Is it possible to fry USB ports of a laptop?

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I yesterday hooked up the stk500 development board through usb-to-serial adapter to my acer laptop running windows 10. It was working okay throughout the day. Today when I turned it on, none of the USB port seems to be working. I mean it wouldn't detect any device. A flash drive or the adapter whatsoever. The Device Manager shows that all the devices listed under the Universal Serial Bus list are working properly, yet nothing is getting detected. I have restarted system a few times, started in safe mode, nothing! So it leads me to the question: Could my USB ports be fried due to excess current drawn by the dev board. Is it possible? I just checked through the multimeter for any voltage on the USB port pins but it does not show any power. Has someone run into this issue before. Need help please.

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sasadmunir wrote:
Could my USB ports be fried due to excess current drawn by the dev board. Is it possible?
Yes

USB VBUS should be at approximately 5V (only some USB hubs will switch USB VBUS)

 

Arduino Breadboarding with AVR-T32U4 | olimex

(last paragraph)

We also highly recommend you when you do prototype work to put USB-ISO between your Arduino and PC in this case even if you do some stupid like to make short on your Arduino board or put wrong voltage somewhere your PC will be always protected, so even if your Arduino board burn your computer will be safe.

USB-ISO - Olimex

 

USB isolators and isolated USB hubs are somewhat common.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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sasadmunir wrote:
through usb-to-serial adapter

Your own design or a commercial product ? I wouldn't expect a commercial adaptor to blow up a laptop even if you shorted RX/TX to any power rail on STK500.

sasadmunir wrote:
. I have restarted system

You should try a complete battery out type power cycle.

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through usb-to-serial adapter

Well, as a typical USB-to-Serial adapter provides two logic level signals, and doesn't power the external device, it seems odd that the STK500 would have somehow damaged the USB port.

 

I am also in favor of a battery removal reset  and repower up, but I would have expected Device Manager to put a (very small) yellow explanation mark on the USB port if Windows had elected to disable the Port because it didn't like talking to the device connected to it.

 

Did you connect anything else to the laptop's USB ports, (any of them)?

 

JC 

 

Edit:

I assume you have tried a different cable, also.

Sometimes USB connectors and cables can go bad.

Last Edited: Sun. Mar 3, 2019 - 10:42 PM
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The stk500 plugs into the wall (via wall wart), so it doesn't draw "any" power from the PC.

It's best to ensure the  stk500 supply is floating (not grounded), or at least floating with respect to the laptop.  Some laptop supplies will "ground" the laptop, but not all. 

If both stk500 & laptop are grounded & you plug in one over here and the other in an outlet way over there (say via an extension cord), any ground shift between the outlets* can cause a large balancing current (burnout current) to flow. 

That takes, of course, several conditions to happen at once, so not too likely.

 

What wall-wart did you power the stk500 with?  If it was high voltage (say 12-16V)...if you dropped a paper clip or wire strand on the STK, it might feed the HV back to your pc , then kaput.

 

 

* say one of the outlets is also running an air conditioner or space heater.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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I have a bad USB port on one of my laptops, but I think it might possibly have something to do with having USB connected to a mega that controlled the pulse rate of a 20 kV Cockroft-Walton board I was playing around with.  I know I got shocked a couple of times handling the board while running.  Now I have a hub on one of the two remaining USB ports.

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avrcandies wrote:
If both stk500 & laptop are grounded & you plug in one over here and the other in an outlet way over there (say via an extension cord), any ground shift between the outlets* can cause a large balancing current (burnout current) to flow. 

That takes, of course, several conditions to happen at once, so not too likely.

More likely is hot and neutral are reversed.

Another cause may be leaky MOV inside an outlet strip; recent experience was notebook PC battery was very slowly discharging when PC's wall wart was plugged into a defective outlet strip.

Shouldn't be an issue by quality wall warts.

 

loss of notebook PC's hard drive, USB port, and a USB device due to hot-neutral mis-wire :

Protect Equipment with USB Isolators - B&B Electronics

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I shutdown laptop the other day and didn't use it. Today when I started it again I just curiously plugged the USB flash drive and its working. I have checked the voltage on USB ports and its giving healthy 5.12V on each port. I don't know exactly what could have been the reason of sudden shut down the other day. May be the port was drawing too much current and got shut down in software. May be after 2 days, it will stop working again. lol. Will port update if such happens. Thank you all for your useful tips. USB Isolator sounds like a good idea for my upcoming project in which I intend to work with AC Voltage.

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sasadmunir wrote:
USB Isolator sounds like a good idea for my upcoming project in which I intend to work with AC Voltage.
An isolated USB 2 full-speed hub that can be inside the product's enclosure :

NMUSB2022PMC | Murata Manufacturing Co.

5V, 2 MOPP Powered Dual Port USB Data Isolator, 4.5-5.5V Input

Its hub controller is connected to a USB VBUS switch; if true then that's somewhat rare for USB hubs.

Hub device ports :

  1. USB UART to STK500
  2. AVRISP2, debugger, second USB UART, or instrument (logic analyzer, data acquisition, multimeter, etc)

 


NMUSB USB Data Isolator - Murata Power | Mouser

NMUSB Evaluation Boards - Murata | Mouser

 

edit: description

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Tue. Mar 5, 2019 - 06:41 PM
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sasadmunir wrote:
May be the port was drawing too much current and got shut down in software.
Probably correct the value of a constant somewhere.

USB in a NutShell - Chapter 5 - USB Descriptors - Configuration Descriptors (offset 8, bMaxPower)

IIRC, USB Type-C can provide default 5V at "a lot" of current :

BOB-15100 USB-C Breakout Board - SparkFun | Mouser

USB Type-C can source or sink 20V at 5A though by USB PD.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I have a cheap USB hub that if I wiggle it around it makes the USB port on my laptop stop working.  A reboot solves the problem.

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When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Recently I had a similar problem with a device on my work computer which is running Win10 too. When I plugged it in it was working fine, but after some hours of running on battery Windows popped up with a message that the USB port was drawing too much power and that it was disabled. I tried the other USB ports and the same thing happened.

 

After all my USB ports had stopped working I tried to plug in another USB device and nothing worked.

I tried to shut down and restart and nothing worked.

I later found out that I had to acknowledge this USB port overload somewhere in Windows for it to enable the port again (have forgotten where) and THEN do a proper restart of Windows too, because apparently Win10 doesn't really shut down when you shut down, it just hibernates. So you have to do a restart where you hold down the shift key (or was it CTRL?) when you click the shut down or restart button.

 

I got it working again, so it looks like nothing burned, it was just a software safety shutdown of the USB ports!

- Brian

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sasadmunir wrote:
Could my USB ports be fried due to excess current drawn by the dev board. Is it possible?
Yes. I broke at the same time a few USB ports without drawing any meaning current. They was broke by electrostatic overvoltage I think. Fortunately it was a docking station, thus I can replace it with low cost.