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Thread: USB conflict

  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Recently I've run into an interesting problem concerning USB devices. My friend has a Dell Dimension 4500 with Windows XP Pro SP3 on it, and he has an HP Photosmart C3180 printer connected via USB no problem. A couple of days ago, he purchased an iPod shuffle (2nd generation, I believe) and plugged it into his computer. He immediately noticed a bubble from the notification area informing him that the USB device was not recognized, and that the device malfunctioned. Since this was a brand new iPod, he was baffled. He returned it for a new one but got the same results. He made sure his Windows Updates had the latest driver updates installed. He checked his USB cord to make sure it was secure. He checked his USB ports to ensure it wasn't a bad port. No luck.

    Finally, he unplugged all the USB ports, plugged in his iPod, and bang: it worked! Thinking that it was just interference with the printer, he plugged everything back into the computer. The ipod immediately stopped working and was unrecognized in device manager. After experimenting with the two devices for a bit, he discovered the problem: both devices worked fine by themselves, but plugged in together, regardless of port, the ipod would stop but the printer would remain functional. It didn't matter which order he plugged them in, or whether he rebooted his computer after plugging one in. Even deleting and reinstalling the drivers, software, and updates for either device didn't make any difference. The two devices would not just get along.

    He asked me for help, so I looked at it myself. I was completely surprised, as this was a problem I had never encountered, so I decided to post here for help. Does anyone know a solution to this issue, or if it is just the state of the computer? I read somewhere that the USB controller for some computers simply cannot handle the load of two high powered devices such as an iPod and a printer. With no bad connections, no bad ports, no malfunctioning devices, and with all the drivers updated, why won't the two devices work simultaneously? And why is it that only the iPod is affected? The printer is fine no matter what is plugged in with it. But the iPod cannot run with the printer plugged in as well. Maybe it is a device conflict of the USB hub's resources. This is such an unusual problem, I just don't know what the solution is.

    Since he needs to have the printer on all the time (he is a photography major) it would be a huge inconvenience for him to have to unplug the device every time he wants to plug in his iPod. So once again, I'm asking, is there any solution to this problem? Any tips, tricks, or advice would be greatly appreciated by us both!
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Henry,

    If the USB ports on the computer are suffering from a shortage of power, then you could plug a powered USB hub into one of the ports on the PC. If it powers the iPod without affecting the other device, then that would show a USB power problem on the Dell. Do you know anyone from which you could borrow one for a test? They are rather inexpensive. I bought one so I would not have to constantly plug devices into my tower's USB ports; it saves wear and tear on them.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Well Gerald, I guess your are right, we could try that. Unfortunately we will have to buy one, as we don't know anyone who has one that we could borrow. Thanks for the suggestion!
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

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    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    It looks like this has solved the problem, thank you for your help Gerald!
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting back, Henry. Happy that it solved the problem.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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