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  1. #1
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    Two mice and a keyboard go at once: USB hub to blame?

    I'm not sure what happened here, but I thought I'd post it and see if anyone else has had the same problem.

    Yesterday, I moved my HP Windows 7 machine from one room in my house to the other. When I reattached everything and turned it on, the keyboard and mouse wouldn't work. I mean, it's as if they weren't connected. I tried the troubleshooting on the HP website, but didn't come up with anything more promising than "replace your computer". Yet the computer worked fine; it booted up okay, I just couldn't interact with it.

    Eventually, I fished out an extra keyboard and it worked. An extra mouse, however, didn't. I bought another mouse today, and it worked.

    So what happened? Well, I noticed at one point that I had the wrong power supply connected to my USB hub. My theory is that anything connected to the hub while it had the wrong power supply got fried. After I corrected the power supply problem, any new equipment worked fine.

    I would never have thought that an incorrect power supply on a USB hub could wreck peripherals like keyboards and mice, and I still don't know if that was the cause or if it was just a run of bad luck, but I know I'll check that power supply the next time I move the computer.

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  3. #2
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    Using the wrong power supply to an electrical device can (and will) cause problems not only to the device itself, but any other connected.

    In my household there are numerous chargers that have a similar physical connection, however the voltage/current rating is different. They are all labelled with the device they should be connected to.

    Perhaps you've learned an expensive lesson...

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  5. #3
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    Indeed, I "fried" my wife's flash drive when I offered to let her use a 4-port hub I had in my "junk" cabinet. But, which power supply belonged to that particular USB hub? Not knowing, I tried one that fit and sounded like the correct voltage.

    Welcome to the club. I tossed that USB hub and bought a new one with a well-marked power supply!

    PS: My wife still has not forgotten what I did and that was 2 years ago! Thank God we have been married 59 years so I don't think she will leave me over this. Ha Ha

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    csmart4125 (2013-07-12)

  7. #4
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    I have found that whenever I move my computer or my keyboard I have accidently pressed some button that I rarely used, such as the NumLock or an F button and this has changed things. Repressing those buttons usually reverses the situation.

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  9. #5
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    As you've found, matching the plug and socket does not ensure matching the power supplied with the power required. Every small power supply I've ever seen is marked in some way with the voltage, type (AC or DC), and current it supplies. Similarly, most devices using a "wall wart" or in-line type of supply are marked with the voltage they require. These markings are often hard to find and/or read, but it's worth looking for them. It's also worth using a cheap label-making machine to make labels identifying the voltage and device for all such power supplies as soon as you take them out of the box.

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  11. #6
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    I have gotten a lot of devices recently that have generic power supplies that don't identify the relationship between the PS and the device, except by voltage, of course. Now, when I put any equipment in my junk box, I plug the power supply into it. If I ever put it back in service, there's never a question about the power supply. That has no doubt saved me from a similar experience.
    Last edited by Mike Donehoo; 2013-07-11 at 08:45.

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  13. #7
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    EVERYTHING now days comes with a power supply! So what I do as I am unpacking it is to write out a label identifying what the power supply is for and stick it on the largest side. I use big letters and identify its device properly and even put on output voltage and amperage just in case I need to use it for some other device. Right now I probably have 75 power supplies and they ALL are identified as I don't want anything to burn out because of lazyness! Get in the habit!

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  15. #8
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    Others have suggested labeling. I learned that when I pulled a plug and it was exactly the wrong plug to pull at that moment. Lost hours of work! Now I label BOTH ends and, if there's a power converter/transformer in the middle, I label it and both ends of the wires where they plug into it. This has saved me so many times I wonder why manufacturers don't prelabel their wires and transformers. "XYZ 123 Printer" or ""ABC 987 Laptop" on all the power supply parts would be more helpful than the stupid stuff they spend money to include now.
    Last edited by Magna; 2013-07-11 at 14:33.

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  17. #9
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    I wish the electronics industry would get its act together and standardize on just a few plug and voltage combinations. Everyone I know has a boatload of wall warts and transformers siting in a box somewhere; there must be billions of these things lying around uselessly by now, a huge waste of resources (and a waste disposal nightmare.) It would be nice to be able to buy a gadget without having to also buy my 124th wall wart. Let the package indicate that I need a "Type K" or whatever, and I can buy one only if I need one.

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  19. #10
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    I hate to admit it, but I was alive in the 60s. Back then wall lamps and a lot of electrical goods came from Japan. It was a common practice for the manufacturers to use the cord to the device to ensure adequate resistance. If one replaced the cord with another that was too short, the device often burned out.

  20. #11
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    Exactly how do you make the labels? Are you using Post It Notes or cutting out pieces of paper?

  21. #12
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    Commercial wire labels are expensive and usually available only in industrial quantities. Instead, I use 3M Durapore medical adhesive tape in 1-inch width. Its adhesive sticks to itself very strongly, so it makes a durable flag-type label for wires and cables, and also sticks to plastic or metal for labels on equipment cases. Any fine-pointed marker works nicely, or a wide-point ballpoint pen (such as Papermate Profile 1.4B), and you can pick the color of ink. It doesn't bleed with markers as much as some cloth tapes do. It tears off the roll cleanly, so you don't need scissors. I put labels at each end of each cable, and often on the wall-wart itself.

  22. #13
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    Here's a label maker that will cost you about $30: http://www.brother-usa.com/Labeling_.../PT90/Overview

    Brother makes good label makers.

  23. #14
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    Hi LSvach, we are neighbors, sort of. I am in Eastland County.

  24. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdemers View Post
    I wish the electronics industry would get its act together and standardize on just a few plug and voltage combinations. Everyone I know has a boatload of wall warts and transformers siting in a box somewhere; there must be billions of these things lying around uselessly by now, a huge waste of resources (and a waste disposal nightmare.) It would be nice to be able to buy a gadget without having to also buy my 124th wall wart. Let the package indicate that I need a "Type K" or whatever, and I can buy one only if I need one.
    Excellent point. If only they would realize that they could cut costs (increase profits) by not including transformers, maybe this idea would catch on.

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