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USB devices on my PC cause 'Power surge'? Answered

I have Microsoft Windows XP sp2 running on a dell machine.

Whenever I plug my camera in to get pictures off of it, the keyboard and/or mouse stop functioning and i receive an alert that says "power surge on hub port" or something similar. In order to get my keyboard and/or mouse to work again, i have to unplug my camera from the USB port and reset all ports. This just started happening today, even after I restarted. The error message in the picture below keeps coming up and closing itself in some kind of loop as I type this...

Why does my camera cause other USB devices to malfunction when I plug it in the? Why does that error keep popping up every half a second?

And, on top of all this, my tooth is throbbing for no apparent reason :(




Best Answer 7 years ago

You should probably make an appointment with your dentist.

Oh, wait. You wanted to know about the USB, not your tooth....OrkSecurity is right. You've got your camera plugged into an "unpowered" USB port, probably one of the ones they provide for you on your keyboard or your monitor. That'll cause the other device in the same "daisy chain" (e.g., your keyboard and mouse) to fail out.

You need to plug the camera directly into one of the USB ports on your computer's console (tower). there's usually one on the front panel for this purpose, as well as at least one on the back.

It [the camera] doesn't work in any USB port (even the ones on the tower), even when all peripherals are unplugged. How can the computer intensionally limit the camera and mp3 player from charging or sharing data, yet it works fine with the mouse, keyboard, ect?

Does the camera use the USB port for data, or for charging? The USB specification (which is what all the computer ports follow), limits the current to 500 mA maximum.

If the camera wants to charge its battery, that usually takes an amp or more, and cannot be done successfully with a regular USB port. The manufacturer just used that connector for convenience (my Motorola cell phone is the same way).


7 years ago

Do you use a HUB without external power? When you use to much devices on such a hub, then it will give this message.

I don't use a hub, and I've never needed one before. Even when I unplug all USB devices: mouse, keyboard, ect... it still doesn't work. Not even my MP3 player will charge anymore (even when everything else is unplugged). Only the keybaord, mouse, USB headphones, and wiki antenna work anymore. The mp3 player and camera work fine on other computers.

It's always worked before, I've done nothing different. I don't understand why the problem started occurring now... is the computer limiting amperage or something? :(

A USB port is limited to 100mA unnegotiated and 500mA negotiated.

The camera is drawing more power than your USB port can provide. Switch to a powered hub.

The camera has worked this way since I got it. Nothing has changed, the problem arised quite spontaneously. Even when only the camera is plugged (no mouse, wifi antenna, or keyboard), it still doesn't work. It's as if the computer is intentionally ignoring the camera or something. Could there be an amperage limiting thing going on?


7 years ago

One workaround is to unplug all other USB devices from the hub while you have your camera plugged in, but the best thing to do is to get en external power supply for your hub. If your hub doesn't support external power, you must get a new one. If you already have an external power supply for your hub or you never had this problem earlier, the cable you're using might be damaged and cause a short circuit in the cable you use for connecting your camera to USB, thus a power surge occurs no matter how many (or few) devices is connected. Try using a different cable and see if the problem still occurs. The reason the other USB devices crap out and the reason you have to reset all ports after a power surge is because your computer disables the USB ports in order to prevent damage.