Powerbook - weak USB power

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Tomaz, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Tomaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    I bought a very small 80GB Iomega portable USB harddrive recently. It said on the package that it's connected by a USB cable to a computer, and gets the power from there. In case of insufficient power supply, there's a second USB cable that can be connected. I, of course, thought that my Powerbook (as the name already says) has enough power to make this HD run with just one cable, so my plan to load my ipod (unfortunately only USB) from the Iomega HD should work. Unfortunately I was wrong: I have to use 2 cables connected to my 2 USB ports all the time when I use the drive, cause the external HD does not get enough power from just one USB connection.
    So I bought a USB-PCcard to make sure I can also connect my ipod to the PB when the Iomega is connected. I was a little bit annoyed by the necessity of an additional bulky USB-card, but it works. I thought it's probably a problem of all laptops.
    Now I recently tried to connect the Iomega drive to different computers and realized, they all work using just one cable. This includes desktops, PC-laptops and my girlfriends ibook!! So the PB is the only computer that does not deliver enough energy through one cable and therefore needs a second one!! Now I'm very annoyed!
    I'm not sure if they should still call it the "Power"book :(
    Anyone had a similar experience or a suggestion other that "return the Iomega HD" ??
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Did you try it with the PowerBook plugged in?
  3. Tomaz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    Actually when I tried the drive for the first time I was in the train, so I thought the problem is that the PB is not plugged in. That made sense to me. But plugging it in at home later didn't help.... :(
  4. khisayruou macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2004
    Yup, powerbooks have no "power"...plugged or unplugged!
    Its usb ports are not capable of running my external 2.5 hdd.
    Instead of using two usbs, I either:

    1. Plug in my external through its own ac adapter.


    2. I have a laptop cooler that has 4 usbs on it. The cooler has its
    own ac adapter for power, so all 4 usbs have more than enough
    power. Then you just hook up the laptop cooler to one usb on the
    powerbook. (vantec lapcool)

    I was really disappointed to find the powerbooks not capable of powering it up, especially when pc laptops do. It really defeats the portability of my external.
  5. Crazymacz macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2005
    They will only supply power to a Firewire device. Im kinda pissed too. it will not supply enough to run a zip drive, backup HDD. ect but hey it runs my thumb drive and my USB plug-in fan lmao:)

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