Thursday, May 5, 2011
Computer Rebooting Problem Almost Made Me Pull My Hair Out
Having restored the computer to it’s original settings. I did another warm reboot with all peripherals still connected. Again the system froze. So I disconnected all the two USB hubs where the peripherals were attached, and the problem disappeared. The next steps I tried will be slightly confusing and I am not able to explain it plainly, so please hang in there. First I disconnected the HDMI cable. I reattached the USB hub on the right side where the MagicJack, wireless mouse, and cell phone charger were. The rebooting problem returned. I connected the hub to another port, still same problem. Another USB hub on the left side had the printer, TV tuner, and external hard drive attached to it. Without the right side hub, the computer booted properly. Now I’m guessing that maybe the USB port on the right side had lesser power than the one on the left. Daisy chaining a 4 port USB hub to another 4 port USB hub on the left side port didn’t help though. I decided to remove individual devices starting with the cellphone charger (I was charging the phone at that time) and the hard drive. Lo and behold, the computer rebooted! The charging cellphone and hard drive must have taken a lot of resources. However, if I reattach the cell phone charger and external hard drive after Windows boots completely, it doesn’t affect the USB port or hub at all. The hard drive and charger works normally.
At this point I started thinking that the warm reboot problem was not caused by corrupted files but rather caused by underpowered USB ports with too many peripherals attached. Maybe a self powered USB hub might help. That’s the kind that has it’s own electric cord to plug into a wall socket. I found one on Amazon.com with 10 (!) ports, and after reading the glowing reviews from previous owners, I ordered one. When it arrived, I couldn’t wait to attach all my peripherals (with much room to spare). Keeping my fingers crossed, I warm booted the computer, and… badabingbadaboom, it worked! I did it a couple more times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. So there it was, too many peripherals plus underpowered USB ports make for a rebooting problem regardless of the computer having a 3 megahertz processing power. Problem finally solved with a self powered USB hub!
On a side note, the thing about updating Windows: you download and install an update, which begats another update, and begats another, and so on and so forth. Kinda like one of the books in the Old Testament where so and so (starting from Adam and Eve, I believe) begat somebody, who in turn begat another, then begat some other.
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