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USB question

Posted on 2006-06-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I have a PC which I built myself using pretty high specs, however, in my naievity i decided to not spend as much as i should have done on a PSU and got a very generic one. The system works fine, and i have no issue apart from this, but i want to check whether it is almost certainly related to my bad choice in PSU which will get upgraded anyway, but I just want to know! : Basically, my system will crash out completely if i leave USB 2.0 enabled, if I select USB 1.0 instead, the system is probably the most stable system I have ever used! I also find that if i plug USB peripherals into different USB slots (hotswapping), then the drivers reinstall unless it's plugged back into the same USB slot... isn't this unusual behaviour, i'm pretty sure this never happens on any other system i've used? Surely the driver works across all USB ports and doesn't require a reinstall??? Basically I want to know if the PSU could be affecting the first problem that I mentioned - does USB have a significant power draw increase which may account for the system crashing out by instable power line levels?
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Question by:henrythacker
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by:Callandor
ID: 16913922
Since the USB port only outputs 5v and 500mA, I don't think it is likely the source of your crashes, but I would check the power supply anyway, just on general principle.

It is perfectly normal for a USB device to be associated with a port and prompt you for a driver when plugged in elsewhere.
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by:AndreDekolta
ID: 16914192
No, definately not.  The USB power draw is way to insignificant.

Andre...
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by:pendulumx
ID: 16915363
Going by Watts = Amps * Voltage then if what Callandor says is right, USB can require 2.5 Watts of power as I understand it. Not a lot at all...
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by:Booda2us
ID: 16915617
What OS are you running? I have seen similar probs on 'puters using Win98 SE, even with the USB 2.0 drivers installed. What Mobo are you using? BIOS settings correct? Is BIOS up- to- date? Checked Device Manager to see if you are having a resource conflict?...Booda2us
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by:nobus
ID: 16918244
i doubt it the PSU is the source (but who knows?) of the problem; anyway, if you want to swap it, you can calculate first the power you need here : http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/      
then you can decide better what to buy.
For the other problem, you can try other settings in the bios for testing, like default, or optimised settings, or even try a bios flash
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by:gran88
ID: 16919409
Please provide your operating system and motherboard.

It definitely isn't directly a PSU problem, a 2.5W draw isn't going to trip any safety circuits, and it certainly isn't going to trigger software malfunctions.  Considering you're being asked to reinstall drivers, I'd guess at a bad motherboard.  Could you please provide the motherboard model number?

Tackling the problem more indepth, the motherboard is looking for a device driver (windows eh?) everytime you plug something into a USB port, and everytime power is drawn through it.  If your motherboard were not getting enough power from your PSU, the USB could be completely dropped everytime is not being used, leading to a failure to detect and driver reinstall.  First things first, reinstall windows or boot knoppix to test the slots.  If it isn't software, it's hardware.  Change out the PSU with a known good one, and disconnect all unneccessary optical drives.  If the problem persists, send in your motherboard for a new one.
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by:Silly_Burrito
ID: 16924499
I've seen that happen. Quite frankly, in my experience it just depends on the drivers. Some are written so that they install once per machine, and they're good to go. Others (printers, scanners) can be quite picky about which port they're plugged in.

From http://computer.howstuffworks.com/usb1.htm
When the host powers up, it queries all of the devices connected to the bus and assigns each one an address. This process is called enumeration -- devices are also enumerated when they connect to the bus. The host also finds out from each device what type of data transfer it wishes to perform.

Some devices wire themselves into the address, and plugging them into a new port causes the behavior you have.
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by:henrythacker
ID: 16927468
blimey... this board is far more active than any of the programming ones i tend to participate in, it's going to be majorily hard awarding points!

Basically I'm running an Abit Fata1ity AN8 SLI mobo, using 1GB of Crucial.com memory, 74GB SATA Raptor drive, couple of DVD+/-RW Lightscribe drives, AMD dual core 4400+ processor.

The BIOS has been updated several times, and no BIOS release revision has sorted out this issue.

I am running Windows XP Professional and there are no drivers which aren't correctly installed or are flagging up as incorrectly installed.

I won't even mention the PSU brand seeing as I probably wouldn't be able to tell you what it was (probably not printed on the unit) and you'd just laugh if i told you where i got it from :P

Hardly any of my USB drivers I am using are XP certified - the whole system seems ridiculous as no brands seem to bother getting their USB drivers certified. I am using a crappy wireless LAN USB dongle (currently cable & wireless, as I sent back my belkin after thinking this was causing the crashes - but the c&w usb dongle crashes out too when windows runs with USB 2.0 enabled in the bios, absolutely brilliant in USB 1.0 however not running to fun WLAN capacity :( ) I am also using a Microsoft USB fingerprint keyboard and wireless mouse. The same behaviour does seem to exhibit whether or not any USB peripherals are connected which makes me think surely it couldn't be driver related as all the core USB drivers themselves are all microsoft ones.

Completely unrelated but with all this trouble i treated myself to a new Apple which is so refreshing.. everything actually just works.. i've never really dealt with Apple before - but I use Unix and Linux permanently at work along side with Windows 2000 and I really think Apple are onto a winner with OS X and their brilliant hardware! Although I do only very occasionally miss the dummed down interface to the essential Unix core which I am used to at work, but can get most stuff done through a terminal window. But enough of that!

I have increased the points as seeing how active this hardware forum is in comparison to the programming one, I think someone may be able to even point me towards solving the problem finally, not just giving me what it COULD be.
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by:henrythacker
ID: 16930323
Any steps to rigorously test the USB out? If the mobo is at all at fault (would hope not as everything else seems to be working) will have a fun job getting the processor and all the other items dismantled, as i have no more grease to apply to the heatsink etc. It'd be nice if Abit would come out and sort it out if it really ends up being a mobo problem - but can't see that happening.
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by:Callandor
ID: 16930996
Usually, the way to prove a motherboard USB is faulty is to try it with another OS, like the Knoppix CD.  If it doesn't work in another OS, the hardware is likely bad.
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by:nobus
ID: 16932223
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by:henrythacker
ID: 16938266
I am going to try and boot off Knoppix with the USB 2.0 enabled ASAP and will let you know the results.
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by:henrythacker
ID: 16985704
I tried out Knoppix and left it running for a couple of hours and it didn't freeze with USB2 enabled. Basically, the freeze can happen at any time in Windows- even if i've left the PC alone - it doesn't appear to be related to a particular event or device as such. I've tested it know and must have had it running for about 4 hours, after a restart with USB2 still enabled, I got the freeze occuring instantly when Windows starts. The PSU btw I forgot to mention is only running 20 pins, as the connector is the old version and my mobo supports 24 pins.. could this be the cause of USB 2.0 instability? Sure enough now i've switched back to USB 1... no problems at all... it's so strange!
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by:henrythacker
ID: 16985723
Also checked in they System logs and there doesn't appear to be anything untoward, except mention of a disk paging error which happened both times the PC was rebooted with the error (possibly as I had to hard reboot the computer?) it doesn't appear any other time in the logs. Surely this can have nothing to with USB2? (no external Hard Disk drives or anything storage related connected to USB). Also is it referring to drive D in the error message (my DVD writer is D).

Type: Warning
Source: disk
Error: 51
An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\D during a paging operation.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
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by:nobus
ID: 16990140
maybe time for a fresh install . . .
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Accepted Solution

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Callandor earned 450 total points
ID: 16997948
You're using the same power connector in Knoppix, so if it worked then, it's not a hardware issue.  It looks like a Windows driver, and you can try the less drastic repair install, and if that doesn't work, go for the clean install.

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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by:henrythacker
ID: 17038520
Oh dear, really not what I wanted to hear, but oh well, is probably around time to get it done anyway!

Many thanks :)
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