There’s an old joke about managing health problems that occasionally applies equally to troubleshooting Windows. Patient to doctor: “Doc, it hurts when I do this (demonstrates).” Doctor to patient: “Don’t do that.” First, the issue applies only to Version 1809 and is fixed in 1903 (another good reason to upgrade, perhaps?). Second, the issue applies only when a USB-C device is plugged in, or unplugged, while the Windows PC is transitioning into a sleep state or going through the shutdown process. Thus, indeed, Microsoft’s recommended mitigation matches the punchline: “Don’t do that.” Otherwise, users will experience a 60 second delay as the connect or disconnect event on the USB Type C port gets handled. No other ill effects of this particular gotcha have been reported.
The secret is to avoid plugging/unplugging USB-C devices while a power transition is underway. Duh!
[Image source: Amazon]
Why Commonsense Solution Fixes 1809 USB-C Delay
It comes down to a matter of housekeeping and timeout delays. Even if Windows 10 is in the process of going to sleep or shutting down, certain events take priority and suspend those actions while they complete. We now know that plugging/unplugging USB-C is one of those priority events. Thus, when a plug or unplug action happens on a Type C port, the OS puts “other stuff” on hold for 60 seconds while the actions on the USB Type C port run through to completion and subsequent “safety delay” waits expire. It’s both banal and benign, but unavoidable when Windows Version 1809 is in use.
Confirmation comes from Microsoft’s Philip Froese in a post to the Microsoft USB Blog dated June 24. It’s entitled “UCSI based USB Type-C systems may see a shutdown delay if connect changes race with power transition.” It points the finger at an implementation issue in the USB Type-C Connector System Software Interface (UCSI) in 1809 as the cause of the delay. For those not already in the know, a “race” in engineering terms refers to two events (or series of events) that occur in parallel (simultaneously, or overlapping in time).
So, if you’re running 1809 on a PC with Type-C USB ports, please refrain from plugging into or unplugging from such ports after initiating sleep or shutdown sequences. Otherwise, you’ll once again learn how long 60 seconds can be! ‘Nuff said.
[Note: This Google News search will confirm that this gotcha has been widely covered in the computer trade news. I learned about it and the fix from Brendan Hesse at Lifehacker. So here are my thanks and a shout-out.]
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.