USB Ports not providing enough power, need a solution?

Hey guys, I'll start from the beginning; I was asked to fix a friend's eMachines laptop because the Three pay as you go internet dongle wasn't working, after taking a look I noticed it was in a bit of a mess (he had no antivirus and I could tell it was full of adware and other viruses because files were being duplicated at least 6 times, plus there were popups everywhere), and after a few scans he told be to just wipe it, So basically I installed fresh Windows vista, installed all updates etc and got everything going..

When I went to install the dongle again, it still wouldn't work. I tried the dongle in my laptop and it works fine, so I tried my 32gb Flash drive in the eMachines laptop but the "new hardware" sound kept sounding, as if it was being plugged in and unplugged repeatedly.. So i tried a USB Cabled mouse, it detected that perfectly and installed the drivers however the mouse wouldnt move, I tried a wireless mouse (power by batteries) and it worked perfect. I also tested the power coming from the USB ports with a multimeter and it showed 4.61v instead of the full 5v.

Bottom line is both USB ports seem underpowered but my question is: Is there any solution to this? My friend uses a usb Pay as you go dongle for internet but without USB ports he cannot use this. I was thinking of an externally powered USB Hub like the one pictures here : Would this work? or is there any other solution to this?


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  1. Sounds like your friend's USB ports power control circuitry is fried - a USB mouse should draw less than 20mA and if his ports cannot handle even 100mW, they aren't going to get him anywhere for anything else that requires more power.

    There is a simple fix for that: buy a powered USB hub. This way, the computer's ports do not need to provide any power.
  2. Best answer
    A powered USB Hub may work I use to have a desktop that my cat chewed the usb wire and shorted out my usb ports.

    make sure its powered when you buy it it should have an adapter you plug in the wall hopefully this also works for you.

    if not you could also try this
    this is what I did since I did have a powered hub

    I ended up finding the burnt part on the motherboard just soldered wire across it works now but no safety resistor/fuse

    probably wouldnt be worth the trubble on a laptop.
  3. ^^ Thanks guys, ill get an externally powered USB Hub and hopefully that will work... :)
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