USB Hub Quit Working





Introduction: USB Hub Quit Working

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

I have a Dynex add-on four port USB hub. After about a month, the ports stopped working one by one. This is a common complaint among those who have reviewed this hub at But, all is not lost.

Step 1: What Happens

You insert your thumb drive and nothing happens. The thumb drive you see in the hub here has a blue LED inside its end that is supposed to flash when plugged into the hub. Sometimes it does not. No box appears on my computer screen asking me if I want to play or view files on the drive.

Step 2: Read the Manual

The brief manual Dynex included with the hub actually addresses the problem, giving both a reason for it and a solution. My finger is pointing to the power plug and the plug connecting to the USB port on the back of the computer. The third plug in the picture connects my MP3 player to the computer.

Step 3: The Solution

Static electricity causes ports in the hub to stop working. Disconnect the power plug and the plug connecting the hub to the USB port at the back of the computer. Wait a few seconds. I like to wait about 30 seconds, although that is more than what the manual requires. Put the power plug back into the hub. Then put the USB connection plug back into the hub and everything will work again until static electricity somehow builds up and incapacitates the ports again. This is not such a bad hub, after all and I was not ripped off. Other hubs may experience static electricity problems, too.



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    27 Discussions

    I am glad it was useful.

    I followed your instructions and IT WORKED! Thank you, I thought I needed to purchase a new hub but your solution solved my problem. Happy New Year

    1 reply

    I am pleased to have been helpful. As I mentioned in my response to the comment below, the information is not original with me. Still, I struggled for a while before I actually read the instructions that came with my hub.

    Phil, thank you! All my coworkers thought I was crazy and I am on my third hub. It just happened again but found your advice and it worked like a charm! Although, your advice to discharge yourself on your desk was exactly my problem. In some way that is a mystery to me, the static electricity is traveling through the metal frame of my desk and finding its way to the hub. All of the four ports go dark.

    However, I am also using a metal usb hub:

    There has to be an easy way to ground these things!

    Thanks for posting though. Huge help!

    1 reply

    I am glad to have been of help. It is not that I am a genius. This solution was in the instructions that came with my hub. If you wear any man-made fabrics you generate static charges on your body by natural movements, especially in a dry winter climate. When you touch a hub, a static charge you may not see (by means of a spark) or feel as an electrical shock can jump to the hub and make the USB connection inoperative. Disconnecting the hub allows the charge to dissipate.

    If you have a metal case on your hub, you can attach a light flexible bare wire to the metal and connect it to the metal frame of your computer tower. Touch the metal hub case and then add or remove your device.

    Thanks for your comment. It is good to know someone was able to use this.

    Perhaps a high ohm'd resistor acrossed the data ports to discharge any build ups?

    4 replies

    That is an interesting possibility. Disconnecting the two cords for a few seconds before re-attaching them is not a problem, though. I think my hub is still under warranty, so I hesitate to open it. I also do not have extra USB cords and ends for experimentation. I did this Instructable with the hope owners of this hub who are frustrated with it for not working might see the Instructable and realize the hub really is not a product that just quits after a few weeks so it can be junked.

    Just dice up an old USB cable and place a high value resistor across both the data lines and ground thus terminating the USB bus maybe?

    Warranty schmarranty. USB hub is what, 10$? 20$? The glory of writing a good instructable? Priceless.

    Actually, it is $30. Maybe after the warranty has expired I will go inside it to get my hands on its little guts.

    does this also aply for laptops? i have a laptop that has one broken USB port, but that one is seperated from the other 3... so if it would, just unplug power, unplug battery wait for it, then plug it all in and it should work?

    2 replies

    I doubt that this Instructable will be of help for your problem. USB ports on a computer can stop working because of hardware problems or because of software problems. Start by checking the status of your USB hubs through Windows Device Manager (assuming it is a Windows machine). Then do a search of the Internet for pages on troubleshooting a USB port.

    Very cool! And answers the question why I find this hub in second hand stores all the time for $2-3 and they are working fine! Also noticed if you connect a USB fan to it like the kind for a laptop it stops working less often!

    2 replies

    I wonder if the fan stirs up enough air turbulence to stop static charged "clouds" of air forming?

    At a couple of dollars, this hub would be a very nice bargain. A few days after posting this Instructable I began making it a regular habit to touch a bare metal screw on the back of my computer tower before plugging in my thumb drive. This grounds me and removes any static electricity from my body. Since doing that this hub has always worked without interruption or a problem of any kind. You have an interesting observation about the USB fan. Thanks for your comment.

    You are probably correct. But, I paid almost $30 for it and I get good use from it if I simply ground myself before plugging in my thumb drive.

    Who would have thunk it? I have a *cheap* self-powered, 7-port usb hub. "Cheap" to the effect that it doesn't even carry a brand-name. Data devices (flash drives, blackberry, printer) pretty much stopped working. I had even tried unplugging just the power. But after reading this, I...

    1. Unplugged power-supply
    2. Unplugged usb-to-computer cable
    3. Unplugged all usb devices from all ports
    4. Plugged in power-supply
    5. Plugged in usb-to-computer cable
    6. Plugged in all usb devices as they were.

    Bingo! So now I have to go clear out my shopping cart at newegg. :) THANKS!