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USB hub fails with some devices

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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I am an independent tech. This is for my customer. I need an answer BEFORE I go onsite so there is no more info to provide you other than what is below.

USB devices work when connected to the 5 usb slots on the 64 bit OS and 64 bit HW Vista PC (a Sony VGC-JS100) that looks essentially like the flat panel iMacs that have been sold for the last few years). However, my customer has more than 5 usb devices so she bought a GE brand usb hub. When she connects more usb devices to the USB hub some problems occur; my customer was not specific. BUT IT IS NOT THAT THE USB HUB DOES NOT WORK AT ALL.
If devices are NOT connected to the USB hub, there are NO problems.

USB devices attached are keyboard, mouse, iPod, Printer, USB stick (also called flash drive I believe). Additonal USB devices are an external HD and more USB sticks. The brand for some or all of the usb sticks is ScanDisk.  I do not know which are attached to the USB Hub and which to the PC and this may vary from time to time.

Also note that with the USB hub attached there are only 4 available USB interfaces on the PC so all USB sticks and the external HD go into the HUB (as the keyboard, mouse, iPod cable, and printer are probably permanenty attacvhed to the PC and then also the USB hub.

PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THE SOLUTIONS BELOW.

(1) MY OWN VERY LIKELY SOLUTION: Replace the GE Usb Hub with a SELF POWERED USB HUB because the PC does not supply enough power for all these usb devices (especially the external HD). A Self Powered USB hub is one with an attached AC adapter.

(2) MAIN REASON I AM POSTING HERE: Another solution has occured to me: The PC (either the Vista OS or the PC HW itself) does NOT support an unlimited number of USB devices and when the maximum allowed is reached, no additional USB devices will work OR one of the currently attached USB devices will fail REGARDLESS of whether they are attached to a USB hub or not.

(3) Some other solution you will provide me with.

PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

Regards,
  Mike
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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
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No 1 is what I would do.  It is quite possible you may need two powered USB hubs.

You can connect up to 127 devices to a USB controller so the number of USB connections shouldn't be a problem.
Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop Support
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Yeah #1, or without getting another USB hub, just make sure at least the printer is plugged directly into the computer not using the hub.
Number 1, no doubt.

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Thanks, that is enough replies. I will award points after tomorrow when I will be onsite and replce the current USB Hub withl a powered USB hub.

Mike
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nobus,

Regarding

>it is easyly overloaded; and can burn out the usb chip

(1) If her usb mouse and keyboard and printer are still working CAN WE ASSUME THAT THE USB CHIP IS NOT BURNT OUT. Also is there ONE usb chip for the entrie PC or just for each USB interface ?

(2) My customer mentioned yesterday that all the data on her ScanDisk USB stick was missing (she may have had it AT THE TIME plugged into the PC rather than the usb stick; I am not sure. Could this have been caused by plugging it into the USB hub given what is above. I just assumed the problem was additional devices would not be recognized on the USB HUB, NOT DATA DELETION.

(3) Regarding
> because each usb output is MAX 0.5 A x 5 V = 2.5 Watts
Are you saying that an external 500 GB Hard Drive uses 2.5 W but a mouse or kjeyboard use LESS THAN 2.5 watts (i.e it depends on the device) AND ALSO what is the total wattage available for all USB devices WITHOUT a self-powered (AC adpater type) USB hub?

Mike
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
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1- if something usb does work; it's ok for me -  btw i never said it was burned out, only that you CAN burn it out easily

But the point is : if you keep adding device s together on ahub, you can bet your mother in law you're running into problems ! if not for overloading the power -  you are sharing 1 ports bandwith      !      
2- keep in ming those things die frequently; if you want to try to revive it, say so.
3-all devices will add the power they use, when connected to the same usb port via a not-powered hub

that's why i ALWAYS recommend powered USB hubs -  you never know what they're gonna stick into next... (héhé)

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300 to Pete Zed for being the first one to post the correct answer. 100 points to the other two Experts for providing an additional level of detail

Mike
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