USB Reboots my computer?

By k1n9k00p4 ยท 25 replies
Jan 4, 2006
  1. When i plug/unplug my ipod from my computer occasionally my computer will just shut down. Usually its ok but sometimes when i connect my mp3 player no found new hardware will appear, its as if i hadnt plugged it in at all, then ill unplug it and my computer will just reboot automatically, and some times it repeats the boot 2-3 times showing only start up screen. Anyone experienced this problem before (i doubt it is actually my ipod alone causing it to reboot but i have not tried it with other USB devices.)

    Could this problem be due to my motherboard (note* all my USB ports are built it to my mobo)

    I know that USB ports act kind of like an electricity mains socket so could it some how be messing with my PSU and sending a serge through my machine?

    Any suggestions on the cause of this problem? and a solution?

    cheers, Luke.
  2. zachig

    zachig TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Which OS do you have? WinXP or Win2K? I've heard about such a problem on Windows2000. I think it is somehow related to a bad/defective USB driver. Try re-installing new USB Drivers on your Opertaing System.

  3. k1n9k00p4

    k1n9k00p4 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Im running XP Home SP2, Ill try the driver reinstall and ill check for updated drivers. Im fearing for the contents of my Hardrive as we all know the damage an inproper shut down can cause. :hotbounce
  4. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Posts: 44

    I had this same problem with my iPod. I had to install a new USB 2.0 card onto my machine (it was an 5+ year old computer), and whenever I plugged in my iPod it would restart the system. Ultimately, I decided it was time to upgrade, but I did try a few things first and found that my power supply just wasn't enough to handle to USB 2.0 addition. I found that if I removed another card (USB 1.1 card in a PCI slot), the computer was much more stable with regards to restarting.

    If your computer is a little older, this might be the problem. If you can, try removing something that would drain power from your motherboard, such as an additional card you no longer use, then you could look into upgrading your power supply.

    What kind of computer is it, and what are the specs on the power supply? Are they USB 1.1 or 2.0 ports?

    Good luck,
  5. rockzz

    rockzz TS Rookie


    hey man just reinstall your motherboard driver maybe it will help you
  6. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    It is possible that you are touching the case and get a very small shortcircuit which causes your computer to reboot. To avoid this try and use a long USB cable to connect your USB devices to it so that you won't need to put your hands in the back of your computer.
    You can try to use a live-cd linux version like Knoppix to try and see if your device is working properly from the hardware point of view.
    Keep us informed about the progress!
  7. k1n9k00p4

    k1n9k00p4 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Its a brand new computer, all the parts bought by me within the last 6 months.

    These are the actuall specs of my machine.

    AMD Sempron 3100+
    1gig DDRRAM
    ATI Radeon 9600 256mb
    My mobo manufacturer is Jetway (Not sure of the model no. etc)

    NO PCI USB cards, all my USB ports are onboard my mobo, 4 on the back 2 at the front (pretty sure the back ports are the 2.0 versions)

    And im allmost 100% sure my PSU is 240v - 250v around that mark.

    The power consumption maybe an issue as i have 4 IDE devices: CDRW, DVDRW, 40gig HDD and an 80gig HDD. And 2 fans including my CPU fan.

    I really have no idea whether 240v is suffice.

    By the way i have tried installing my USB drivers again but it does nothing (and ive installed the updated driver).
  8. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    If your PSU is 250W, not V (Volt is not the same as Watt, not even near....), then you may have a problem.

    Have you tried to use a Knoppix Live Cd?
    Here's the address

    Good luck!​
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,189   +471

    Before unplugging a USB device, you should first "stop" it via the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the system tray. When you get a message that it is safe to remove the device, you can remove it.

    So just checking, do you do this?
  10. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    What you said it's a thing that SHOULD be done, but it't not something that MUST be done.

    In any case, removing an USB device with or without stopping it shouldn't reboot your computer, I think you agree about this.​
  11. k1n9k00p4

    k1n9k00p4 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    LOL yea sry i meant WATT not volt. So you would suggest i purchase a 500WATTER?

    Removing a USB device with or without stopping it doesnt reboot your computer.

    btw kodrutz when i burn the knoppix image and boot from it how do i go about doing what you suggest?

    Although ive tried Mandrake, SuSe and Redhat i am still a linux nOOb.
  12. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    Well, you shouldn't be any Linux geek, Knoppix it's very smart when it comes to recognizing hardware - you plug your device in and it should work (I must say that I didn't use any USB device with Knoppix, but it must work, since I managed to setup my pppoe connection faster than I do it with WinXp).

    I am sure Knoppix will help you a lot in getting to know & like, if not love, Linux. :eek:
  13. k1n9k00p4

    k1n9k00p4 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Im downloading it right now at 1400kbs ( I love my work connection )

    BTW a quick question,

    When USB devices are plugged in does each device drain or affect the PSU? because im starting to think all this trouble is down to my PSU.

    Because on my 250Watt i have lk 6 USB devices 2 HDD and 2 CD/DVD drives all sharing the same PSU.
  14. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    With your system configuration, 250W seems not enough even without any USB device plugged in...

    You have to check the next link, I am sure it will be very useful...
  15. k1n9k00p4

    k1n9k00p4 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    kodrutz, that was a very interesting and helpful link and after working out my total power consumption i am allmost certain that my PSU is to blame for the shutdowns. Tonight when i get home i am going to disconnect power from both my CD drives and then try to plug/unplug my ipod in and out untill it restarts and if it doesnt restart the PSU is 100% to blame.

    Ive burnt the Linux live CD and i will also give that a go.

    again thanks for the link, it was truly helpful.
  16. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Posts: 44

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not completely sure about this, but isn't the 250W distributed among the different rails on the supply? This would mean that unplugging the CD drives wouldn't help the issue because it doesn't change the supply going to the mobo, and hence the USB ports? This is why I suggested unplugging a device from the mobo to cut down on the power being drawn from this particular rail.

    If the other USB devices are unplugged, does the machine still restart? I also found that if I started my computer with the iPod already plugged in it would start was only when I unplugged/plugged in the iPod that it restarted.

  17. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst TS Rookie

    Short Problem

    I think your Usp ports is shorting somewhere and usually at my work that means replacing the motherboard.

    That is my experience, I get this sometimes on notebooks that when you plug in the usb drive the pc restarts, replace the motherboard and baddabing the problem is resolved.
  18. k1n9k00p4

    k1n9k00p4 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Sry johnk93 i dont know much about power supplys so i dont know what u mean by rails. I just figured by unplugging my CD drives it would lessen the strain on my PSU and thus protecting it from restarting.

    The thought of buying a new mobo had come into my head a few times but i dont exactley have a lot of money.
  19. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst TS Rookie


    Luckily the MoBo isnt the most expensive part of the pc.
    You should be able to get a nice motherboard for a reasonable price.

    Good luck!
  20. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Lot of very good advice in this thread given by JohnK93 and others like k1n9k00p4 and Blue_Myst. Not like i know all there is to know, lol, but i know a bit. I know good advice from bad most of the time.

    First off, itunes has been known to cause plenty of problems. You can check that out at many of the forums that cater to audio. Its just a known fact. I also know it can cause probs uninstalling so best to leave it on once its on your system. Unless, of course, you have to uninstall.

    Second I have some concerns about your power supply, im not even sure if you have stated it correct as you went from 240 or 250 volts to watts. I think you need to double-check that, even if you have to take it out of the case because its very important. You need to know the wattage of that power supply as indeed its very possible you need a better one. Notice i didnt say bigger! The reason i say better is that some of the really crappy power supplies are rated like 680 watts and all that crap. Its pure lies, twisting the facts. So if you get a power supply go by the name of the company and the line voltages, not the rated wattage which can be twisted into lies.
    You can google the list of good and bad power supplies. If you want it, i will post it. There are more than one such list out there of course.

    It does sound like a power supply issue, to be sure. Power supplies that come with a pc are usually junk and once they age they go bad or cant handle todays stuff on them.

    However, it could be otherwise, could be something else, like a bad usb socket.

    Just have a good look inside the female end of a usb connector, the one on your mobo, for instance. You will see "fingers". If these get messed up, moved over a bit bit, broken off, then one connection will not work properly but others will. So you should have a look at all of the usb connectors on your mobo.

    Also, sorry to say, Jetway isnt the best of brands but i am not putting it down, just giving the facts. Same is said about pc chips and i happen to like pc chips for the money, lol. Still, Jetway is bottom line. You can get the same jetway mobo for prolly $25 on the net at a forum or even the dreaded ebay.
    Not saying you need to at this point, though.
    Have a good look at your usb connectors for one.
  21. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Posts: 44

    Meaning of rails

    I'm not 100% about what is meant by rails, but my understanding of it is that if the PSU is rated for 250W, this power is divided up among the differnent connectors coming out of the supply. For example, the wires that connect to the mobo will supply up to 100W, the wires that connect to the CD drive will supply up to 50W, and so on up to the full capability of the PSU. Since the CD drives are powered by their own wires, or rail, as opposed to the same rail that powers the mobo, removing them will not increase power to the mobo. (granted, they do connect to the mobo via the ide cable, but this does not power the devices)

    This is what I was getting at, but again take my basic knowledge with a grain of salt.

  22. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    JohnK93 , you are right. For instance, the newer P4 connector, the one with 2 black and 2 yellow wires can be thought of as one rail, its 12 volts and it powers the cpu.
    A combination of wires to get certain voltage is a rail.
    So you test for 12 volts, 5 volts, 3.3 volts.
    I dont have it down perfect but you can google that info.
    If anyone wants it i can post or show you where this info is for your power supply.

    k1n9k00p4. The best thing to do is disconnect all that you can to take the strain off your power supply. Just have one stick of ram and your hard drive and video, mouse and keyboard.
    You can get a digital or analog meter at any hardware store for around $10. You can use the meter to check your various voltage levels of your power supply. All you need is a tutorial to do it. There is a very good tutorial at You have to sign up to get the tutorial but its a professional place anyway and they dont bug you so its worth it to sign up. You wont understand most of what is there, but the tutorial is very good. If you cant find it let me know and i will give you the correct page. I can even email you the tutorial, i made a copy of it long time ago.
  23. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

  24. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

  25. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    A bit of info to show us how much power a part will use.
    But note that this power is taken from different lines and voltages as well, so you have power used on the 12 volt line, the 3.3 volt line, the 5 volt line and sometimes from 2 lines at the same time. This is what is meant by "rails". One rail is the 12 volt line, another rail is the 3.3 volt line, and so on.
    Below is some info i copied from a source:

    When it comes to the question of how much of a power supply you need; you should not judge your power supply by overall wattage alone. Take a look at the demands on each separate line. When looking at overall wattage, add the requirements of every device in your machine, then multiply that number by 1.5 (because you should be taxing from 30 precent to 70 percent of your power supply's capacity). Most of your individual components will actually list their specific power requirements. Use the below numbers for a general calculation. And remember, if you need to figure out wattage, multiply the voltage by the amps.

    High-wattage AGP card 20 - 50W +3.3V
    Average PCI card 5W +5V
    Cached PCI SCSI controller card 20-25W +3.3V and +5V
    Floppy drive 5W +5V
    10/100 NIC 4W +3.3V
    Typical Atapi CD-ROM 10 - 25W +5V and +12V
    Typical Atapi DVD-ROM 10 - 25W +5V and +12V
    Typical SCSI CD-R/RW 20W +5V and +12V
    SCSI CD-ROM 12W +5V and +12V
    RAM 8W per 128MB +3.3V
    Ultra2 SCSI PCI card 5W +3.3V and +5V
    5400rpm IDE hard drive 5 - 10W +5V and +12V
    7200rpm IDE hard drive 5 - 15W +5V and +12V
    7200rpm Ultra2 SCSI hard drive 24W +5V and +12V
    10,000rpm SCSI drive 10 - 40W +5V and +12V
    Motherboard (without CPU or RAM) 20 - 30W +3.3V and +5V
    Typical Pentium II 30W +5V
    1GHz and up Pentium III 34W +5V
    Typical Pentium 4 65W +12V
    Typical AMD Athlon (board w/ 12V conn) 70W +12V

    Me again, if anyone wants a copy of any of this stuff, just email me.
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