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Plugging into USB Shuts Down Computer


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#1 BlueGazoo

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:32 PM

When i plug something into 2 specific USB slots in the back of the puter, the puter restarts. I can repeat this regularly whenever i want to.

Anybody ever heard of this before?

Specs:
O/S: Windows XP Media Edition
Comp: Dell Dimension E520
PSU: 305 Watt

Here are the complete specs:
http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfh/desktops/dim...p;~tab=specstab

Edited by BlueGazoo, 12 July 2010 - 11:02 PM.


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:54 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

We could offer you much better assistance if you would provide us with more information.

Operating system.

Computer make and model.

PSU/Power supply specs.

Type and brand name of USB device causing the problem.

Bruce.
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#3 BlueGazoo

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:01 PM

Oops...

O/S: Windows XP Media Edition
Comp: Dell Dimension E520
PSU: 305 Watt

Here are the complete specs:

http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfh/desktops/dim...p;~tab=specstab

#4 BlueGazoo

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:57 AM

I finished cleaning up my comp too... but the problem still happens...

Edited by BlueGazoo, 14 July 2010 - 08:59 AM.


#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:26 AM

Your PSU is putting out 305 WATTS according to your specs above.

I do not know what device you are trying to connect via the USB port or what the devices demand is on your PSU. I would have to know what the device requires in Amps to power up.

USB devices get their power from the computer when they are plugged into the USB ports. If the demand is greater than what the PSU can supply to that device, plus keep the other devices and hardware in the computer happy, the system will run out of resources and lock up or power off.

Another scenario is if the USB device has a short or hardware problem, it will shut the system down as any short circuit would.

If your problem has recently started happening with a device which has worked before, there are several factors we have to look at here.

Have you added new hardware to the system that may have increased the demand on the PSU?

Is the USB port or USB device damaged and causing a short?

Is your power supply getting old and not supplying the power output it once supplied when it was new? Power supplies do lose their gain after years of use.

305 Watts was once enough working power in the days of Windows 95 or Windows 98 and there was not as many devices back then that were found on the home computer, besides a keyboard, a floppy drive, a hard drive, a video card, a modem and a hard drive.

Now computers have CD and or DVD burners, several hard drives, a USB mouse, a USB keyboard and external hardware such as USB web cams and the like.

That puts more demand on an older power supply, to which in the day it was manufactured was sufficient enough, but isn't enough with todays technology.

So if you are not finding any hardware defects, your solution may be updating your PSU to one which has a larger WATTAGE output, in other words enough Amperage output to make all your hardware happy and have more than enough to spare.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 14 July 2010 - 09:27 AM.

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#6 BlueGazoo

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 04:00 PM

Thanks Bruce,

I'll answer your questions in red text below, but I left out something important: no matter what i plug into the 2 specific USB ports, the computer restarts. I literally pulled out the USB for the mouse, and plugged it back into the 'bad' port, and computer restarts.


Originally posted by MrBruce1959:
I would have to know what the device requires in Amps to power up. I'm currently trying to plug in 2 seperate 2TB Seagate USB 2.0 Hard Drives (but with their own P/S), and 1 Seagate Ultra Portable 640 GB USB 2.0 Drive (Flash Drive?) without a seperate power supply. I tried looking for the specs on it but it didn't include Amps.

Another scenario is if the USB device has a short or hardware problem, it will shut the system down as any short circuit would. Dumb question: How do I know if i have a short? (Neither Drive nor USB connection looks damaged. Drives are brand new.)

Have you added new hardware to the system that may have increased the demand on the PSU? No new internal hardware (just the USB drives mentioned above).

Is your power supply getting old and not supplying the power output it once supplied when it was new? Power supplies do lose their gain after years of use. Dumb Queston #2: How do I know if it is?


I'm going to clean the inside of computer. Is there anything i should look for while i'm in there besides physical damage?

Thanks again, Bruce

Edited by BlueGazoo, 14 July 2010 - 04:05 PM.


#7 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:54 PM

Okay just for your reference I am linking you to a web page that contains both a user manual and a service manual for your Dell Dimension E520 desktop computer.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...20/en/index.htm

When your computer shuts down, please check the back of the tower for 4 lights, if they are still lit at all check the lights remaining against the lights shown on this page and report back to me what the diagnosis is.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...t.htm#wp1056411

If the lights are all off, I need to know that too, but only post the results that you get when you plug in a USB device and the computer shuts down.

Bruce.
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#8 BlueGazoo

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 02:09 PM

The USB in question is only the TOP LEFT on BACK of machine, only. Lights are in the front on my computer, labelled 1,2,3,and 4 (from left to right).

(I took a video of in on blackberry if you want it.)

I have to laugh at this because there are many combinations of lights; i think i cover every error except a Processor Error. And by laugh i mean cry...

They stay on for varying times. In order, they are:

134
34
24
123
34
14
234
123
14
23
123
12
12

(Windows Logo appears here)
no more lights (except HD light).

Thanks again, Bruce.

Edited by BlueGazoo, 16 July 2010 - 02:15 PM.


#9 BlueGazoo

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 04:31 PM

I opened up the case.

The USB Controller (connected to the MoBo) has what looks like a little dent on the top corner (right where the problematic TOP LEFT USB slot is). When i looked inside the slot again (from the outside of puter) I noticed part of the plastic tip was chipped off. This must be causing the short and tripping a restart of puter (???).

I have since cleaned up the insides of all dust (the front slot was completely covered on the inside with 1cm of thick dust), bought additional 2 Gigs of memory (now total of 4 GB), and replaced my old HD with a 128 GB SSD. Best Buy didn't recommend upgrading the PSU though (even when i pushed the guy a bit).

I have the same boot up lights as before of course, and i still can't use the USB Slot. I can't replace the USB Controller (nor do i want to try it since it's on the MoBo) - but is it possible?? If not, what should I do? Just tape it up and not use it? Or can i try to replace that plastic tip thingy?

Edited by BlueGazoo, 18 July 2010 - 08:59 PM.


#10 DaChew

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 06:05 PM

According to dell

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...p.htm#wp1043338

the back usb ports are a dual and a quad and may be individually disabled in bios, I would do so and never try to use the broken one. Someone with a little technical expetiese would be better to inspect it and make sure the short is fixed even when no devices are plugged in. This is not something you would want to try and have replaced.

I would install a pci(you have 2 slots) usb card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....Free%20Shipping
Chewy

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#11 cryptodan

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 07:14 PM

Just a quick question when you plug something in do the ports appear to be loose?

#12 BlueGazoo

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 11:45 AM

Thanks Chew:
I can only disable the entire Quad USB (not just the one that is 'busted' on the Quad) - too bad! I disabled the whole thing for now, but I have so many USB devices to be plugged in i will have to turn it back on soon, or...

I could get the PCI USB. Will a notice a downgrade in transfer speeds if i do this?

I will take to a local technician, make sure he offers me a warranty, and get him to take a closer look.

Thanks cryptodan: it is looser than the other USB's

I'll post back what the technician says (after i get some work done lol!)

#13 MrBruce1959

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:30 PM

First off, I am sorry to hear you have a defective integrated USB port, which is one of the scenarios I had suspected to be your problem.

A repair technician should be able to replace the whole USB port assembly with a new one, that is part of what they do for a living.

If in the event the cost in labor is too high for you, you can disable those ports entirely and purchase a PCI to USB card and place it into an unused PCI slot as Chewy suggested above.

You should choose a card that is USB 2.0 or even USB 3.0 compliant and has at least four USB ports.

The card should meet your needs without any degrade in system performance.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 22 July 2010 - 01:31 PM.

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#14 BlueGazoo

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:46 PM

Thanks Bruce!

I've never tried to do anything on a MoBo besides plug in cards and CPUs.. but wouldn't mind learning.. what do you think?

#15 DaChew

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:03 PM

The card should meet your needs without any degrade in system performance.


Many have to add cards when their onboard usb's get overloaded
Chewy

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