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USB Not Working – Try This

Do you have USB ports on your computer but for some reason the devices connected are not working?

Or maybe your USB ports stop working after a long period of time?

Don’t worry, the USB not working is [most likely] related to your computer configuration, not the ports malfunctioning.

If our hunch is right, the fix is easy.  This is what we recommend checking if USB devices are not working on your computer.

Lets check to see if the USB hubs and ports are set to power save when idle.  What this setting controls is the ability for a USB port to sleep if not used.  The sleep mode of the port is an effort to help your computer save energy going to connected devices that are not in use.

To check the USB power setting lets do the following:

Go to > START > CONTROL PANEL > SYSTEM.

From here go to the Hardware Tab and click the Device Manager.

Next, scroll down to the section labeled Universal Serial Bus controllers and expand it out.  Right click on the USB Hub listing and select properties.

USB not working

In the properties box, go to the power setting tab and look for the following.

USB not working

Once you’ve configured this correctly [uncheck] there is a good chance your USB devices will begin working [consistently] again.

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How To: Format USB as NTFS File System

Format USB Stick as NTFS File System

Flash drives are getting very large in size these days, the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 sticks are getting over 256GB capacity.  With these larger sticks, the option to format the device as a NTFS file system is available, but what about the smaller USB sticks?

By default, any USB stick under 4GBs in capacity will not have the Format USB as NTFS file system option, but we can fix that.

Here is the How To: Format USB sticks as NTFS:

Click Start > My Computer > Right click on the drive letter for the USB stick and select Properties.

format USB NTFS

Now, click the Hardware tab of the Properties pop-up window and select the drive letter of which you’d like to change.  In this case, it’s drive letter F shown as “Simple Flash Disk 2.0 USB Device“  From here click the Properties button.

format USB stick NTFS

The next step is click the Policies tab and

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USB Hot Plate From Old CPU

Here is a simple and incredibly fun USB hack where you turn an old CPU into a hot plate for your coffee, tea or some liquid fragrance [in a dish].

USB hot plate

This very useful USB hack can be done in 4 steps.

  • Step 1) Tools and Materials

1. A dead CPU. (Ofcourse you can use a working one but it won’t be feasible.) 2. A USB cable 3. A Fan grill with screws. 4. Any box (I used a wooden tie box cover) 5. A rotary Tool (the best tool ever invented) 6. Epoxy 7. A creative artistic mind…[continute]

  • Step 2) The Idea

A CPU will still have some working electronic circuits even if it stopped functioning probably. And this project will use the heat generated by running some Volts in the CPU through a USB cable.  First things first. Be Very Careful. Connecting a malfunctioning CPU to your computer may and will damage your computer’s ports or even worse. If you don’t have enough…[continue]

  • Step 3) The Steps

First, prepare the base. You have to find a thin box or a box cover to use as the base of the plate. I used a tie box cover made of wood because it has the same thickness as my laptop. Now put the CPU over the base you picked and mark a square to drill with your rotary device. The square must be a little bit bigger than the CPU. The reason behind the bigger hole…[continue]

  • Step 4) Preparing the hot plate

locate the ground pins in your CPU and that can be done by reviewing the CPU data sheet or simply by the devastating trial and error. Cut the USB wire and pass it through the hole you made previously in the base. Strip the USB cable and locate the black and red weirs (black wire = ground, Red wire = +5V). You can cut out the white and green data weirs for more space…[continue]

Clearly this tutorial is from Instructables…Thanks Eric!

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Old Tech For New Gadgets — USB Fan

MSN did a nice article today about 9 new tech gadgets you can make with the stash of old stuff you probably have laying around.  One which fits into the USB category, is this USB fan.

Retro and cool looking, you can put together a nice desk fan with just an old tower or power supply fan along with solder and USB connector.

USB fan

Other new tech gear from old gadgets include a stone age cell phone tricked into a portable safe.  Scanner table where you can display items under the glass cover of the scanner and a USB mouse turned up-side-down and carved out for a plant holder.

Not the most impressive conversion, but a fun article to read on your break or lunch hour.

MSN 9 Uses for Dead Tech Gear

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USB Recycle Bin For Flash Drives

iBin is a portable application designed for USB stick so users can restore files which have been accidentally deleted.  Since Windows does not redirect a deleted file off the OS into the Recycle Bin, once a user clicks delete, it’s gone forever [well unless you use restore tools to get it back], but iBin resolves that problem.

iBin recycle bin

iBin puts your deleted files in a container on the USB drive itself and sits quietly until your custom flash drive gets to capacity, then you’ll need to do a bit of house cleaning.

iBin includes a collection of management features to set the preferences of the iBin.  Items such as confirmation of where to put the “deleted” file, iBin size, how to erase and when to dump the iBin data.

ibin usb delete

All in all, this is an excellent application for users to add one additional layer of safety for the delete button.

This is a Windows based product and runs on all OS’ from Microsoft, including Windows 7.

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How To: Turn Off USB Auto Play in Windows 7

How To: Turn off USB Autoplay in Windows 7

Windows 7 is much like XP in accessing the feature to turn off the USB auto play function.  We don’t have a Window’s 7 machine, but I did find a great tutorial from DemoGeek.  Here is the info you need to turn off USB Auto Play in Windows 7.

Go to:  START > SEARCH > type “group policy”

From there Windows 7 will narrow down your options, select the “Edit group policy” option.  Should be the first one listed.

autoplay windows 7

From here, it’s virtually the same as Windows XP.

Go to:
> COMPUTER CONFIGURATION
> ADMINISTRATIVE TEMPLATES
> WINDOWS COMPONENTS
> AUTOPLAY POLICIES

With having “AutoPlay Policies” highlighted, you will see on the right side of the dialogue box, “Turn off Autoplay” option.  Click That!

turn off autoplay usb

On the dialogue box which pops up, select the “Disable” radial button to

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