Each USB port can provide power to connected devices. This is not always necessary, especially if the connected devices have their own external power supply.
But some devices need the power provided by the USB port to function or reload batteries. A problem with this is that USB ports can only supply a maximum of 500 mA (that's milliampere) which is usually not a problem if one device is connected to the port.
It could become a problem if a USB hub is connected to the port that is powering multiple devices as it could mean that the required power exceeds the maximum power that can be supplied by the port. which in turn can result in connection problems and even data loss.
A good start is to find out how much power USB devices need before connecting them together to an USB hub.
The free portable software USBDeview by Nirsoft can do that. Just download the software, unpack it and start it on the target computer system.
Power is one of the information provided by the application. You need to scroll a bit until you find the column as it is located near the end.
You need to click on the Power column title to sort the devices. Not every device requires power and this brings those that do to the top of the list. It is not always that easy to identify devices.
The description and drive letter usually help out here. You can also try and disconnect devices and refresh the listing to identify it by looking at which device is missing from the listing after the disconnection.
If many devices are connected to your PC that require power, you may want to consider connecting them to different USB ports to make sure that the power they receive from it is sufficient for their operation.
Did you ever run into troubles running multiple USB devices on one USB port?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.