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Universal Serial Bus - USB repair page 2 continued...

Universal Serial Bus even USB 3 has a distance limitation you may have to use a powered hub...

Universal Serial Bus - USB repair instructions:

Sometimes you connect you favorite device and it just don't want to play today. I have a usb Joy stick that I like because it has three more functions than a regular joy stick. I like flight simulators, especially combat aircraft (wonder why). Any way some days it works as advertised some days it will not even show up in the game controllers.

USB - Universal Serial Bus - Four port USB 2 hub, this one can be powered by an extenral power supply or by the computer.One of the problems I have encountered with USB devices is that the ISO Standard 1.1,  2.0, and 3.0 have conflicts with some devices. Newer devices work fine on newer computers, but act up on older computers. No continuity with the backwards compatibility. There are two ways around this, one is fairly cheap and easy the other is costly.

Universal Serial Bus - USB repair instructions:

Older systems and Universal Serial Bus hubs. If your computer is older than three years old then the USB is defiantly version 2.0. If it is between two and five you have a 50-50 chance on it being ether1.1 or 2.0. Unfortunately you can not up grade the bios and take care of the problem. The problem is the USB controller chip on the main board.

So what can you do? Well you could upgrade all your hardware...very costly. Or you can add a USB 2.0/3.0 card to your system. You can get a card for either a desktop or a laptop. If you want you can disable the 1.0/2.0 ports through the bios or you can leave them turned on and have more ports. My desktop has eight ports 2.0 ports I have an add on 3.0 USB card with two ports.

Don't have enough ports? Add a hub. A hub connects between the computer and the devices. They come in different sizes and are powered and non-powered. You can find them with two, four, or eight ports so far I haven't seen a 16 port yet.

Powered or non-powered?

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I worked on a system that had a Universal Serial Bus (USB) printer connected to it, some times it was ok some times it would only print a partial page. Dove me crazy for about a week, today it works tomorrow it won't. It was connected to a 2.0 ver port on a almost new computer. There were two other printers in the office but only this one was color so moving it was out of the question. I changed cables, I changed the port it was connected to. I uninstalled and reinstalled the print drivers. I asked if the user had stopped the printer with the "Safe to Remove Hardware" program, nope. Then one day I had my laptop with me when I went to see the user, in the computer bag I carried a powered hub, I put the hub between the computer and printer. No more problems.

Some times the port can not supply enough power for the device it is connecting to, laptops are especially prone to this problem. Another reason for using a powered hub is how many devices you have connected and how far the furtherest one is from the computer. USB specification does not give a maximum distance for a cable. I saw one computer the guy had three scanners, two printers, two external cd-rom's, and usb mouse and keyboard. Looked like a spider web. To over come the port problem he had two eight port usb powered hubs. He said he never had a problem with the setup.

Another problem I have over come with a powered usb hub is distance. A user had a small work space (you can't call them cubes any more) and need to connect to printer that was about fifteen feet away. The longest usb cable I could find was eight feet. Two eight feet cables would reach the printer. With the hub in between the cables I could reach the printer.

The bottom line on embedded USB controllers on the motherboard is if it has failed you can use an add on card to replace that failed part, remember once a part has failed on the motherboard it is a mater of time before the motherboard will fail totally and require replacement. An add on card is a shot time fix until it is more convenient to replace the motherboard.

Note: You would think that with the newer USB 3.0 the power problem would be resolved, but alas the power supplied by USB 3.0 enhances this distance problem because the cable for USB 3.0 maxes out at six feet! You can get a longer USB 3.0 cable but if the device attached to the cable such as an external hard drive requires power then the cable is too long to supply the power requirement thus you would need a powered hub to supply the power. The reason the power drops off is due to resistance in the cable once it passes a certain length, this causes the voltage and amperage supplied by the USB 3.0 controller and port to diminish the longer the cable is.

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