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USB Port Problems - Lightning to Blame?

 
 
Packrat
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-02-2007
I recently bought a new Canon digital camera (A630), and the night I first
installed the software everything seemed to be working great. But the next
day when I went to connect the camera, Windows would no longer recognize it.
When I turn the camera on, Windows does play that little sound effect
signaling a USB device is connected, but it will give any visual indication
nor will the Canon software start like it should. In fact, it will not
recognize or communicate with the camera at all. I tried uninstalling and
reinstalling the Canon software but this made no difference.
I tried the camera on two different PCs and it worked fine, so this rules
out the camera as the cause of the problem. What's more, my PC will still
communicate just fine with my old digital camera, an older USB 1.1-type
device of a different brand (Fuji).
I'm even suspecting something as serious as the motherboard itself, and
here's why: about a month ago my PC was damaged in a thunderstorm. I had it
connected in the basement but plugged in to a 2-prong (non-grounded) outlet;
during the storm, a loud "SNAP" was heard coming from the basement (the
computer was plugged in but a power strip was turned off), and afterwards
the computer would no longer work - just a blank screen and a series of
error beeps. I took it to the nearest shop where they determined the video
card was toast - when they plugged another card in, the computer seemed to
boot to Windows and work fine. So I brought it home, ordered another card,
and when it arrived a week later I installed it and powered up - and this
time the PC would not boot to Windows at all; it indicated that the hard
drive was not formatted. Fearing the worst, I took it back to the shop where
they determined that the hard drives active partition had been deleted,
though the data was still there. With the partition set back to active, the
drive could be accessed again but the Windows installation was badly
corrupted, and the only option was to reformat and start from scratch.
Up until now my PC has appeared to work fine, but I've been fearing that
more weird problems like this would show up sooner or later. My fear is that
there is still underlying damage from the thunderstorm, either in the form
of a damaged hard drive or motherboard itself. I probably just should have
considered the PC a write-off and replaced the whole thing.
What should I do at this point? Replace the hard drive? Replace the
motherboard? This whole ordeal is really starting to get me down - I just
want my PC to get back to normal.
BTW I now have everything plugged into a properly-grounded UPS, so
hopefully no worries about any more lightning damage.
Thanks very much for any advice.


 
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jinxy
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-03-2007
On Sep 2, 2:45 pm, "Packrat" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I recently bought a new Canon digital camera (A630), and the night I first
> installed the software everything seemed to be working great. But the next
> day when I went to connect the camera, Windows would no longer recognize it.
> When I turn the camera on, Windows does play that little sound effect
> signaling a USB device is connected, but it will give any visual indication
> nor will the Canon software start like it should. In fact, it will not
> recognize or communicate with the camera at all. I tried uninstalling and
> reinstalling the Canon software but this made no difference.
> I tried the camera on two different PCs and it worked fine, so this rules
> out the camera as the cause of the problem. What's more, my PC will still
> communicate just fine with my old digital camera, an older USB 1.1-type
> device of a different brand (Fuji).
> I'm even suspecting something as serious as the motherboard itself, and
> here's why: about a month ago my PC was damaged in a thunderstorm. I had it
> connected in the basement but plugged in to a 2-prong (non-grounded) outlet;
> during the storm, a loud "SNAP" was heard coming from the basement (the
> computer was plugged in but a power strip was turned off), and afterwards
> the computer would no longer work - just a blank screen and a series of
> error beeps. I took it to the nearest shop where they determined the video
> card was toast - when they plugged another card in, the computer seemed to
> boot to Windows and work fine. So I brought it home, ordered another card,
> and when it arrived a week later I installed it and powered up - and this
> time the PC would not boot to Windows at all; it indicated that the hard
> drive was not formatted. Fearing the worst, I took it back to the shop where
> they determined that the hard drives active partition had been deleted,
> though the data was still there. With the partition set back to active, the
> drive could be accessed again but the Windows installation was badly
> corrupted, and the only option was to reformat and start from scratch.
> Up until now my PC has appeared to work fine, but I've been fearing that
> more weird problems like this would show up sooner or later. My fear is that
> there is still underlying damage from the thunderstorm, either in the form
> of a damaged hard drive or motherboard itself. I probably just should have
> considered the PC a write-off and replaced the whole thing.
> What should I do at this point? Replace the hard drive? Replace the
> motherboard? This whole ordeal is really starting to get me down - I just
> want my PC to get back to normal.
> BTW I now have everything plugged into a properly-grounded UPS, so
> hopefully no worries about any more lightning damage.
> Thanks very much for any advice.


Have you tried going to the control panel and clicking on scanners and
cameras?
Try that, and follow the prompts for [add an imaging device] It
worked for me it might work for you too. Post back and let us know.
-J

 
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w_tom
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-04-2007
If lightning harmed hardware, then the hard drive was not part of
that failure. If you computer manufacturer is a more responsible,
then it has provided comprehensive hardware diagnostics for free.
Execute them.

Did you verify everything in Device Manager? Did you review system
(event) logs for failures that the system has known about for a long
time?

You are asking only for answers from the less technically informed.
For example, that gibberish on the blue screen is only understood by
better trained posters. You did not post important facts. Therefore
the smarter posters can not reply with useful answers.

Meanwhile, one part can cause all your problems. That is the power
supply. IOW a computer can boot just fine and work most of the time
when the power supply is 100% defective. Until you have confirmed
that component with a meter, then you may be spinning wheels replacing
parts that are not defective.

In your case, important voltage numbers are required from any one of
purple, orange, yellow, and red wires when computer is accessing as
many peripherals as possible. Those numbers must exceed 3.23, 4.87,
and 11.7 and are also posted here for further insight.

Just the first things to do to actually solve the problem rather
than wildly replace computer parts.

That UPS may be grounded but it is not earthed. Big difference.
UPS spec sheets do not even claim to provide the protection you have
assumed. To be earthed, that UPS needs a dedicated wire to the
earthing electrode that is less than 10 feet. Meanwhile a UPS
typically connects AC mains directly to computer when not in battery
backup mode. A direct connection? Where is the protection? Notice
that protection claim also does not exist on its numeric spec sheet.

You have no reason to be questioning the disk drive. But then that
is what hardware diagnostics do - either from the computer
manufacturer or (if computer manufacturer is not so responsible) from
hard drive manufacturer. Don't replace things only on wild
speculation.

On Sep 4, 2:23 pm, "Packrat" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> It took ages but I finally managed to get it working. I went into the
> system devices in the Control Panel, and with the camera connected it would
> show up as a "digital camera" (even though I couldn't access any photos on
> it). I uninstalled that device, rebooted, and this time it recognized the
> camera and installed the driver (again). So far it seems to be working, but
> I still suspect an underlying fault in the hard drive causing things like
> this to get corrupted.
> This morning I'm seeing more signs of trouble; when I first powered up, it
> would get to the Windows XP loading screen, flash a blue screen with a bunch
> of gibberish, and then reset the PC. I booted into safe mode and got into
> Windows, but was prompted for a driver that was now missing (and it would
> not proceed without it). So I reset again and booted normally, and again
> things seem to be back to normal - but for how long I'm not sure.
> I'm wondering if I should just replace the hard drive as a precaution,
> before it crashes altogether. I still say it was damaged by that lightning
> strike.



 
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Packrat
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-04-2007
It took ages but I finally managed to get it working. I went into the
system devices in the Control Panel, and with the camera connected it would
show up as a "digital camera" (even though I couldn't access any photos on
it). I uninstalled that device, rebooted, and this time it recognized the
camera and installed the driver (again). So far it seems to be working, but
I still suspect an underlying fault in the hard drive causing things like
this to get corrupted.
This morning I'm seeing more signs of trouble; when I first powered up, it
would get to the Windows XP loading screen, flash a blue screen with a bunch
of gibberish, and then reset the PC. I booted into safe mode and got into
Windows, but was prompted for a driver that was now missing (and it would
not proceed without it). So I reset again and booted normally, and again
things seem to be back to normal - but for how long I'm not sure.
I'm wondering if I should just replace the hard drive as a precaution,
before it crashes altogether. I still say it was damaged by that lightning
strike.

"jinxy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> On Sep 2, 2:45 pm, "Packrat" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> I recently bought a new Canon digital camera (A630), and the night I
>> first
>> installed the software everything seemed to be working great. But the
>> next
>> day when I went to connect the camera, Windows would no longer recognize
>> it.
>> When I turn the camera on, Windows does play that little sound effect
>> signaling a USB device is connected, but it will give any visual
>> indication
>> nor will the Canon software start like it should. In fact, it will not
>> recognize or communicate with the camera at all. I tried uninstalling and
>> reinstalling the Canon software but this made no difference.
>> I tried the camera on two different PCs and it worked fine, so this
>> rules
>> out the camera as the cause of the problem. What's more, my PC will still
>> communicate just fine with my old digital camera, an older USB 1.1-type
>> device of a different brand (Fuji).
>> I'm even suspecting something as serious as the motherboard itself, and
>> here's why: about a month ago my PC was damaged in a thunderstorm. I had
>> it
>> connected in the basement but plugged in to a 2-prong (non-grounded)
>> outlet;
>> during the storm, a loud "SNAP" was heard coming from the basement (the
>> computer was plugged in but a power strip was turned off), and afterwards
>> the computer would no longer work - just a blank screen and a series of
>> error beeps. I took it to the nearest shop where they determined the
>> video
>> card was toast - when they plugged another card in, the computer seemed
>> to
>> boot to Windows and work fine. So I brought it home, ordered another
>> card,
>> and when it arrived a week later I installed it and powered up - and this
>> time the PC would not boot to Windows at all; it indicated that the hard
>> drive was not formatted. Fearing the worst, I took it back to the shop
>> where
>> they determined that the hard drives active partition had been deleted,
>> though the data was still there. With the partition set back to active,
>> the
>> drive could be accessed again but the Windows installation was badly
>> corrupted, and the only option was to reformat and start from scratch.
>> Up until now my PC has appeared to work fine, but I've been fearing
>> that
>> more weird problems like this would show up sooner or later. My fear is
>> that
>> there is still underlying damage from the thunderstorm, either in the
>> form
>> of a damaged hard drive or motherboard itself. I probably just should
>> have
>> considered the PC a write-off and replaced the whole thing.
>> What should I do at this point? Replace the hard drive? Replace the
>> motherboard? This whole ordeal is really starting to get me down - I just
>> want my PC to get back to normal.
>> BTW I now have everything plugged into a properly-grounded UPS, so
>> hopefully no worries about any more lightning damage.
>> Thanks very much for any advice.

>
> Have you tried going to the control panel and clicking on scanners and
> cameras?
> Try that, and follow the prompts for [add an imaging device] It
> worked for me it might work for you too. Post back and let us know.
> -J
>



 
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bud--
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-05-2007
w_tom wrote:

>
> That UPS may be grounded but it is not earthed. Big difference.
> UPS spec sheets do not even claim to provide the protection you have
> assumed. To be earthed, that UPS needs a dedicated wire to the
> earthing electrode that is less than 10 feet.


Excellent information on surges and surge protection from the IEEE is at:
http://omegaps.com/Lightning%20Guide...ion_May051.pdf
And from the NIST at:
http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/p.../surgesfnl.pdf

The IEEE guide explains plug-in suppressors work by CLAMPING the voltage
on all wires (signal and power) to the common ground at the suppressor.
Plug-in suppressors do not work primarily by earthing. The guide
explains earthing occurs elsewhere. (Read the guide starting pdf page 40).

Note that all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same
plug-in suppressor, or interconnecting wires need to go through the
suppressor. External connections, like phone, also need to go through
the suppressor. Connecting all wiring through the suppressor prevents
damaging voltages between power and signal wires. These multiport
suppressors are described in both guides.


> Meanwhile a UPS
> typically connects AC mains directly to computer when not in battery
> backup mode. A direct connection? Where is the protection? Notice
> that protection claim also does not exist on its numeric spec sheet.


I agree that the type of UPSs used in a home do not intrinsically
provide any surge protection. The same protection built into a plug-in
surge suppressor may or may not be built into a UPS. Look at the
ratings. And any surge suppressor in the US should have a UL1449
listing. A UPS can be plugged in to a plug-in suppressor.

--
bud--
 
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