New iMac: alu keyboard USB ports problem

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mr.pagan, May 16, 2008.

  1. mr.pagan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Location:
    Porto/Portugal
    #1
    Hi, this is my first post.

    I received this week my new iMac (3.06Ghz) and during setup I did all system updates, including the alu keyboard firmware update.

    After setup, I tried to connect my external 2.5'' hard disk, a WD Passport 160Gb, using the USB ports on the keyboard. I waited a bit but the drive wasn't recognized and was making a strange clicking noise, typical when there isn't sufficient power on the bus. After waiting for about 1 minute, I tried the ports on the back of the iMac and the drive was immediately recognized. I never had this kind of problem with this drive on any computer. Then I decided to try another drive, and connected to the keyboard a cheap 2.5'' enclosure with an hitachi hd 80Gb inside and this time the disk didn't even spin up. Again on the back ports, this drive worked flawless.

    After checking Apple's site, at http://www.apple.com/keyboard, I noticed this note:

    "*Devices that draw high power from the USB connection, such as iPods, hard drives and some flash drives, can only be used with the new keyboard when it is attached to the aluminum iMac."

    Does anyone have the same problem? If you don't, did you install the firmware update for the alu keyboard?


    Thanks
     
  2. David2070 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Yeah, my iMac is pretty much the same.

    I only use the USB ports on the keyboard for mouse and USB memory sticks. Anything else I always plug into the Monitor.
     
  3. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #3
    This isn't a new thing. The USB ports on the Apple keyboards are only really meant for input devices. If you need more ports get a powered USB 2.0 hub. They're pretty cheap these days.
     
  4. mr.pagan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Location:
    Porto/Portugal
    #4
    That's not what that note from the Apple's site says. It's supposed to work when connected to an Alu iMac. I find it strange nobody is complaining about it, as they explicitly say it's supposed to work.

     
  5. bentoms macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    #5
    I think all Apple Keyboards' USB ports only give out 5V so some devices like a USB Pen Drive can be powered by it.

    The on board USB ports on Macs give 12V of power so can power larger devices such as External Hard Drives, Sound Cards etc...
     
  6. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #6
    It may just be that your hard disk has a higher power draw than the ones Apple means. Sounds a bit crap, but when you've been a Mac user a while you sort of get used to taking Apple's claims for their hardware with a healthy dose of salt. They'll sometimes claim something works, and they're right that it will work under certain conditions, but they never exactly specify what those conditions are. So "hard drives" in this case obviously doesn't mean every hard drive, just some of them.
     
  7. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    I think you're reading Apple's note wrong. The "when it is attached to the aluminum iMac" refers to the high-power USB device, not the keyboard. Otherwise there would be no reason for Apple to have written the note (which is not written well).
     
  8. mrpalmer420 macrumors regular

    mrpalmer420

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #8
    I'm a little confused by the note as well because i use the USB on the keyboard for my iPod and it works fine.
     
  9. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    The iPod is not really a high-power device.
     

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