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Old 10-Aug-2006, 15:25   #1
mick3ymous3
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Power Surge on USB Hub Port

Is it possible for a power surge through a USB port to kill a motherboard?

I came into work on Monday and found that my PC was already switched on (or so I thought), except the screen was blank and to all intents and purposes the computer looked to be frozen, ie no keyboard response (caps lock on/off etc).

I tried to turn it off, but it would not switch off from the power switch at the front so I pulled out the cable. I plugged it back in to reboot and it was completely dead.

After a lot of fault finding and tracing, I figured it was the motherboard which died. Though I don't know how.

I managed to get hold of a new motherboard and psu eventually. I tested it with just the keyboard/mouse/monitor plugged in and everything seemed to be well, except I had to call up MS to verify my copy of Windows. It all booted up and I loaded all the new drivers and stuff.

I turned the computer off and I started to plug all my other bits and pieces in scanner/printer/usb key, this ran ok for a while until I had to do a restart because of a Windows update. The computer appeared to restart itself but then the psu started smoking and died.

It was a cheap one and so I took it back to the shop and swapped it for a half decent one this time and everything seemed to be going again.

This time I was more cautious and plugged each peripheral in one at a time. When I plugged the scanner in everything just froze up and I had a little bubble pop up saying that there was a Power Surge on USB Hub Port. It had a useless message "click here for more info", which I could not do as the mouse and keyboard had locked up. Everything else that I plugged in worked fine.

So now I'd traced the problem back to the scanner. I think the scanner still works as it is drawing the power to cause the surge. So i'm thinking it is a dead plug, i'm not sure how to test if it is the plug as I don't have a similar one.

But back to my main question which was: "Is it possible for a power surge through a USB port to kill a motherboard?"
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Old 10-Aug-2006, 15:42   #2
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Old 10-Aug-2006, 16:12   #3
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just because its drawing power doesnt mean that its working properly- the only real way to investigate would be via a voltmeter (multimeter) and start checking things like bus voltage, supply voltage etc etc.

but tbh, if something has gone pop, unless your an pcb engineer then with the cheapness of scanners these days id just dump it and get a new one and move on, should be cheaper than risking more replacement items trying to figure it out?

Last edited by Mad Ad; 10-Aug-2006 at 16:23.
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