Forum Thread

Help! Plugging in USB device suddenly shuts off computer

amcdonal86 719 69 April 7, 2011 at 06:35 PM
So I am having a problem recently. I cannot get my computer to start when I have some USB devices plug in. It will make it to the Windows 7 loading screen, and then shut off as soon as (it seems) it's ready for me to get to the login screen. When I say it shuts off, it's as if somebody pulled the power cord.

Let me know if you need more relevant details, but I have an AMD 5600+ processor, Biostar motherboard, 4 gigs of ram, Nvidia 8800GT, etc. I wish I could tell you more, but I built this a long time ago and forgot all the correct terminology and stuff. bounce

Well anyhow, the computer will not start if I put in, for example, my usb thumb drive or my USB network adapter. However, if I do not plug these items in and only have my usb keyboard and mouse plugged in, it will start up as normal.

IF I plug in my thumb drive or my USB network adapter at any time, it will shut off immediately.

I am suspecting a bad PSU, but I wonder if it could also be a bad USB port controller on my motherboard (one USB port on top of my case never seemed to work, so maybe that's a sign?). How would I know if the problem is related to a bad USB port? Or is a software problem?

By the way, the SAME thing happens in safe mode, so I think it is a hardware problem.

PLEASE HELP! Big Grinwave Hurry! I am using my old Dell Latitude D810 until I can get the other one fixed, and it is so hot it is burning my lap!!!!

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#2
is it the same usb port or any
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#3
I'm betting you have USB as a higher boot priority than HDD in your BIOS.

EDIT: Facepalm Missed where you said plugging in those devices shuts off the computer. You're right -- it's either a bad port controller or a dying PSU. I'll bet the latter. Do you have a spare PSU you can test with?
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Last edited by bonkman April 7, 2011 at 07:11 PM
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#4
It seems to happen on ANY usb port, in the back or on top. Does this give any hint as to whether it's a bad PSU or a bad port controller?
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#5
Quote from amcdonal86 View Post :
It seems to happen on ANY usb port, in the back or on top. Does this give any hint as to whether it's a bad PSU or a bad port controller?
Does this happen on a different computer or laptop by using the same usb devices?

Have you tried to get a powered usb hub to plug the offending devices into and that powered hub plugs into the laptop?
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#6
have you tried to just start up the computer w/o the USB keyboard/mouse plugged in, then try plugging the USB keyboard/mouse into one of the other ports to see what happens?

also, im wondering if the internal plug from the case USB ports is plugged into the MB wrong, thus causing a short when a USB device is plugged into the case or MB USB jacks.
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#7
Like everyone is saying, based on your description (assuming the devices have been tested good, say on the Latitude you have and the same result happens to your desktop no matter what USB port you plug it into - front or back), its either the controller (motherboard) or the PSU.

Its probably the PSU, because thats usually the case. You can try what .DC. said and test using the devices with a powered USB hub, but that if anything is just a temporary fix. If your PSU is going bad, I would worry about it damaging your other components, especially since my experience with AMD processors has mainly been that any power fluctuation kills them pretty fast. You can try another PSU or buying a new one if you're confident its not the motherboard (aim for a reliable brand) or test the voltages on your PSU with a power supply tester or multimeter, but that would only be a low-load test. For reliable PSU brands look at Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, or if thats out of your price range Antec, Corsair, Thermaltake - there was a deal on that green 380W Antec from newegg for $25 after rebate yesterday and there is also a 500W Corsair [newegg.com] on newegg for $30 after mail-in-rebate and coupon code - EMCKFKB22.

Anyways good luck with everything, I hope it works out.

Also, what kind of PSU do you have in there right now (brand and wattage). That may indicate whether or not its particularly likely for it to have failed.
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Last edited by hallowmann April 8, 2011 at 07:25 AM
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#8
Thanks for all the info, guys. I will have to do some more testing tonight when I get home, but I'll probably just get a new PSU.

I switched power supplies when I added the nVidia 8800GT. I think I bought it locally at Microcenter, so I don't have the brand or model on me, but I am 100% sure it was a 550 watt model (probably Antec or Thermaltake).

The kicker is that I've left the computer on almost 24/7 most of the time, so that would roughly 2 years of use, which would indicate to me that maybe the PSU is bad.

However, I did do one additional test. I unplugged unnecessary things that would draw power such as my PCI wireless adapter (failed in the first year anyway, but left it plugged in) and one of my two DVD readers. This had no impact on the computer shutting off as soon as I plugged in the said power devices.

So I wonder what it could be! What say you?
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#9
Well, I was going to try to test to see if the keyboard and mouse screwed worked in different USB ports, but now the computer will shut off immediately sometime during the Windows Logo screen, even without any USB devices plugged in!

This makes it seem like a power supply problem. What do you guys think?
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#10
Quote from amcdonal86 View Post :
Well, I was going to try to test to see if the keyboard and mouse screwed worked in different USB ports, but now the computer will shut off immediately sometime during the Windows Logo screen, even without any USB devices plugged in!

This makes it seem like a power supply problem. What do you guys think?
it is a very good possibility, but it could be something else too. start with the PSU
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#11
OK, I switched the PSU, no change. I looked at the motherboard, and noticed that there are bulging capacitors on it, which is probably the real problem! Damn it Biostar!

I'm pretty sure they don't make the Biostar GF-7025 anymore. Is there another motherboard that I can drop in without having to reformat and reinstall windows?
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#12
might want to check the motherboard for blow/bulged caps
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#13
You can find that motherboard online if you wanted to go that route, ebay other overstock/refurb sites. However, if your hard drive is OK, you can put in a different motherboard. You will have to reactivate Windows since it will complain about the hardware change, yet that should not be a problem.
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#14
Quote from dayv View Post :
might want to check the motherboard for blow/bulged caps
Haha, didn't I already say it has bulged caps? Good guess though!
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#15
I decided to replace the motherboard, hoping that I could do it without having to do a repair install of Windows, but I don't think this is working! I bought an ASUS M2N68-AM PLUS motherboard and was hoping it would work, but when I boot it up, after the bios screen, I just get a blank screen that never seems to go any further!

What is going on?
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