install mandatory updates. It runs 24/7, and I almost always am running file sharing programs such as SoulSeek. My external drive is always connected and I almost always have a browser open for email or youtube.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 34,862
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Devicecensus.exe:

    A quick search of this forum shows useful discussion here:
    devicecensus.exe - Windows 10 Forums

    I then went to look into my external hard drive through Windows explorer to find that several of the folders which used to store many files now read "empty".
    Perhaps time for some very basic checks:
    1. First check your disk(s):
    Download and run Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) (includes SSDs)
    (This gives exceptionally good text comments)
    Post a screenshot of its GUI using the Insert Image icon above your post.
    If all disks are reported as good, continue.

    2. Now check your file system:

    From an admin command or powershell prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.
    Post the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    Read Chkdsk Log in Event Viewer in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials
    or
    How to read Event Viewer log for Chkdsk in Windows 10 [Tip] | dotTech

    3.If ok, now from an admin command or powershell prompt run
    SFC /SCANNOW
    to check your system files.
    Post the result

    *What also may be important to note: I never restart my PC for any reason besides this, or to install mandatory updates. It runs 24/7, and I almost always am running file sharing programs such as SoulSeek. My external drive is always connected and I almost always have a browser open for email or youtube.
    a. registry changes are written to the registry on restart. You may have found that if you have to force your PC to shut down by holding the power button for about 5s, some changes may be lost.
    b. What backups do you maintain? Do you have scheduled disk imaging place? E.g. Macrium Reflect (free) - we strongly and repeatedly recommend the routine use of disk imaging.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Home Edition
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks dalchina.

    I couldn't get very far with your instructions. I'm attaching my screenshot of the Sentinel GUI (which I assumed was the first screen upon startup, reading "The hard disk status is PERFECT") although I didn't actually run any tests. Due to being a trial version, it alerted me that my data may not be protected and I am nervous about doing any kinds of tests on my external drive, if that is even necessary.

    I ran PowerShell and typed in the "check disk" command and it couldn't run because it said the volume was in use by another process.

    What next?USB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus-powershell102818.jpgUSB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus-sentinel102818.jpg
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 34,862
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    Good your disks are ok.

    Note my instructions:
    From an admin command or powershell prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.

    So you will need to restart it as prompted.....
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 39,953
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #5

    To continue with the chkdsk command perform the following:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk C: /f
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Cannot lock current drive.

    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
    process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be
    checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)

    Type: Y
    reboot
    This may take many hours so plan to run overnight.

    Use the txt and images in this link to find the chkdsk report in the event viewer > copy and paste > notepad > post a share link into the thread (one drive, drop box, or google drive)
    Read Chkdsk Log in Event Viewer in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    HP computers come with default BIOS UEFI diagnostics to test hardware.
    There are upgraded editions that can be downloaded to the bios that will perform more extensive testing.
    HP has recently made tests that can be performed while using Windows.
    Download and install HP Windows diagnostics (the right upper area of this link):
    HP PC Hardware Diagnostics | HP® Official Site

    After you complete the testing as outlined by dalchina run the HP UEFI diagnostics that are already installed on the computer that test RAM and Drive:
    Power on the computer and repetitively click the F2 key > this opens the UEFI diagnostics > if there are extensive or loop until failure test then run them and if there are only RAM and HD test then run these. Testing is best performed overnight when you do not need to use the computer. Plan approximately 3 to 6 hours of testing depending on the size of the drive and the amount of RAM.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 8,614
    Mac OS Catalina
       #6

    "Windows 10 contains a Telemetry service that reports back to Microsoft on hardware usage, errors, etc. Device Census (background process) is part of that Telemetry Framework, and the process is only gathering data on your usage of your webcam. Quoting Microsoft Support Engineer Jason [MSFT] via Microsoft Community – “What is Device Census?”"
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Home Edition
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Okay, so I opened an Admin Powershell and typed "chkdsk C: /F" typed "Y" and then restarted my computer. It only took a few minutes to do its check. I opened Event Viewer once my desktop had loaded - here are a couple screenshots:
    USB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus-eventviewer00.jpgUSB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus-eventviewer01.jpg

    Then I proceeded to open another admin Powershell and typed "SFC /SCANNOW"

    It ran another test within Powershell which took several hours. Here is the result:
    USB ports suddenly unrecognized, among other troubles, DeviceCensus-powershell102918.jpg

    A few days before doing these tests, my computer had the same USB-disconnecting problem, and it happened while I was in the middle of running several applications, which may have had to do with it. I restarted my computer today after running all of the tests and after trying to restart it said, "=( your PC has encountered an error and needs to restart. Please wait while the system gathers the error info..." This has happened a couple times when I've restarted even if nothing was going wrong.

    Thanks for the info about Device Census bro67.

    I didn't go through with the "BIOS UEFI diagnostics" suggested by zbook because I wanted to see if anybody had any thoughts about what I've already done. Then I will proceed with that if it is still appropriate.

    Also, I had disconnected my Seagate external drive for all these tests, with the fear that data would get lost or something bad might happen like that. Could the problem be on that drive?
      My Computer


 

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