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The W - Internet & Computers - USB connection causes computer to restart?
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Karlos the Jackal
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: The City of Subdued Excitement

Since last post: 177 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
There are some really good computer people on this board; I am not one of them. I humbly request your assistance.

Sometimes, plugging the iPod shuffle into the USB port of my wife's computer (PC, Windows XP) causes the computer to restart -- just as if I pressed the "restart" button. Plugging a JumpDrive into the USB port sometimes causes the same reaction.

Now, a couple of days ago, I tried to plug the JumpDrive in, and the same thing happened. Thing is -- I didn't even get it plugged in. I barely touched it to the USB port.

Now, we've been shuffling around the house zapping each other and the cats with static electricity, and it occurred to me -- could that be the potential culprit here? If so, what can I do to avoid it? And if not, do you have any other ideas?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have.

--K



Last 5 movies seen: Howl's Moving Castle - 7 Men From Now - The Hobart Shakespeareans - The Ice Harvest - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
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Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 7 hours
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I'm not sure if it is it or not, but I can help you with the static electricity problem.

You need to touch something that is grounded to get rid of your excess charge. Well, need is strong wording. You could try touching something grounded to get rid of your charge. When I lived in San Diego I never worried about this, but now that I'm in Oregon I notice that I am getting shocked by the cat after just one or two times petting her - something that never happened before. I have to touch her ear to do it though, and she's getting annoyed with me.

Anyway back on topic. If you have a metal desk or something like that, it generally will work. There are anti-static wrist straps which you can hook to a ground and then wear on your wrist, but I've never been a fan of those.

I don't know that this is the cause of your problem, but you could probably rule it out pretty easily (or start a superstition in your family that will carry through for a thousand years )



Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 75 days
Last activity: 25 min.
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.66
It's probably not the cause of your problem. USB stuff is pretty annoying overall and I've seen trouble like this a million times. Just wish everyone would stop trying to make every device USB, cause it doesn't work well enough right now.

Anyway, back to your problem. Your computer is crashing and doing an automatic reboot because of it. If you want to test that out, right click on My Computer, click on the Advanced tab, select Settings under the Startup and Recovery section and you'll likely find that the Automatically Restart option is checked for a system failure. You can uncheck it, but usually that just means you'll get a blue screen and everything locks up, so that's kinda pointless.

Is this PC a laptop or desktop? I know there are far too many laptops out there that don't have the power to handle certain USB devices so when you plug them in it crashes. If it's a desktop, then check the device manager and make sure there are no problems with the USB drivers.

And as a silly thing to try, that believe it or not actually sloves some USB issues, plug the device into a different slot. When you have a computer that you've installed multiple USB devices on, for some reason they get picky and will only work when put back in that same slot(or it's sister slot but let's just keep it simple). So try putting the device in a slot that's as far away from the one you were using as possible and see what happens.

Merc
Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

Since last post: 1203 days
Last activity: 1181 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.62
Also to clarify, are the USB ports built in to the motherboard or an add on card?
If you plug the device in, then start the PC , does it go?
Is it a brand name PC or whitebox? Is it likely to be under warranty?
Karlos the Jackal
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: The City of Subdued Excitement

Since last post: 177 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
    Originally posted by GuruZim
    You need to touch something that is grounded to get rid of your excess charge. [...] If you have a metal desk or something like that, it generally will work.
I will try to remember to touch the big filing cabinet and we'll see what happens. (Part of the problem is that this is a sporadic occurrance, so it's hard to track down.)

    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Is this PC a laptop or desktop?

    And as a silly thing to try, that believe it or not actually sloves some USB issues, plug the device into a different slot.
It's a desktop. There are actually two USB ports, one atop the other, in the front of the tower, and I never really kept track of which port I was using. (The tower sits on the floor, so you have to practically lie down to see which port you're using.)

    Originally posted by Merc
    Also to clarify, are the USB ports built in to the motherboard or an add on card?
    If you plug the device in, then start the PC , does it go?
    Is it a brand name PC or whitebox? Is it likely to be under warranty?
I don't know about the first two -- as for the last, it's a put-together-by-the-local-store computer, not brand name. I doubt it's still under warranty. I only noticed the problem fairly recently because my wife doesn't use the ports for anything.

Okay -- I'll run some tests and see if I can narrow the problem down to one of the slots, and then I'll report back tomorrow or the next day.

--K



Last 5 movies seen: Howl's Moving Castle - 7 Men From Now - The Hobart Shakespeareans - The Ice Harvest - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 7 hours
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
If it is a grounding issue, you may be able to mitigate the problem by buying a USB hub and leaving that connected to the USB, and then connecting and disconnecting at the USB hub instead of the front of the computer.

To see if it is a driver issue, you could try a boot CD for a different OS and see if you can make it reboot by plugging and unplugging devices.

I've never had this issue before, sorry - just throwing ideas out there.



Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 25 sec.
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.15
I know this has already been suggested, but I would try any USB slots in the back of the computer. I don't know what it is about front ones, but if there's anything wrong with any computer coming out of the store, it always seems to be front USB plugs for some reason. Either a wire came out or else was just never plugged into the right spot to begin with. We've gotten computers for home/work from a few different stores and everyone always seems to rush this part of putting them together.

I'm just throwing stuff out there too. My first thought was a damaged USB plug that's causing a short of some type whenever a connection is made.


Tribal Prophet
Merc
Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

Since last post: 1203 days
Last activity: 1181 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93


If the ports are at the front, down the bottom of the tower, they are most likely connected to the motherboard via a cable (or many wires in some cases).
That being the case, I would be surprised if there weren't some at the back as well, usually near the network port.
As the Prophet says, see if trying the back ports works better.
If so, combine that with Guru's hub idea and you'll probably be better off anyway.

(edited by Merc on 8.3.06 1906)
Karlos the Jackal
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: The City of Subdued Excitement

Since last post: 177 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
Thanks for all the suggestions! I messed with it some more, and here is what I found:

1) There are two USB ports in the front, stacked on top of each other. Using either port will often (but not always) cause the computer to reset.

2) There are ports in back as well. These seem to have no problem; I plugged things in and unplugged them with no ill effects, and the device was detected just fine.

3) I discovered that the device (either jumpdrive or an iPod Shuffle) doesn't need to be inserted at all; in fact, I can hold the Shuffle so that the plug and the jack are perpendicular to each other, and it will still reset the computer. Poking at it with my fingers had no effect, but touching a paper clip to the outside edge caused the computer to reset.

I'm guessing -- but correct me if you think this is wrong -- that metal touching the edges is causing some sort of short, like Prophet suggested. I think I will check with my wife and see if the computer is under warranty, and if it is, they should be able to fix it up pretty quickly and easily, I would hope.

Barring that, I'll take Guru and Merc's advice and plug a hub into the back -- I'd hate to have to buy another peripheral just because the USB ports that came with it were wired wrong or something.

Thanks again, everyone!

--K



Last 5 movies seen: Howl's Moving Castle - 7 Men From Now - The Hobart Shakespeareans - The Ice Harvest - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 75 days
Last activity: 25 min.
AIM:  
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.66
Yeah I'd say those front ports aren't connected to the motherboard properly. Should be a very easy fix. If it's not under warrenty, then open it up yourself and you should be able to spot the wires coming from those two usb slots and follow them to the motherboard. Then it's a matter of looking up the motherboard specs online and making sure they are plugged into the correct pins.

Oh yeah, and unplugging it before you try any of that. :)
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