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Old Apr 18, 2007, 11:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Powerbook G4 USB problems

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who might have any suggestions to the ollowing problem I'm experiencing on my 133 Ghz 17" Powerbook G4.

I've just started using a 2.5 inch 30 gb hard drive for transfering files from my office machine to my Powerbook. The drive runs fine connected to the USB port on the windows based machine at the ofice but when connected to the Powerbook it behaves erratically.

It connects and operates fine on the right side USB port of the Powerbook but when connected to the left side USB port it cycles between powerup and power down and doesn't mount.

A 2 Gb stck drive I had been using works fine on both ports.

Is it possible to have a faulty USB port on one side of the Powerbook ?

Are the USB ports an integral part of the logic board or are they separate components ?

I've run some different tests on the Powerbook and the logic board and USB ports return a "passed" result.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Apr 18, 2007, 11:55 PM   #2
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It probably needs just a bit more power than a single USB port can use. I've seen similar discrepancies between ports on the same machine. I think it's because the drive is taking just about 1 USB port's worth of power (spec'd at 500ma). I had one machine / ext. drive combination that I could get to work if the PB was plugged in - you might try that, if you haven't already.

The Powerbook G4 Aluminum seemed to have less available power than Titanium, but I would bet it's still 500ma. Other machines probably provide a bit more [than the AlBook].

If you can get one of those USB "Y" power/signal cables (uses one plug for signal and power, the other just for power), you might get it to work. Otherwise, you probably will need some kind of external power for the USB drive.
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