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Loss of power when plugging in multiple USB devices

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ss2, Jan 29, 2007.

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  1. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    This is so odd. I'm running Windows XP SP2 on Dual core INtel with 1 gb memory.

    I've installed a front USB panel that has 4 ports in front and 2 more on the PCI card which it's attached to. (added on peripheral).

    I can deal with the "this device can run faster if plugged into a 2.0 device" but what is really frustrating is that if I plug in 2 or more USB devices. At least one of them won't work.

    This computer is in my family room and wirelessy networked to my other computer in another room. I use a Motorola USB device to connect for the purpose of printing stuff off the printer in the other room.

    If I have too many USB devices plugged in - there doesn't seem to be enough power to allow the wireless connection - resulting in not being able to print.

    This isn't the only issue. I have some software that requires the USB "key" in order to work. If I need to use that software using the "key" and then I need to print something from that particular software to the remote printer - I have to save it to my desktop firsti - then disconnect the "key" and then I can print.

    Do I need a bigger PS? I have a 500W now. I thought that would be big enough. Perhaps the USB issue isn't related to that at all? Is there some way to regulate how much power is assigned to USB devices?

    Since my computer is in a desk against a wall - it's very difficult to plug and unplug stuff into the rear slots. Hence the install of the front panel USB.

    This is very puzzling and frustrating.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Here is the full report on what I'm running - cut and pasted from the "Advisor" software:

    Drive "F" is an external drive I had plugged in at the time I ran Advisor. I had also followed advice previously given that said to delete the USB ports - copy a command to a folder on my desktop and following the advice to "fix" the registry. That didn't seem to work either. I dont' recall if all the USB ports had been re-installed when I ran the Belarc Advisor program.

    Operating System System Model
    Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (build 2600)

    Intel Corporation
    Processor a Main Circuit Board b
    2.67 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
    16 kilobyte primary memory cache

    1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache Board: Intel Corporation D945GTP AAC97834-304

    Serial Number: LATP61526954

    Bus Clock: 133 megahertz

    BIOS: Intel Corp. NT94510J.86A.3239.2005.1205.1900 12/05/2005

    Drives Memory Modules c,d
    260.28 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
    224.84 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

    LITE-ON CD-ROM LTN-5291S
    SONY DVD RW DRU-800A [CD-ROM drive]
    3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

    Maxtor 6L100M0 [Hard drive] (100.25 GB) -- drive 0
    WDC WD16 00JB-22GVC0 USB Device [Hard drive] (160.04 GB) -- drive 1 1024 Megabytes Installed Memory

    Slot 'J6H1' has 512 MB (serial number 0x00000000)
    Slot 'J6H2' is Empty
    Slot 'J6J1' has 512 MB (serial number 0x00000000)
    Slot 'J6J2' is Empty
    Local Drive Volumes

    c: (NTFS on drive 0) 100.24 GB 80.59 GB free
    f: (NTFS on drive 1) 160.04 GB 144.25 GB free

    ALi PCI to USB Open Host Controller (3x)
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C8
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C9
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27CA
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27CB
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 27CC
    Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller

    HID-compliant consumer control device (3x)
    HID-compliant device (2x)
    USB Human Interface Device (3x)
    HID Keyboard Device
    HID-compliant mouse
    Generic USB Hub
    USB Composite Device
    USB Mass Storage Device
    USB Root Hub (9x)
     
  2. johnpost

    johnpost

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    317
    you need to get a powered usb hub.
    it will give you a number of plugin
    points in reach and give you the power.

    small device not much bigger then
    just 4 or 5 usb jacks themselves.
    has a plug in transformer (wall
    cube) that supplies more power
    to usb devices then your computer will.
     
  3. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Hello,

    I happen to have a USB 4 port adapter that has a spot to plug in external power, however it did not come with anything and there is no info on the device as to what power supply to use.

    Is there some way to determine what voltage to use? Does that very by the size of the opening to the device? Should I just purchase another one. Does the voltage matter?

    thanks,
    Susie
     
  4. johnpost

    johnpost

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    317
    maybe purchasing another one with a power cube
    is easiest. they have become low cost.

    if your adapter has a name and model number you
    could try finding it on the web to find what power
    it needs.

    the voltage of power cube does matter. the adapter
    could use 5 to 7 volts, ac or dc. it all depends
    on how the device was designed.
     
  5. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Hate to ask these dumb questions but guess I need to in order to learn something.

    What is a power cube?

    I'll do a search on EBAY and see if I can find out, but if you get a chance could you explain it to me in the event I can't find a description on EBAY?

    thanks,
    Susie
     
  6. johnpost

    johnpost

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    317
    a power cube (also nicknamed wall wart) is a plugin
    transformer to power small devices; often used with
    computer hubs, modems, routers also cell phone
    chargers. they are specific to the device.

    if your usb hub has a brand name and model number
    then you could search the web for that if you can
    go to the brands website. you could then find
    the voltage and current needed.

    a new powered hub with a power cube for it
    will not cost a whole lot. you may pay more for
    a power cube and shipping for a replacement
    then to buy a new powered hub package.

    you need to know the voltage, current and
    power plug size to buy a replacement. if
    you get any of that wrong then you will
    be buying something you can't use and
    might wreck your hub.
     
  7. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    22,443
    A powered hub wouldn't do a thing. this issue is power supply. I would bet you have a low end generic 500 watt psu that doesn't put out anywhere near the 500 watts and I can imagine what the 12v rail tests.
    You need to get a name brand like Antec, Enermax, or Thermaltake and to be on the safe side 550 watt or above.
     
  8. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Thanks to all for the info.

    You're right about the PS. I bought it as a spare. It was basically free after the rebate. I'll keep my eyes open for a good one on sale.

    I found an adapter for my powered HUB. I did find the cardboard insert that came with it and the power supply is the right voltage. It does seem to help.

    I'm going to hope that a good power supply and this powered hub will alleviate this particular problem

    Now on to the next issues.

    PS. I don't IM anyone so you don't have to worry about that.

    Thanks again!
    Susie
     
  9. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    22,443
    Glad to hear it...keep us posted!
     
  10. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Hello,

    In the event you don't remeber me, I'm the one with the USB ports not working? I bought a good 600 watt PS and I'm still having a problem. Now - it seems that my CD drives aren't being recognized. I either have to unplug one of them and get the USB to work (stil shows as NOT 2.0 USB) or I can reboot and sometimes get 1 maybe 2 USB ports to work along with the CD drives. It's as if it's kicking out the IDE drive recognition.

    I'm thoroughly confused. not to mention getting really tired of climbing under my desk to fiddle with stuff.

    Any suggestions? I'm running out of ideas. I've re-seated the IDE cables. I use a SATA for my hard drive and use the IDE for the 2 CD drives.

    I just unplugged one of the drives - restarted and have 2 USB devices currently working (1 software key and 1 1GB jump drive) along with 1 CD drive. I haven't tried plugging in more stuff since I really have to get this file done. I would be interested in any suggestions you might have. Would you suppose my fairly new MB is the problem?
     
  11. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    22,443
    Still sounds like psu, but if you bought a quality one, then it has to be the motherboard I'm afraid.
     
  12. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Not to get too technical, but what would you suppose is going on when these issues happen? Is there a transference of power thru the MB that for some reason isn't getting thru?

    Do they make CD rom RW drives with SATA connections? That might eliminate the IDE issue?

    I really don't want to swap MBoards now so I guess I'll just have to resign myself to using only one CD drive and making sure I don't try to use too many things at once.

    Couldn't be a driver problem could it?

    thanks,
    Susie
     
  13. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    22,443
    What's the motherboard on this? If old I would look for swollen or leaking capacitors.
    This is a controller problem most likely as something is preventing full flow of power on the board. You can get by with minimal use, but the problem will get worse most likely.
     
  14. ss2

    ss2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    The board is an Intel Corporation D945GTP. I guess I need to replace the MB but I only do this once in a while and I typically buy the MB/CPU combos in the "economy" section.

    This time I have the memory and the CPU but I'm not sure exactly how to buy a board that will accomodate the stuff I have already. I know I'd like onboard sound. The board is a socket 775 and I have a Pentium 4 - 2.67 Ghz processor. I also know it required DDR2 memory (I have 2 - 512 sticks) but I don't know what speed they are and I'm not sure how to find out. I guess I could look for the receipt or maybe it says on these what they are. I do have a PCI express card. 3 PCI slots are always nice.

    I put an MSI board in my husband's computer a year or so ago and I really like it. It's never given us any problems. The live update is a Godsend for someone like me that knows just enough to be a nuisance to those of you that really know what you're doing. The live update searches the system for the updates - retrieves them on the site and then installs them when you choose which ones you want. Easy - easier than trying to find them and make sure I have the right ones.

    I guess I should replace this before my system completely crashes. That would be VERY frustrating.

    I need to stay in the range under $200. Preferably a nice $100 board or less would be great but I can go a little higher if I have to.

    I'm not a gamer. I don't need super high tech. Just a nice stable board that can run all of my misc junk. 2 monitors - lots of USB devices etc.

    Let me know if I'm overstepping my questions. Just thought a MB might come to mind since you're in that field?

    Thanks in advance,
    Susie
     
  15. Rich-M

    Rich-M

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    22,443
    You can go to the Intel site and easily get an RMA for the board, they are warrantied for 3 years. They are pretty decent about getting it back to you...
     
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