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Thread: USB ports cause power short?
03-03-2010, 07:55 AM #1
USB ports cause power short?
Computer tech question here - maybe someone else experienced something similar at some point.
I have an ASUS X83Vb laptop - cheap but nice little notebook. It has performed flawlessly except for one recurring problem: intermittently, when I plug my Ipod Shuffle into ANY of the USB ports, it will cause the computer to short. The notebook will instantly power off, and then I won't be able to power it back on. I figured out that if I take out the battery, let it sit for a bit, I can usually get it to power back on in about 2-5 minutes.
What's weird is that it doesn't happen every time I use the USB, and it can happen on ANY of the USB ports, not just one in particular. The Ipod seems to plug fine into my wife's notebook.
Any thoughts on this? Is this a USB problem overloading the motherboard? Anything I can do here to find out what the problem is (I am not super computer techy)?
Thanks."A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."
- Owl Chapman
03-03-2010, 08:13 AM #2
I've seen this happen quite a bit. Often it will be one port, especially if they get "smashed in". Plug something into that port and you're (at lest temporarily) dead. Although it seems like this could very well affect all nearby USB ports.
Are you using the same cable everytime? I had a USB cable fail once and cause over voltage issues. The PC didn't reboot, but gave me an "overvoltage" error message. I thought for sure it was a problem with the PC or the USB device I was plugging in, but after a bit of trouble shooting found the cable to be the culprit.
I'm inclined to think this is a physical connection issue, possibly a cold and/or broken solder joint on the motherboard/USB port or maybe some tin whiskers, something is causing current to go where it is not supposed to. These can be somewhat hard to find and fix, especially if you're not real handy with these kinds of things.
Is the machine still under warranty? I would call ASUS and see what they can do about it. You could be doing some serious damage, I would avoid using the USB ports until you get this figured out.
Does your machine have more than one cluster of USB ports on your machine? If so, does it happen in both clusters? This could help narrow the problem down a bit.
03-03-2010, 08:30 AM #3
I get no error message, just a power short, then when I finally get it going again, asking if I want to start normally or in safe mode options.
I'm not sure what you mean by "cluster", but I have a total of 5 USB ports on the machine. I'm scared to start using them all again as part of diagnosing the issue, as I'm afraid this might cause the short, which might be harming the notebook.
I'll try using a different USB cable for the Ipod. I have been using a direct 3.5 mm jack to USB connector.
Could this be related to the Ipod itself? I could try plugging in a mouse into the different USB ports and seeing if that causes the failure as well. I really only plug my Ipod into the USB ports.
I guess a call to Asus is in store, as I don't want to be damaging my notebook with surge issues."A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."
- Owl Chapman
03-03-2010, 09:04 AM #4
If the machine is instantly turning off, it seems pretty logical to me that you are not getting an error message.
By cluster I mean groups of USB ports, like 4 on the back (1 cluster), 2 on the side (another cluster).
If you've been using only one USB cable all along, I'd try another. Actually I'd try the mouse idea first, if it happens with that, it's the PC. If not, try the I-pod again with another USB cable, if it happens with that, it's the I-pod. If things work hunk dory with the new cable, it's the cable.
Since this doesn't happen on your wife's machine, my guess is that it is the PC, doesn't hurt to call ASUS and see what your warranty will cover.
03-03-2010, 09:11 AM #5"A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."
- Owl Chapman
03-03-2010, 10:52 AM #6
I once got called in to fix my parents' computer. My stepmom said something about "I plugged in this USB thing and now it doesn't work." When I got to look at it, it turned out the plastic prong in the middle of the USB port had been broken off inside some USB device's plug, and then some other device was plugged in, completely mangling all the electrical contacts on the inside of the port.
My solution was to reinsert the broken plastic piece and then fill the port up with aquarium sealant so it couldn't be used anymore.
Anyway the point is, if the + and the - contacts are ever shorted, it'll take the power supply down, and my guess is that it's really rough on the electronics every time it happens. I don't know why it's happening to you but I'd say it's a service call, and the sooner the better before more problems crop up as a result.that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...
03-03-2010, 10:55 AM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
could be ESD ,try grounding yourself by touching the faceplate screw on any power plug in
if it does it with any usb port that doesnt sound like a bad port on the LT and if it doesnt do it with your Ipod on another computer it doesnt sound like the ipod but who knows ,even if the sys bd is changed the next one could do the same thing ... I have changed multiple sysbds for a problem and it turns out to be a version of the board or a hardware mis match of 2 products that should work but don't
try powering down and plugging in rather than hot plugging you don't want to fuck up your data which you might do if you keep doing what you are doing
03-03-2010, 11:44 AM #8
Do you have a USB hub? If the mouse works then it could just be too much voltage for the system and maybe a powered USB hub would help or solve the problem. I'd do that though only if I had one around to test or after the call to Asus on the issue to get their insight.
03-03-2010, 11:56 AM #9
Update: mouse works fine in each USB port.
I suspect it's the USB-3.5mm jack direct connector used for the Ipod that is screwy somehow. Will be trying a different cabled connector next, then will call Asus with results."A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."
- Owl Chapman