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Testing USB ports using an old USB cable and a multimeter?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
So yea, I have a sneaking suspicion that a few of my USB ports are frying devices... so I was just making sure there was no damage that I could cause to my motherboard or any other devices attached to it...

Is it safe for me to simply cut a USB cable (probably one to a phone charger or something), attach a multimeter to the 5v and the ground wires, and plug it into the ports to make sure the voltage is stable and its not jamming a ton of amps through it? I've had a few devices die attached to my USB ports, two being USB headsets. One headset never worked, the other worked for 8 hours and the next day when I turned on my computer it didn't work already. I just figured I'd test these ports and rule out that first and foremost.

So yea... safe? will this tell me what I want to know... that perhaps my USB ports are overpowering devices (atleast off a certain USB header) and frying them?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 14
4.2 is a high overclock for that chip you have, I dont do 4.2 unless its at least Lynnfield or Clarksdales based chips.

Your motherboard probably is having degredation from running that chip at that speed for so long. Try running it at 3.8 for a while.

Even though the VRAM/Mosfet cooling is fine, overclocks can effect other parts of the board, especially the Southbridge and cause uneven voltage regulation. It ain't suppose to happen but it does
    
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post #3 of 14
What's with the post above? Anyway, yeah it is save to do that bro, as long as you know which wires are you working with.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider85 View Post

What's with the post above? Anyway, yeah it is save to do that bro, as long as you know which wires are you working with.

I was just saying an overclock as big as that one can cause instability with any board after 2 years. I am not giving incorrect advice as I have seen it happen to a ton of LGA775 boards, even on the higher end ones.
    
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
dlee - While that may very well be true I would still need to test the ports and see if the voltage regulation is off. If the ports are registering a rock solid 5v with no amp spikes at idle, initial plug in, removal, as well as power up and down of the system then my overclock has nothing to do with it. Also for what it is worth, while the overclocks are kinda large, the voltages required for said overclocks are quite minimal. I had an E8400 at 4.5 for about 1 3/4 years with 1.32v in the BIOS and now this Q9550 at 4.2 with 1.32v in BIOS for 3/4 year on this board.

Also : The Core 2 Series, in the E0 revision, were great overclockers across the board, and MANY users ran them with strong overclocks (and continue to do so). Quite a few with higher overclocks than I have going right now even.

If I do see fluctuation I will try backing everything off to stock and see if the issue still persists. Thanks for the advice!
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post #6 of 14
I think that a slight variation with the voltage of USB is normal, like 4.8 to 5.2
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlee7283 View Post

I was just saying an overclock as big as that one can cause instability with any board after 2 years. I am not giving incorrect advice as I have seen it happen to a ton of LGA775 boards, even on the higher end ones.

I see what you're getting at.


Kind of like forcing Hz onto a USB port for your mouse can kill it?

I think what dlee is trying to say is that OC may be causing his SB all kinds of hell and rage.


But yes it's safe.
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post #8 of 14
The specs for USB ports Voltage is from 4.45V up to 5.25V for USB 2.0, with a maximum current of 500mA. Cutting a wire and measuring the voltage between the red and black lead will be fine, as long as you don't short them. It won't tell you how many amps are running through the ports - that is dependant on the resistance of the device connected to it, and the voltage. ( I = V / R )

I doubt that this would have killed your devices - headsets etc can be more prone to damage to the cables, especially if they are thin. It doesn't take a lot of force to kill them. Still, a high voltage / spike is possible. I doubt a multimeter would catch a spike - you'd probably need a store and hold oscilloscope to catch that. Not exactly the type of thing most folk have in their toolkit. smile.gif

Hope that helps.

Lesley x
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by latelesley View Post

The specs for USB ports Voltage is from 4.45V up to 5.25V for USB 2.0, with a maximum current of 500mA. Cutting a wire and measuring the voltage between the red and black lead will be fine, as long as you don't short them. It won't tell you how many amps are running through the ports - that is dependant on the resistance of the device connected to it, and the voltage. ( I = V / R )
I doubt that this would have killed your devices - headsets etc can be more prone to damage to the cables, especially if they are thin. It doesn't take a lot of force to kill them. Still, a high voltage / spike is possible. I doubt a multimeter would catch a spike - you'd probably need a store and hold oscilloscope to catch that. Not exactly the type of thing most folk have in their toolkit. smile.gif
Hope that helps.
Lesley x

Yea, my only issue is the headsets wiring shouldn't have gotten damaged, seeing as one of them worked one day.. never got pulled/ran over/stressed, and then didn't work the next... That's why I'm curious if the port is causing damage.

By shorting out, you mean, not crossing the red to block without going through the multimeter first?
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaClownie View Post

Yea, my only issue is the headsets wiring shouldn't have gotten damaged, seeing as one of them worked one day.. never got pulled/ran over/stressed, and then didn't work the next... That's why I'm curious if the port is causing damage.
By shorting out, you mean, not crossing the red to block without going through the multimeter first?

Yes, don't cross the wires.
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