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Solved: Magic Jack and USB Splitter - Windows XP


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21-Mar-2009, 02:14 PM #1
Solved: Magic Jack and USB Splitter - Windows XP
My friend got a magic jack: http://www.magicjack.com/7/index.asp. He needed a splitter so that it could be used with his computer. He had a bunch of USB devices already plugged in, and that's why he needed a splitter.

I configured the magic jack. It seemed to only work with one user, and I believe I totally fixed that on his machine. Well, the only problem with it was that the magic jack didn't work after rebooting his computer. It would tell us it wasn't plugged in unless you re-plugged in the magic jack. This was NOWHERE acceptable. It was plugged into the splitter.

So, I read further on the Internet, and it said that the magic jack either has to be directly plugged into his computer, which on this machine is impossible. Or the splitter had to have an AC adapter. Also, it came with a cool little extension cord which might work, but it isn't supported and won't work.

So we were wondering if anybody knew a given model of a USB splitter that they have successfully had the magic jack plugged into. Oddly enough, I "think" that this WAS a USB splitter with an AC adapter. That's why this question is nessassary. This model we got that we're returning is Belkin Part # F5U403-BLK. At least I believe this is the model number. It's not written quite clearly. Anyway, we know what it looks like, and know this model does NOT work. It's really magic jack that's at fault I know, but we'd like to simply just get a model that does work.
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21-Mar-2009, 03:57 PM #2
Was the AC cord CONNECTED? Have you ever tested the MagicJack to work while connected directly to an USB slot? If this is 100% impossible, why so? Doesn't seem to be that big of a device to be blocked by or block other devices too much.
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21-Mar-2009, 04:20 PM #3
Yes the AC cord was connected. I'm not sure what that cord was for in this device. Maybe it was intended for the wrong purpose as the type the magic jack recommends, and this is what caused the problem. It's a power problem is why it doesn't work I'm told by the Internet.

The only reason it's impossible is because of the shape of the device not being able to fit in that tight space involved. This device is too thick to fit with the other USB devices.
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21-Mar-2009, 04:27 PM #4
It's not a power problem, as there was an AC cord plugged into the splitter. The AC cord is to supply enough power for multiple devices, as there is only a limited amount of power able to come from one USB slot (which the splitter is plugged into). Anyway you could just screw the other devices and test if it works plugged directly into the USB slot? Would help a lot. However, if it did not work while plugged into the extension cord supplied with the device... (BTW, did it not work AT ALL, or did it just do the same, not getting recognized at restart?)
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21-Mar-2009, 04:29 PM #5
It worked every way we tried, just not when you restarted because of the drivers, essentially.
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21-Mar-2009, 04:35 PM #6
Erm. Isn't it then pretty much obvious that whatever USB splitter you use, it's not going to work? USB splitter do not fix faults in USB devices, they just extend and multiply the USB ports... The USB splitter you're returning functions perfectly, and does what it's supposed to do, do not get yourself paying for a return with no reason to do so.
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21-Mar-2009, 04:43 PM #7
We know that it does function how it's supposed to, it's just incompatible with our device. I'll send the links that told us the problem.
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21-Mar-2009, 04:54 PM #8
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21-Mar-2009, 05:01 PM #9
A second link: http://discuss.pcmag.com/forums/thread/1004397724.aspx. I just wanted to point to some of the things I found with the same issue. I don't know if they're the same sites or not, but they both list the same issue as when I found the listing of the issue before.
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21-Mar-2009, 05:31 PM #10
So what was the actual point of those links? They have sleazy customer support and the devices are nearly impossible to return? And is there anything else than the need to reconnect that's wrong with the Magicjack? I am honestly VERY confused at the moment.
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21-Mar-2009, 05:36 PM #11
If the splitter is working, I would attach other devices into the splitterr freeing up an onboard usb port and just plug the Magic Jack device into the motherboard USB Port. Some items just do not work properly attached to splitters. and it appears that this magic jack is one of them.
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21-Mar-2009, 08:43 PM #12
We have a MagicJack and have no trouble with it. Not sure what you mean by a USB splitter. I believe you would need to use a USB hub. We use one (pcmci card) in our lapatop and it is fine.
The one we use is powered by the existing usb slot on the computer.
Our Desk top, we put a USB 2 card in it.
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22-Mar-2009, 11:28 AM #13
By USB splitter, I meant USB hub. I'm just not used to that term because I haven't worked with very many yet. But from your response, I know that the proper term is USB hub now.

So you use one with a PCMCI laptop card, huh? So the PCMCI card has the USB ports, huh? Well, from what I'd read, I guess it's somehow powered by the AC?

Well anyway, we finally fixed it. The friend I was setting it up for, had 2 computers. It came down to being pretty desperate for working results, so I tried it in my computer to see how it fit, without anything, because later I'm going to get one too, under the condition that we could make his work, which we now did.

On mine it covered 2 USB ports, but would work directly in if it had to. But we tried it on his 2 computers too. On the one we tried it on first, we'd found that he had 2 broken USB ports in the front. I think one electronically works, and the other didn't. Well, both of those need to be physically fixed. I'd looked before, and it needs a hot glue gun, which I haven't figured out how to put glue in my first hot glue gun yet, so I couldn't do that.

So his front ones were out. He had 4 back ones, with devices plugged into them. Well, what we did is tryed directly plugging it into one, just to see how it would work. It didn't. That would've used up all his USB ports, and he couldn't have even tried to backup his computer, which he really needed to be able to do. So we tried with the extension cord. It didn't work either.

Next, we tried going okay, it doesn't work. So we brought up his other computer from downstairs which wasn't getting a wireless signal down there. We were going to anyway.

It gets a wireless signal in one room upstairs from one of our working routers, so it has Internet. Not too fast, but it does work and seems to be reliable. So we tried looking at the layout of that computer. It had 2 USB ports in the back, and 2 in the front. He had a splitter, but we'd already been that route, and weren't going to try any splitters at all.

So we tried directly plugging the magic jack into the computer on the back. Even sacrificing the other USB port it was a no-go. So we went, okay, what now? We tried the front. The USB ports are weird angles, and wouldn't work. So we forgot that idea!

At that point we were really desperate and considered dedicating a whole computer to just magic jack. But just in case, we kept at it. We plugged 2 devices into the USB ports in front. It worked. Then I believe we plugged one into the back too. Keep in mind, one in the front was a splitter in actuallity, but it still took up one port in the front.

Magic Jack came with a USB extension cord. We strongly believed it wouldn't work, based off of what I read on the Internet. But we were very desperate.

So we plugged in the magic jack to the extension cord, and plugged it into the one remaining USB port on his second computer. Lo and behold, it finally worked!

We rebooted. It still worked! And we learned, that once you set it up on one computer, it works on others and keeps the same phone number, because it detects stuff via Internet. So anyway, it worked.

So it must've been in that case, the computer, not the splitter, or both that for whatever reason made it fail. I'll try to find the model number of the computer today and post it. But basically, it did NOT work.

So, on the new computer, we'd had it working via USB extension cord. I'll try to get that model number too.

Now that wasn't the end of our troubleshooting. While it worked every time so far now that we rebooted, it did NOT work for multiple users. I was about to get ready to suggest either dedicating the computer to magic jack, or dedicating a single user to magic jack only. However, it worked too. Why? Well, that was simple stuff to me, and I made it work.

First of all, what does magic fix do? I never could understand what that did, but was not planning to try it on his computer. So does it make it work with multiple users? Is that what it does?

Well, anyway, what I did, is made some programs. I'll post that. So after going through the normal installation with one user, I found how it worked. It stores the files under "C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Application Data\mjusbp". I think I have the name right under the application data. Anyway, it's something like "mjusbp". Well, we want it to work for all users, right?

So we copied that folder to the same place, but in the all users profile. Then I wrote 2 programs, which I inserted into that folder along with magic jack. One you run immediately, which I called something like "magic jack fix". It basically deletes the startup key for magic jack, so that it won't start twice.

Then, the other is called "magic_jack-start", or something like that, going from my memory again. What it does, is start the magic jack the same way it would anyway, roughly. So then you put a shortcut to the start program under the all users startup folder. After you run my magic jack fix program, and put a shortcut in the proper folder, you can log off, and log back on. But you need to set the program to minimize to try if you don't like it hanging around.

When you log off and log back on, you see magic jack start running. It is a command window, but it politely minimizes itself. Then it starts magic jack. Magic jack runs as it does normally, and then the start file will minimize the magic jack softphone out of your way, so it isn't annoying, and deletes the shortcut it creates, because not all people want that shortcut. Then the window disappears for the start.

Now when you log on as a new user to magic jack, the process will be similar, but not exact. After that initial installation, when you use magic jack for the first time, it will pop up the command window as normal.

Then, it will minimize it as normal. So then up will come magic jack, and it will tell you it's downloading files, which will take awhile. But after it finishes, it will continue as the magic jack start file normally would, and do the same thing. If you want magic jack to be minimized for the tray, you have to set it so. But my program always operates the same.

This was actually, a pleasent surpise to me. I didn't plan for the initialization to work so well, it just does. Now what's going on behind the scenes, is that magic jack, decides it has not been installed properly. So it simply installs itself into that funny place and expects to be the only user it works for. Magic jack thinks it's the only user it works for, we know better, because we've copied it to all users profile.

These programs that I added, are not affecting magic jack working at all. It's working well, now that we've actually got it set up.

I'll post these programs too now.
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22-Mar-2009, 11:45 AM #14
Here's the programs I made to fix it so it worked with more than one user.


fix-magicJack.cmd
Code:
@ECHO OFF

REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run /v cdloader /t REG_SZ /d "" /F > NUL
start-magicJack.cmd
Code:
@ECHO OFF

CD "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\mjusbsp\"
CMDOW @ /MIN
magicJackLoader.exe
WAIT 50
CMDOW magicJack /MIN
WAIT 3
DEL /Q /F "C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Desktop\magicJack.lnk" > NUL
CALL .\fix-magicJack

For it to work, you will need to download CMDOW, and then you will also need to download pbats32. And then you will need to either modify those lines, or install them so that the lines that call those programs will work as is. Also, these programs are designed for Windows XP. I've got almost NO experience with Vista in the real world.
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22-Mar-2009, 11:45 AM #15
Now I'll try to get the model numbers of the computers.
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