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I recently received a laptop (lenovo ThinkPad X220) at work with Ubuntu 12.04 64bit installed that works just fine except that one of the two usb ports doesn't work. I have no idea how to find and solve the problem, so I would be grateful if you could help me. Please note that I have also posted the same question on Ubuntuforums.org, but since I am not getting any reply I though to try with Askubuntu as well.

When I connect my external usb hd to the port that doesn't work, the power led doesn't even turn on. The same is if I try to charge my Smartphone using usb, neither it charges or detects that it has been connected to a USB port.

The other port works just fine.

Reading around I thought that you might be interested in the output of sudo lsusb:

Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 04f2:b217 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd 
Bus 002 Device 012: ID 04e8:689e Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd GT-S5670 [Galaxy Fit]

In this moment I am charging my mobile using the working USB port (that is the last device listed: Bus 002 Device 012: ID 04e8:689e Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd GT-S5670 [Galaxy Fit])

Also the output of dmesg | grep -i USB just after connecting my external hd to the port that is not working is:

[    0.721602] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs
[    0.721611] usbcore: registered new interface driver hub
[    0.721632] usbcore: registered new device driver usb
[    0.966833] ehci_hcd: USB 2.0 'Enhanced' Host Controller (EHCI) Driver
[    0.966906] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1a.0: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
[    0.985372] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1a.0: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00
[    0.985539] hub 1-0:1.0: USB hub found
[    0.985649] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1d.0: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 2
[    1.005326] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1d.0: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00
[    1.005480] hub 2-0:1.0: USB hub found
[    1.005530] ohci_hcd: USB 1.1 'Open' Host Controller (OHCI) Driver
[    1.005538] uhci_hcd: USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver
[    1.005572] usbcore: registered new interface driver libusual
[    1.296702] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 2 using ehci_hcd
[    1.429221] hub 1-1:1.0: USB hub found
[    1.540210] usb 2-1: new high-speed USB device number 2 using ehci_hcd
[    1.672657] hub 2-1:1.0: USB hub found
[    1.743947] usb 1-1.6: new high-speed USB device number 3 using ehci_hcd
[   18.521031] input: Integrated Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1a.0/usb1/1-1/1-1.6/1-1.6:1.0/input/input6
[   18.521100] usbcore: registered new interface driver uvcvideo
[   18.521102] USB Video Class driver (1.1.1)
[55417.219229] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 3 using ehci_hcd
[55417.642880] Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
[55417.643124] scsi6 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[55417.643271] usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
[55417.643274] USB Mass Storage support registered.
[55418.329239] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[55418.330234] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_acm
[55418.330235] cdc_acm: USB Abstract Control Model driver for USB modems and ISDN adapters
[55480.125260] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 3
[55480.339914] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 4 using ehci_hcd
[55480.423716] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55480.647257] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/all, error -71
[55480.718860] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci_hcd
[55480.802861] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55480.990427] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55481.165890] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 6 using ehci_hcd
[55481.398424] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[55481.400982] scsi7 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[55482.490830] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 6 using ehci_hcd
[55482.574686] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55482.762253] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55482.937841] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 6 using ehci_hcd
[55483.021627] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55483.209179] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[55483.384919] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 6 using ehci_hcd
[55483.630217] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[55562.625282] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 6
[55562.828624] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[55562.925088] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[55562.927674] scsi8 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[56273.854408] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56273.938197] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[56274.343462] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[56278.962780] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56279.057047] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[56283.564436] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56284.051103] usb 2-1.2: device not accepting address 7, error -71
[56284.123030] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56284.609747] usb 2-1.2: device not accepting address 7, error -71
[56284.681867] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56284.922513] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/8, error -71
[56285.046526] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[56285.132732] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56285.238421] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/all, error -71
[56285.308492] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[56285.403240] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[57096.818137] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[57096.901880] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57097.089512] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57097.265097] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[57097.348908] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57097.536488] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57097.712071] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[57098.126982] usb 2-1.2: device not accepting address 7, error -71
[57098.198973] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
[57098.613865] usb 2-1.2: device not accepting address 7, error -71
[57098.614516] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 7
[57098.693980] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 8 using ehci_hcd
[57098.790320] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[57098.793036] scsi9 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[57159.140620] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 8 using ehci_hcd
[57159.224442] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57159.412001] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57159.587605] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 8 using ehci_hcd
[57159.671410] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57159.858988] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
[57160.034616] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 8 using ehci_hcd
[57160.449442] usb 2-1.2: device not accepting address 8, error -71
[57160.521426] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 8 using ehci_hcd
[57160.760985] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/8, error -71
[57160.892816] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/8, error -71
[57160.996633] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 8
[57161.076176] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 9 using ehci_hcd
[57161.172729] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[57161.175634] scsi10 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[58462.392065] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 9
[58462.597520] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 10 using ehci_hcd
[58462.693941] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[58462.696673] scsi11 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[58463.770690] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 10 using ehci_hcd
[58464.068982] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[58464.165966] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 10 using ehci_hcd
[58464.309933] usb 2-1.2: device descriptor read/all, error -71
[58464.381469] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 10 using ehci_hcd
[58464.599206] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[58465.457203] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 10
[58465.662554] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 11 using ehci_hcd
[58465.758897] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[58465.761398] scsi12 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3
[59568.263446] usb 2-1.2: reset high-speed USB device number 11 using ehci_hcd
[59568.378228] usb 2-1.2: device firmware changed
[59568.378474] usb 2-1.2: USB disconnect, device number 11
[59568.455033] usb 2-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 12 using ehci_hcd
[59568.551166] cdc_acm 2-1.2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[59568.553694] scsi13 : usb-storage 2-1.2:1.3

I have no idea what the output means, but as you can see there are some errors listed. If you require more information just ask,

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