1. Help Wanted -- Walkthrough Proofreaders!
    Sorcerer's Place is looking for help with walkthrough proofreading. Please check if you can help!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Do USB ports just die?

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Sorvo, Dec 27, 2022.

  1. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    I have a mouse and keyboard plugged into my laptop. Both are next to the HDMI port(which I've abused 10x worse) Everything was working fine and this morning poof!, doesn't work anymore. I thought it was the keyboard at first because it's very old but when I switched the 2 mouse didn't work but keyboard works just fine. Is there somewhere I can look in my PC to see if something went wrong or did it just take a shit on me?
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,612
    Media:
    37
    Likes Received:
    136
    Gender:
    Male
    Usually it's the cable/plug that wears out or gets damaged, but I've heard of people damaging the port inserting or removing devices frequently.
    Also I know somebody that broke the front port on their computer tower when they accidentally hit a flash drive with their knee around 6 or 7years ago.

    On the other hand, I've done temp work imaging where I've plugged K/V/M switches into dozens of devices (80-100 per day but that is spread across all the ports on the switch) without the USB cables wearing out.
    Heck, I've only had one temp job imaging systems where the DisplayPort cable wore out, and I was the only unlucky one getting a cable to go bad in nearly 3 months. I was imaging 64-80+ computers a day with a 16-port device.

    That said, it's entirely possible for a USB port to go bad. However, I'd first try turning off the computer (which you should have tried anyways as that can fix all kinds of strange glitches), and blowing out the port with a can of compressed air.
    If that doesn't work, try some acetone nail polish remover on a q-tip and clean the contacts before you goto bed or goto work (make sure you shut the computer off and leave it off), then try again when you wake up or get home from work.

    Note that I said something that presumes it will have 8 hours to dry. Of course, the safest way is to do it before you goto bed, then get up in the morning and goto work without using that computer, and try it when you get home as this allows maximum time to dry. If you get home around dinner time, try it after dinner.

    Note I haven't tried the acetone on USB in almost a decade, and so I'm not 100% certain for USB 3.x ports, they were all 2.0 back then.
    I see no reason why it wouldn't work since it worked on virtually every other type of port on the back of a computer. So I'm only 99% certain, but I've done it with ADB, PS/2, AT-style keyoard ports, RJ-45 (Ethernet), Modem (RJ14 or RJ11), BNC (coaxial cable for either ThinNet or a cable-ready TV-tuner), USB 1.1, USB 2.0, RS-232, Parallel, SCSI, and whatever the port was called that used to be on sound card for joysticks that I can't recall off hand as I haven't seen it in 25-30 years,
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  3. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanx for the info, funny thing is this happened after I restarted the the thing. I'll try that again first. :beer:
     
  4. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,422
    Media:
    916
    Likes Received:
    172
    Gender:
    Male
  5. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,612
    Media:
    37
    Likes Received:
    136
    Gender:
    Male
    Those are practically required these days on desktop systems that only come with four or worse two USB ports and no PS/2 ports, serial ports, or parallel ports.
    How do they expect you to use a flash drive and hook up the keyboard, mouse, printer, camera, and usb-powered speakers and still be able to connect your phone to the computer to back up photos or copy over e-books or other things converted with Calibre? Don't even mention a joystick or game controller.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  6. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Jesus Christ! I'm glad I still am computer stupid. I couldn't imagine using that many things from one port. It reminds me of the extension cord problem that cause house fires. I'll look into it if I can't fix it :beer:FUCKING WOW! I just blew in it a couple times and the Muther fucker works again! I guess I should have reverted to my old Nintendo days for that problem ;) Thanx again Slickster for your advice :) :beer:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  7. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,612
    Media:
    37
    Likes Received:
    136
    Gender:
    Male
    An important note. Do NOT try to power your phone from an unpowered USB hub. Not only will it not work, but it might damage something.
    Only plug in low power devices like keyboards or mice, or devices with their own power supply.
    Things you can plug into an unpowered hub:
    • Keyboards
    • Mice
    • game controllers
    • Anything with its own A/C plug such as some external hard drives.
    • USB bridging cables (aka transfer cables or whatever you call the computer-to-computer cables these days (rare, usually Ethernet is used))
    • USB flash/thumb/pen drives.
    • As a general rule of thumb, only plug in devices that use <150ma of power and don't exceed 450ma for everything on an unpowered USB hub.
    Things you should NOT plug into an unpowered USB hub:
    • Anything with a battery that charges via USB. That includes
      • phones
      • tablets
      • ereaders
      • headsets
      • digital cameras
    • Anything that says "USB powered", like speakers
    • portable hard drives without their own power supplies
    • USB speakers
    • Most webcams (apparently some can be put on unpowered hubs, especially if they are USB 2.0 or better yet 1.1 on USB 3.0 ports/hubs, but don't count on this). Again, if the webcam has an AC power supply you can put it on the hub.
    • Don't plug anything that uses more than 150ma of power into an unpowered hub, and don't connect devices that consume more than 450ma total into an unpowered hub.

    Note that there are also powered USB hubs. They are more expensive and require A/C power. You can plug anything you want into those with no restrictions.
    However, it is not recommended to plug two devices requiring high speed data transfer into the same port via a hub if you are expecting to use them both at the same time for the same conceptual reason using a Y-attachment on a garden hose results in a weaker spray and sprinklers don't work as expected.
    An example would be an external hard drive or flash drive and a smart phone or tablet where you intend to backup multiple gigabytes of data from one to the other, or an external hard drive and a flash/thumb/pen drive when you want to copy files from one to the other. Another example is USB internet and an external hard drive.
    It will work, it will just go slower because they are sharing bandwith on the USB bit stream. Putting them in separate ports will go faster.

    In general the rule is only a very low power device or something with its own power supply (aka an A/C plug) can be put on unpowered hubs. Printers (that have their own power and just use the USB for communication), keyboards, mice, and game controllers primarily.
    Things with batteries or that draw power from the USB need to be used with powered hubs or put directly into a USB port. If it has a rechargeable battery, it definitely needs a powered hub or to go directly into the port.

    Again, remember that a powered hub with its own power supply (it plugs into the A/C outlet for electricity) do not have these restrictions. You can plug anything you want into them with the caveat about high speed data transfers.
    Just think of a garden hose with a y-splitter for that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2022
    Mark Robinson likes this.
  8. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    You are just a plethora of knowledge, nice to have you around :beer:
     
  9. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,612
    Media:
    37
    Likes Received:
    136
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm just not sure if the "might damage something" still applies with USB 3.0 phones and hubs.
    I got the warning about 10 years ago about putting my first smart phone on an unpowered hub and got told I might burn out the hub because it was an old, cheap one for USB 1.0, but it still worked for connecting the keyboard and mouse to one port and a flash drive to the other instead of having both PS/2 and USB keyboards on the desk when working on legacy equipment.
    They just didn't see any reason to buy a replacement when it was only used to connect a keyboard and mouse to the same port even though it was old.

    Anyways, even if it won't cause actual damage, it just won't charge on an unpowered hub.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2023
  10. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    Ok, Now I'm really pissed off! The original one does not work again as well as a second one :( Now I'm down to 1. Looks like I gotta do the hub thing. If I buy that and it doesn't work I'm gonna smash this laptop off my balcony! :beer:
     
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,612
    Media:
    37
    Likes Received:
    136
    Gender:
    Male
    Just remember what we told you about powered vs unpowered hubs. If it is just a keyboard, mouse, game controller/joystick and printer, or another device that has an A/C plug (like an external hard drive or a scanner), go for the cheap unpowered one.
    If you want to plug in a USB-powered device like a phone or tablet, get a powered hub.
    Even if you only want to do data transfers, don't do it with unpowered hubs as unless you can connect the A/C at the same time (I've only seen that with older cameras and tablets that don't use USB charging and usually connected with mini instead of micro let alone USB-C cables) it will draw too much from the hub.
     
  12. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    I don't use my laptop for charging phones. It did an update while I was sleeping and now everything works again! I guess I should do that more often when it asks me:doh::beer:
     
  13. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,612
    Media:
    37
    Likes Received:
    136
    Gender:
    Male
    Odd, I'd only expect something like that if you had previously done an update and gotten a bad one, then running more updates might fix it.
    Microsoft is usually pretty good about fixing bad updates in a week (at least in the last 13-15 years) or less, but if you hadn't run updates in a while I wouldn't expect a malfunction related to hardware to just crop up.
    Software yes, such as Office suddenly deciding not to run because it can't authenticate that you're not a pirate since Microsoft changed the security protocol (hello Office 2016 and Windows 7 a few years ago), but not hardware.
     
  14. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,743
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    73
    Gender:
    Male
    I don't know, the shit just works again. Let's hope this problem is solved :beer:
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.