Can a USB 3G adapter cause a sudden shutdown?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kaz219, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. kaz219 macrumors member

    May 8, 2006
    I have never seen this on my mac: a sudden shutdown with a freeze of 5s before that. No classic "crash screen" in many languages, just a sudden black screen and restarting automatically. TWO times in 30 minutes.

    The only thing I was doing for the first time was using my USB 3G adapter in a train on battery power. It's an Icon 225 from Option, I'm using the latest software from Option and the latest firmware (did a firmware upgrade to un-simlock it)

    I already used this USB 3G adapter without any problem, but it was not on battery (or very shortly only) and in a static place (maybe the roaming from one BTS to the next got the software crazy?)

    So, here is my question: is it possible that it is a software error, and is it necessarily a hardware problem?

    I couldn't find out in the console any relevant message: it just suddenly shuts down, and then I have all the boot messages.

    Next time I'm in the train, I'll try with launch2net software, just to see if it makes any difference.
  2. steveing64 macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2009
    Stoke on Trent
    Hi there i have the same problem when i use my £ usb dongle on my mac book i get like a grey curtain coming down the screen then have to restart. i searched but never found a solution to this and it only happens when using the dongle so think must be a software problem.

    Hope you have better luck them me finding an answer:confused:
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Although the only time I've seen a sudden reboot (versus a standard panic or just plain freeze with no indication) it was due to a power supply problem, it is possible it's software-related. I say so because there was apparently an issue in which Keynote was causing spontaneous reboots; here's a lengthy thread on it:

    Now, if the machine was abruptly dropping back to the login window, that would be a (rare) case of the loginwindow process crashing, but I've never seen that cause a full reboot.

    To offer an alternate theory, that device is bus powered, correct? It shouldn't happen, but since you were on battery there's at least a remote chance it somehow drew enough power or otherwise caused the system's power supply voltage to drop to the point it restarted. That would certainly explain the symptoms given the situation.

    Now, a USB port should just cut out instead of something like that happening, but who knows. A short in the USB's power pins might do something like this, too, but that would imply something was physically broken--I don't suppose the machine/adapter was getting tweaked at an angle somehow?
  4. kaz219 thread starter macrumors member

    May 8, 2006
    No, no wrong angle or force exerced on the dongle: it often stays stuck in clothes of people passing by or whatever, so I'm careful with it (I wanted an express card adapter just because of that).

    Next time I need it, I'll use it on battery, just to see what happen. Maybe I can narrow down the problem.

    @steveing64: if you have a "grey curtain", it means it's a kernel panic, not a shutdown, which is not better but different from my problem ;)
  5. Vendo macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    Probably has to do with the individual company. Emobile brand in Japan works with no problem.

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