Peripherals forum

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How to tackle Power Surge On Hub Port?

by ganeshvijay / December 19, 2004 11:58 AM PST

Hi All
Im using Windows XP SP2 in my Intel P4, 128 MBDDR desktop.
The problem is that Im FREQUENTLY getting an error message that pop-up from the system tray saying "Pwer Surge On Hub Port. One of the USB device has exceeded the power limits....".
And in the dialog box (that comes after clicking on the tray icon) it displays "Unknown USB Device".

How to tackle this problem?
1. Is it the problem of SP2?
2. Is it the problem of Mouse/keyboard?
3. Is it the problem of USB ports/hub?

Pls help....

Thx in Advance..

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USB devices
by Willy / December 20, 2004 12:15 AM PST

Since all you have is the kybd. and mouse using the USB port, why not install the older variety that doesn't use USB ports, one on one. Thus whatever doesn't bring-up the ewrror message is the culprit. If you're using some fancy USB device like wireless or lighted one, expect more power required. Because the USB in question are so basic to the system, IMHO move away from USB usage for those devices if only to reduce USB load for later devices like camera and such, whatever which I'm sure may cause problems. You can use a "powered hub" then add the devices to to move away from system supplied hub power needing only USB signal strength.

Also, look into a better power supply as anything rated 300W is iffy and 350W or better is desirable. I recommend further into 400W+ as a more stable choice as flaky problem(s) like this and others can cause grieve pointing all over the system, just replace it.

good luck Happy -----Willy

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USB power surge
by onken / February 1, 2005 9:10 PM PST
In reply to: USB devices

Hi! I have the same problem, only i just have as USB headset/mic connected. Keyboard/mouse is PS/2. And i have just put in a 400W power supply.

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SOLUTION !!! that works for me!
by pvavr1 / November 12, 2005 6:15 AM PST
In reply to: USB power surge

Hi all,

At first ,it is a microsoft problem!!(Why I think that? cause if I disconnect everything from USB then restart,it pops up again!!)Nothing wrong with your PC or notebook,I've got the same message "Power surge on hub port"which keeps showing up and gets on my nerves :))I've never had this problem before,it appeared just after I installed SP2 and the rest of ...packs,well solution 1 - uninstall SP2 and you'll be fine,solution 2 reinstall XP then install ONLY SP2 and from on disable any updates...I think this bug is included in some XP hotfix which is installed right after SP2 installation.

My solution:

right click START ,choose properties,choose taskbar then customize ,and select power surge...and select ALWAYS HIDE

this way you get rid of the pop-up message and just don't worry about it :))


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USB hub power surge problem
by jeanied / April 24, 2006 8:42 AM PDT

hi..i am not good with hardwares. if i remove all my hotfix that keeps updating, will this solve the problem too? please help


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Power Surge Problem
by ginnpr / April 25, 2006 2:32 AM PDT

There is a fix that can be downloaded to take care of this problem without having to disconnect everything. I am not sure where it was located as it was sometime ago. If you search for my signon - you should find it -

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Power Surge on Hub Port
by raymocm / November 6, 2008 2:42 AM PST
In reply to: Power Surge Problem

How can i get rid of this annoying message from task bar

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by bass1990 / May 24, 2007 3:08 AM PDT

hahaha thanks!
this was really bugging me since I bought my laptop, and I've done what you said and it's sorted.


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What a relief!
by notopos / September 2, 2007 7:17 AM PDT

Well, I have to hand it to you: I did exactly as you recommended and you were dead-on. The "power surge" pop-up is no more! Odd that Microsoft has not fixed this bug and eradicated the problem completely. <sigh> Typical of this OS. If only there were a stable, powerful, software-standard OS out there. Happy

Meanwhile, I might point out that I was getting this error message with absolutely no peripherals attached through my USB ports. Go figure. Any thoughts on this? Anyone else have this experience?

Peace, and thanks again for the help!


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USB power supply problem......
by dakz2006 / October 4, 2006 11:47 AM PDT
In reply to: USB power surge

USB power surges is not caused by power supplies at all. I have the same problem with a digital camera, and I promise my power supplies can handle any device attached!

Dell Poweredge 6300
Quad Xeon Processors
960watt paower supplies!

Keep looking for another remedy

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Power surge on hub and then the computer acts up
by bwhitt703 / January 20, 2008 12:40 AM PST
In reply to: USB power surge

the computer starts up on windows xp some times it runs awhile other times just very short unpredictable the message power surge on hub appears and does not reset it just keeps appearing with nothing on usb any help PLEASE

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NO . I get power surge os USB hub.
by zapped77 / April 22, 2009 11:04 AM PDT

I get this message and it shows up on different spots but i have nothing plugged in except for my printer and it doesn't show up on that hub, how can i find out whats going on? Thanks

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Power surge on hub port
by ptpenneman / March 2, 2009 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: USB devices

we are working with a emachine t3522 intel celeron D processor 352 and trying to upload pictures off of new camera model # finepix j10 fujifilm and when you plug in to the usb port it automatically shows this error!! What do i do?Please Help!

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I am having the exact same problem with my Juji Finepix J10
by jeffwisdom / May 17, 2009 1:01 AM PDT
In reply to: USB devices

On Windows XP SP3 When I plug it into the USB port I get an error message saying there is a power surge.If anyone knows the fix for this please help

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power surge on usb hub
by ashok_k / January 5, 2005 5:42 PM PST

the solution for poer surge on usb hub is

Electrical surge on hub port. Either a device attached to the port, or the port itself, has drawn more current than allowed, and the hub turned off the port. The port will not function correctly until you reset it. If the device is the cause, it must be detached before resetting the port. To reset the port, disconnect the device, and then click Reset in the dialog box. If the port is the cause, close the dialog box, and do the following to re-enable the port:
Disconnect the hub.
Re-attach the hub.
If it is the root hub, unplug all attached USB devices from the computer, and (if they have power supplies) unplug them from the electric supply. After a few moments, reconnect the devices. The computer can be restarted at any time.

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pls explain on power surge if the port is the cause
by liner8080 / August 26, 2005 9:10 PM PDT
In reply to: power surge on usb hub

hi, my usb port sometime work but sometime dont and can you pls expplain how to disconnect and connect the hub form the motherboard.thanks

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I have the same problem
by aushdog / January 6, 2005 4:26 AM PST

I have this problem too! I just installed SP2 and this problem started with power surges on two of the usb ports, thing is thier is nothing pluged into either ports, and it only comes up after the computer comes out of sleep mode. My fears of SP2 have been confirmed!

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SP2 not ready for prime time...
by Kenton / January 8, 2005 5:52 AM PST

I also have battled the Power Surge error on the USB Hub, I have search everywhere for an updated driver and alas, I give. SP2 comes off my machine until SP2 is fully tested and debugged.

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Power surge error
by tmataranyika / April 21, 2008 10:17 PM PDT

i have a Dell Lattitude D400 laptop. after connecting a removable USB external harddrive a power Surge error on the USB hub appears.

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I have the same problem on USB Port Surge Alert
by 4700CDELL / January 8, 2005 7:15 AM PST

"USB surge Alert" keeps popping out on my new purchased computer with Windows XP (Home Edition) system. I have been using only two ports for my Mouse and Keyboard. I can only run the computer 20-30 minutes after turned on before the "Alert" comes on asking me to reset "unknown USB Port" by disconnecting and resettomg. The problem is no identification is given on which port except identifying "unknown". Please help me to get rid of this annoying "Alert" signal.

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USB Surge Alert
by Stan Chambers / January 9, 2005 11:00 AM PST

I recently got the same alert the first time I plugged in my flash drive. Since then there is no alert when I plug it in.
I only have one other usb device plugged in to my computer (Printer), which was not in use.
Should the usb device be plugged in only with the power off?
Running Windows xp sp2, 350 watt psu. If anyone knows the cause of the alert, I'd like to hear about it.

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by xerophobia / October 12, 2007 6:29 AM PDT
In reply to: USB Surge Alert

Delete all the USB ports in the devices manager,
then restart the computer to let XP install all the USB ports again. Then go to the first USB port and right click on it and go to properties. Then on the advance tab click on do not show warnings


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our culprit was a broken USB ceramic
by Figuratively Speaking / October 25, 2007 5:09 AM PDT
In reply to: USB Surge Alert

We had an XP SP2 computer that started popping USB hub error messages with only a keyboard and mouse connected. The problems started when a visitor plugged in a USB drive to the computer?s USB port. The USB Hub error ??exceeded the power limit of hub port?? was displayed. They tried hitting the reset button on the dialog box after disconnecting the device, but the error continued. We checked Hardware Devices for usb power, no power hogs found. Next, we tried powering off completely, disconnecting all USB devices, then powering back up (an attempt to reset the usb root hub), but the error dialog box continued to display. We then installed a patch from Dell that basically disabled the USB hub error message, but no additional USB devices would work when connected to the computer. Eventually, staff realized the usb ?ceramic? was broken in the computer?s usb port. Removing the broken ceramic and switching to a different usb port solved the problem.

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Power Surge on USB (Dell 4700C)
by Macpei / January 18, 2005 3:00 AM PST

I am having the same problem, where you able to correct the issue?

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Power Surge on USB (Dell 4700C)
by blaest / May 18, 2005 8:27 AM PDT

I got the same message when attaching my USB harddisk (40GB) to my Dell Inspiron 8600.

Before installing XP SP2, it worked perfectly.

I tried several things (incl. an additional power supply), but the only thing that really ''solved'' this problem was disabling ''Intel(R) 8280 ... USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller'' completely.

Sure, the performance is now worse, but I got the error message never again.

Maybe that helps other people as well.


PS: Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem (see link below).;en-us;870893&Product=windowsxpsp2

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And Dell has a patch for you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 18, 2005 8:52 AM PDT

Did you get it?

There is also an issue with some USB devices that do actually overcurrent the port. I own one and had to fix that.


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Some patch
by moogy2005 / May 27, 2005 3:33 AM PDT

I also have a Dell 4700c, brand new, with XP SP2, and had/have this problem. I'm not sure if it's fixed, since Dell's "patch" just turns off the notifications. I asked them how I could figure out if there is a real underlying hardware problem, but they didn't seem too interested in helping me.

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Some problem.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2005 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Some patch

Since the USB "spec" allows you to short out the 5V line to any other line without damage, then it's not much of a concern from the hardware angles. Perfectionists will rail against this but the overcurrent sensor is not adjustable so the fix is all that can be offered.

Yes you could shoot that they should swap out motherboards but but you can guess the likelihood of that.

Best of luck,


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by sam12shri / June 21, 2005 5:02 AM PDT

Hi i had a similar problem. I got two (20 gig) USB 2.5 inches HDD with no external power connection except the USB power connection. My laptop(Dell Inspiron 8600) kept saying power surge problem.

I used to get similar messages. Thought a lot but couldnt get it to work.

I solved the problem myself. It was so simple but difficult to think about the solution. Now i can enjoy hours of HDD access without any error notifications.

Listen .. The error message says Power surge , Hub exceeded power limits. So our USB HDD needs more power or say current. Right now we are giving it current from only one source -- 1 USB port ( output current = 500mA ) max. our USB HDD has no external power source. Its input current rating is 10mA but somehow I dont know why 500mA is insufficient for it. So we need more current. EUREKA!! Why not give it current from 2 USB ports instead of just one ? Well u must be thinking how ?

I got this wire from the company i got the external enclosure for the HDD from which is a USB generic wire . It has 2 USB plugs at one end and a single one at the other end. I plugged in those two plugs in two USB ports of my laptop and the single usb plug in my ext hdd and Carambaa !! It worked like a loco. There were no ERROR messages since then.
my problem disappeared forever.

Now i can access my HDD without any problem. The error notification stopped becoz now the HDD is getting the power it requires.

You guys can try this until Microsoft comes up with something new in their OSes.

If you need a picture of the USB cable i m using then send an email to me at and i can email back the picture to u.

See ya later
Sameer Potdar

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by nightgurl / September 5, 2005 1:07 AM PDT

omg thanks a million. it was a life-saver! Grin

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I have problem accessing my external USB HDD with Dell 8600
by hchaal / June 27, 2006 9:33 AM PDT


I tried connecting both the USB plugs (of the cable) to the system USB ports, but could see a drive assigned to my external HDD.

I have a 2.5Hotdrive enclosure and it works fine when i connect to my other laptop ThinkPad.

Any solution to make it work with my Dell Inspiron 8600.


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