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Strix Z690-G USB instability

Level 7
I'm having a lot of problems with USB devices on my ROG Strix Z690-G system, on the latest available BIOS (1003) running Windows 11 Pro. I'd previously posted about difficulties with my backup drive becoming unresponsive.

I've also noticed that when the drive is connected (to a USB 3.2 port) and a backup is in progress, other USB devices on the system become unreliable. The backlight on my keyboard will flash off briefly (and if I'm typing when it does, I'll get stuck keys repeattttting) and the mouse will also briefly stick. I can also trigger this behavior just by running winsat disk -drive Z. The keyboard backlight flicker happens even with the keyboard also plugged into a powered hub, so I suspect what is happening is not a power loss, but USB connectivity loss.

The system has a 1000W power supply, so I don't think there's a shortage of power involved. I've also tried disconnecting every other USB device except the keyboard, mouse, and backup drive, to no avail. I've disabled USB selective suspend and excluded all the devices from being turned off to save power.

I've also tried connecting this drive through a powered hub. This also doesn't seem to make any difference... as soon as there's a large amount of data moving to the drive, USB becomes unstable.

At this point, should I just RMA this motherboard? Is anyone else having USB issues with the Z690-G board?

Level 7
Hi Mate I had similar weird stuff with my Strix Z690-G gaming.

I got a logitech keyboard so as soon as i installed G-hub for logitech all USB devices started to behave strangely.
I removed this software and I think that fixed that problem. May have to do with compatibility with Win11.
I am on 0811 and dont plan on upgrade, rock solid now with Win 11 latest updates.

hope this helps

Super Moderator
If removing G-Hub doesn't resolve the issue as suggested above, see if the behaviour persists at optimised defaults, i.e. no XMP or overclocking applied.

Latest Chipset package here
13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Silent Scone@ROG wrote:
If removing G-Hub doesn't resolve the issue as suggested above, see if the behaviour persists at optimised defaults, i.e. no XMP or overclocking applied.

Latest Chipset package here

I never had G-hub installed, and I've gone as far as clearing the BIOS to no avail (I was never overclocking anything to begin with, because stability is more important to me than speed). I already had the latest Chipset package installed.

Looks like the consensus from Support is that this board needs to be RMAed, which I hope will actually address the problem. So far nothing else has, and I've tried a ton of things. At least I've been able to narrow down the steps to reproduce to one single step: connect a USB3 external drive and run winsat disk -drive Z -seq -read on it. Works every time. I've also submitted a feedback report to Support detailing this. Hopefully it's just a bad controller / bad board and replacement will do the trick.

Well you're never going to believe this, but I found the culprit: Western Digital's "WD Security" package and its "WD Drive Manager" service.

The big clue was that the problem went away entirely in Safe Mode; it just took me a little digging to figure out how to get this system into safe mode, because the usual method of shift-clicking the power menu in Windows 11 didn't work for me (my system drive is a RAID 1 array, and the Windows Recovery Environment/WindowsRE couldn't see or boot the system partition, but changing the boot method to Safe Mode in msconfig did work; also boo to Microsoft for dropping the F8 capability).

I started by noting which devices did not get drivers loaded in Safe Mode in the Device manager, then disabling them one by one after a normal boot, but this did not change the behavior. Then I tried the most obvious culprits: my anti-virus software (ESET) and the protection services in my backup software (Acronis). No luck here either. Lastly, I started going through non-Microsoft services from services.msc which were running as Local System, stopping them one by one as I repeated the test. After I stopped "WD Drive Manager" the problem went away immediately and completely.

I don't know what WD Drive Manager is doing, but I'm guessing it must be listening for / filtering all USB events all the time, and when it gets too busy with a large amount of data being sent to/from an external drive, it starts dropping events for other devices. It's pretty horrendous behavior, and this service is now stopped and disabled on my system until I need to unlock my old backup drive again.