Bizarre USB problem with new Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by imac275, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. imac275 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    #1
    I have just picked up a refurb Mac Mini and am using it with a Logitech K400 USB keyboard. It all works fine, until I connect an external HDD.

    At that point the keyboard stops working, but it is fine again when I remove the HDD! I have tried varying the USB ports I am using for each, but it doesn't seem to be able to support both at once.

    I don't really want to send it back to Apple if it is a 'feature' rather than a fault, but I have never seen anything like this before.
     
  2. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #2
    I'd try a different keyboard (and USB HDD if you have a spare) before returning. See if one of the other components faulty first.
     
  3. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    Does the HDD have external power or is it powered by the USB port? If it's USB-powered then it could be drawing too much current and the USB controller ends up disabling the ports to save itself. However, that should result in a warning popping up on your display that there's too much power draw via USB.

    Perhaps try connecting the drive to a powered USB hub and see if that helps. Also, some USB HDDs come with a Y-cable that has two USB connectors on one end, this is so that the drive gets sufficient power by using 2 USB ports (One for power only) as a single port may not supply enough power.
     
  4. imac275 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    #4
    Yes, it is bus powered (WD Passport 2TB). I'll try a different one first.
     
  5. imac275 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    #5
    I have now tried a mains powered external and it works fine, but is too loud, so I bought a powered hub and went back to the passport.

    The strange thing is that the passport still will not co-exist with the keyboard.

    If power is not the problem, I can't work out what is.:confused:
     
  6. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #6
    is the hub you purchased a USB 3.0 hub?
    If not, and your external drive is USB 3.0 then you could still be having an insufficient power issue.
     
  7. imac275 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    #7
    I now seem to have solved this. Apparently, the keyboard is known not to work if it's wireless dongle is in close proximity to a USB3.0 device. Putting either the dongle or the HDD on the other end of a 1.5m USB extension lead solves the problem.

    I am still unsure why the keyboard seemed to work fine when it's dongle was plugged in right next to a mains powered desktop USB3.0 HDD but not the Passport drive when it was plugged into a powered USB3.0 hub.
     

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