justlooking0 Posted January 17, 2011 Share Posted January 17, 2011 Well, my Windows XP Gateway computer is now mostly back in working order after a horrifying experience. But I thought I'd post my experience to save others the grief I've just been through. After getting a brand-spanking new Garmin Oregon for Xmas, I downloaded the Garmin USB drivers, installed them, hooked up the Oregon 450 to a USB port, and started a map copying onto it. It cheerfully told me it was getting power off the USB port, instead of using batteries, and I didn't give that a second thought. Left the room for a few mins, & when I came back, the GPS was powered down, and no input device worked, except the power-cycle button. After much teethgnashng, and trying everything, it turned out that it had fried the USB hub built into the motherboard. This was much harder to figure out than you'd expect: because I only had USB keyboards an mice, I couldn't even get the system to boot in safe mode, and because my bios wasn't set up to automatically boot from CD, it took some doing to conclude I needed a PS2 keyboard and mouse. The ports failed in a way that still left some power going to them, and they still appeared in Device management as "working". I tried rolling back drivers, restoring to a previously working system restore point, uninstalling, powering off & waiting for the system power supply to drain, re-installing the OS, before finally thinking of trying Ubuntu. Which also couldn't find any USB devices. I had to go out and get a PCI USB card, and a powered hub to replace all the ports I had been using. (TG I had a slot free: replacement motherboard would have been $$$.) Lessons: 1) Garmins should not suck so much power from USB ports, that they can fry a motherboard. Yes, I had other devices plugged in. but none of them were sucking that much power. 2) NEVER, EVER PLUG YOUR GPS DIRECTLY INTO YOUR COMPUTER's USB PORTS. Get a powered hub, and connect through that. That way, when it fries a port, you just have to toss the hub, not perform internal surgery on your computer. And woe betide you, if you did that to a laptop. 3) Always have PS2 Keyboards and mice available. 4) Just because your optical mouse or USB key flashes intermittently when plugged into a USB port, doesn't mean the port isn't fried. 5) Gateway recovery is very nice: it just moved the entire existing contents of my C: drive into a backup folder, before letting Window go ahead and rebuild everything. (I don't regret the time I spent backing up my files to an external drive before the re-install. But it was very sweet to be able to just move files back to where they belonged, instead of slowly copying them back.) (And no, I haven't had the guts to plug my Garmin Oregon 450 back in to download anything. I want to get a disposable hub first. And I'm still tripping over things I need to reinstall. Fortunately, many of my day-to-day pgms were portable, & could easily be gotten running again with a simple copy.) Quote Link to comment
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