Peripherals forum

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Trouble-Shooting USB Cables

by shamrock838 / April 5, 2009 5:34 AM PDT

Trouble-Shooting USB Cables:
I?m suspecting that one of my USB cables is faulty since I?m getting frequent ?hi-lo-lo-hi? tone combinations (not beeps) from MS Vista Business. I checked CONTROL PANEL\SOUNDS and they seem to be:
Device Disconnect (?hi-lo? tones)
Device Connect (?lo-hi? tones).
The usual sequence is rapid-fire ?Device Disconnect?/?Device Connect? (without a pause) ? though sometimes I even get a ?hi-lo-hi? tone sequence.

What?s the best way to check my USB cables -- economically -- without replacing them all outright < GASP! >.


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I find these cables at
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 5, 2009 6:00 AM PDT and for under 5 bucks. I have a few spare and if one fails I try a new and and then toss out the old cable. Usually I find the cord had suffered some damage. Such as the kid was running over them with a chair or pulling them out by the cord.

The test is simple, cheap. You try a new good one.

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Buy a cable, period or borrow?
by Willy / April 5, 2009 11:22 PM PDT

Inspect the cables for obvious damage or breaks, etc.. Verify you use a USB2.0 class cable for a 2.0 port, not USB1.1 class as some older cables are. Plus, USB2.0 class are clearly labeled, so check. Its far cheaper to replace a cable with a known good or new one. If you do buy a new cable and the problem persists, then you have a problem with the USB port. But, you'll never really know that until you test with "known good cable". You can then proceed to fix any other USB issues.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Trouble-Shooting USB Cables
by shamrock838 / April 14, 2009 1:02 PM PDT


Sorry for the delay in replying,

I may have found the solution to those annoying Windows Vista (Business) Connect/Disconnect ?bong? sounds.

For the record, I?m using a Dell Vostro 420 desktop with USB ports in rear and front panels. Since I like having USB devices plugged in within easy reach, I opted to use a Belkin 4-Port USB hub plugged in the front.

In the process of disconnecting USB devices gradually to see which ones made a difference, I disconnected the hub and the ?bongs? all but disappeared. I then reconnected the USB devices directly to the computer via the rear and front panels.

Has anyone else had this experience?


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 11:31 PM PDT

My old USB 1.1 Hub did that. I have gifted this to someone that could use it.

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USB power issues
by Willy / April 15, 2009 10:14 AM PDT

What can happen over time is the USB port and "paths" to them can degrade due to power overage. The current running is small but can overcome the simple solder lands(they delaminate/break) that provide the power paths inside the system and/or the device(s) or hub. A decent USB device alone may not cause a problem but if you're in the habit of multiple attached USB devices, that can cause a fault. One reason to use rear USB ports as they are direct ports of the mtrbd. unlike the wired cables used for USB ports for the frt.. Add multiple USB devices and sooner or later as power demands increase, etc., a fault can happen. Devices like ext. USB HDs/cameras are power hungry which is why some vendors provide a double headed USB power from port from 2 USB ports, otherwise you get one. Also, if you use USB to recharge a device, that can drain USB power as well when its needed elsewhere.

As Robert explained USB1.1 related cables or devices can be problematic with USB2.0 needs. Having it in the mix may rear its ugly head when it worked before and gives no clue, its just happens. One reason in my old post to examine for USB1.1. also, repeated USB plug/unplug can degrade the port itself with dirty contacts.

tada -----Willy Happy

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USB Power Issues
by shamrock838 / April 16, 2009 9:54 AM PDT
In reply to: USB power issues


Thanks -- I'll keep this information in mind.


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