Strange computer problem
March 10, 2008 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Strange computer behavior. If printer is on prior to booting the system the external harddrive is not accessable. If the printer is powered up after the system boots it forces a reboot and the external drive is no longer available. WTF?

System specs P4, 2.4 GHz, Intel D845PESV motherboard, 1GB RAM, 40GB main drive, 200GB external drive in a Dynex USB enclosure, UPS.

Prior to replacing my previous HP LaserJet with the current HP LaserJet 1022 there was no problem. This started from day 1 after the new printer was installed. I un-installed the printer and re-installed the printer. No help. Major PITA. Since both devices are USB connected I suspect the root cause is a failure on the motherboard. I tried switching the USB cables around; no help.

Any suggestions/comments or tips would be welcome. Thanks
posted by paulboc to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Check your system BIOS for USB settings. Some motherboards have USB legacy support which you can turn on or off. Fidget with any other USB BIOS settings you find. Keep notes on the changes you make. You maybe able to get the devices to play nice.

One other idea: try using the devices together through a USB hub.
posted by wfrgms at 11:37 AM on March 10, 2008

Best answer: A *powered* USB hub. You're describing a motherboard power drain problem.

Does the printer have a parallel port you can use instead of the USB connector? If yes, try doing so.
posted by genghis at 11:47 AM on March 10, 2008

Best answer: That definitely sounds like a power brown-out. I agree that you should try using a powered USB hub.
posted by Class Goat at 12:00 PM on March 10, 2008

Besides the above-mentioned powered hub, I would also see if the printer could be replaced under warranty, as this didn't happen with your old printer.

What happens if you turn the printer on, then plug it in? Something similar happens if my ipod isn't powered on when I plug it in, but it doesn't happen if it's on.
posted by cathoo at 3:41 AM on March 11, 2008

does the drive draw all it's power over USB? does it have an option for an external power connection? that might do the trick and save you from having to buy a powered USB hub if you don't already have one.
posted by jrishel at 10:29 AM on March 11, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to all who have posted a comment. I installed a powered USB hub and all is now well with the system. Strange when I asked HP the same question I received no reply. The hive mind is superior!!
posted by paulboc at 7:51 AM on March 12, 2008

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