USB ports causing sparks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vpjayant, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. vpjayant macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2007
    When I plug an externally powered device (printer, external HD etc.) into my MBP via USB, there are small sparks around the plug and the plugged in speaker makes sounds. I think that this also caused my external HD to die...

  2. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    Does every device make it spark?
    It could also be a problem with a particular device your plugging in. I suggest you take it in and have it checked out.

    I think naturally there is a slight spark when you in anything powered. Generally you don't see it because its too bright in the room or your not paying attention.
  3. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    There have been a few other threads about this and I have experienced it myself. I haven't had any damaged hardware, though.
  4. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Does it make a spark every time? Does it spark if you touch the outside of the USB connector to toe aluminum of your MBP? Are you using the grounded (3-prong) cord to charge your MBP? Are the devices you are plugging in grounded?

    Try discharging any static electricity on yourself, your MBP, and your devices. You can do so by touching the screw in the middle of a power outlet, or one of the screws on a light switch, or a water pipe. After you discharge any static you might have, discharge the static on the devices by touching them then touching the ground point. Discharge the static while you are sitting down in front of your computer so you don't build up more charge walking around. If you can't reach a ground point, you can run a single wire, but be careful you don't accidentally put a wire in an outlet or something.

    If you use the grounded 3-prong cord for your MBP, it will become a ground point, and you can use the aluminum case to discharge any static on yourself and your devices.

    If there are still sparks when you are sure you have eliminated all static, you might have an electrical problem with your devices or the wiring in your house, and it could be unsafe. I doubt that is your problem, though.

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