USB disconnects randomly -- mobo or PSU problem?

Lately my PC has been randomly disconnecting all of my USB devices: my mouse, keyboard, and my WiFi adapter. At first I thought it may be motherboard related, but all of my USB devices were disconnecting at the same time so the issue is probably not due to any bad ports. But I still suspect it because my motherboard IS getting old and I'm about due for an upgrade.

Besides that, my next guess was the PSU which is about as old as my mobo is. Since the warranty for my psu has been done for a good year now, I popped it open myself and found that there was some leakage coming from the capacitors. It is a generic 450 watt psu from Xion and I'm surprised it has lasted me this long without any issues. However, the computer itself boots fine and the rest of my components have not suffered any changes in behavior or performance--only the USB ports.

So which would be the more likely culprit for this issue? The motherboard or the PSU?

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.01ghz
DFI Infinity NF Ultra II-M2 motherboard
Xion 450 watt PSU
EVGA GeForce GT 240 512mb GDDR3
400GB Seagate HDD

EDIT: it seems that my USB mouse causes the WiFi adapter to disconnect whenever I plug it in. Maybe this is just an issue with my mouse?? I'll test things out and see how they go.

EDIT2: Well now I'm starting to think my WiFi adapter could be causing the issue. I tested the mouse on a different computer and never experienced any random disconnects. After that I reinstalled the drivers for the mouse and keyboard. I also noticed that recently only my adapter is losing connection every time while the mouse only disconnects half of those times. I just reinstalled the drivers for the adapter and Ill see if that resolves the issue.
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  1. Well now I'm starting to think my WiFi adapter could be causing the issue. I tested the mouse on a different computer and never experienced any random disconnects. I just reinstalled the drivers for the adapter and Ill see if that resolves the issue.

    Btw Terry that PSU looks great. Not a bad price too, but 380 Watts might be too low for me. I think my gfx card requires a minimum 350 watts so that might be cutting it a bit close. (edit: Actually my card says a minimum of 300. Do you think a 380 watt PSU would still be enough??)
  2. Best answer
    If your WiFi adapter is USB powered I would still suspect your PSU. Plugging in your mouse might be causing enough power flux to turn off your adapter.

    You might try getting an externally powered USB hub and see if you have the same issues.
  3. With blown or leaky caps you could be getting a lot of noise and dirty power from the PSU this would cause what looks like random isssues.
    if your on a budget this would get you going again.
    It has free shipping and is like 19.99 after mail in rebate it says not sure how long that will last though.
  4. To lilcinw: I've been using my PC for a few hours now and I think I can rule out the mouse. At first I thought there was a pattern but now it's more likely that the adapter is the issue. My mouse and keyboard only disconnect maybe half of the times when the adapter disconnects. I'll unplug the adapter and use the PC offline for a while to see if I still get disconnects with my mouse and keyboard.

    To galeener: that's why I opened up my PSU as i had a similar issue with a previous graphics card that had leaky capacitors. I'm not taking the PSU out of the equation as I know it is most likely the reason for why this is happening, but before spending any money I want to see if I can make sure it is not another problem. Thanks for the suggestion but that PSU doesnt have such great reviews.
    That would be one I would suggest to run in your system if it turns out to be the PSU.
    I mostly suggested the one I did for just a spare or to test to eliminate or confirm it was the PSU in your system at 19.99 it would be good just as a test psu.
    The other thing you could do just for testing is move your pc or run a long ethernet cable to it and pull your wifi for a while and see if you get the same issues with it removed from your system. One way or another your going to have to swap psus or pull the wifi to see which one is the real issue.
    Then again it may be something else entirely but I think your on the right track.
  6. If you have leaking capacitors, you will be replacing your PSU eventually. I doubt you will be pushing the 380 watt PSU but if you feel the need you could upgrade to the 430 watt EarthWatts.

    550 watts is overkill for that system IMO, unless you are planning some upgrades.
  7. Thats true it is a little over kill. I suppose its a matter of personal choice and finance.
    I always build with a PSU that has a good bit of head room. Never know when you may get a deal on a second video card or have an itch to add more storage or a blue ray or.... Well you get the picture.
  8. Well I followed lilcinw's advice and plugged the WiFi adapter into a hub and I have yet to experience a disconnect in three hours. Hopefully this is the solution I've been hunting for!

    But yeah I'm planning to get a new PSU anyway. The only reason I would get a 550 watt unit is because my PC REALLY needs an upgrade. Need a new mobo and processor, more RAM, a working CD/DVD drive, maybe a bigger HDD, etc. So I'd rather play it safe and get something with a higher capacity. The 430 watt EarthWatts looks like a good option if I go for some more efficient components, but considering that I'm already at 450W with my current setup I may need some more headroom.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions guys :)
  9. No problem glad you seem to have it figured out. Good luck.
  10. Best answer selected by Saad073.
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