USB Woes, Static Woes

woe [woh] –noun

  1. grievous distress, affliction, or trouble: His woe was almost beyond description.
  2. an affliction: She suffered a fall, among her other woes.
  3. an exclamation of grief, distress, or lamentation.

The Innards of My Compter With No USB ports. A Rats Nest Of USB Cables, Hubs, and Transformers. Put dry weather, carpet, computers, and billions of spare electrons together, and you have a good case for static electricity.  I touched a USB cable attached to my computer and drew a nice arc of static electricity.  And then, all was dead.  No keyboard or mouse control.  No external back-up drive, no printer, no scanner, no memory card readers, no Ipod, no camera, no USB thumb-drives.  All of these devices instantly quit working.  After much diagnostic work, I surmised that my little shock, burned a hole in one too many semiconductor junctions.

I had five USB ports in the back of my computer and another three in the front and none would work.  Unfortunately, all of these USB ports were built on-board the motherboard.  Our local shopping center of Helena, MT does not host a great number of options when it comes to computer parts.  Wal-Mart produced nothing, and Staples had a simple USB card with two external ports and one internal.  I bought two additional four port hubs to multiply the numbers a bit.  This is an unhandy situation since the three ports on the front of my computer are now worthless.  I could of ordered a nice USB card with five ports for next to nothing from but then, I would have to wait several days to get things up and running again.  Maybe I will order it anyway and move all of this makeshift stuff to my older computer that I have in my Ham Radio Shack.

Then to make matters worse, my computer only has two PCI slots with both filled.  I discarded the PCI modem, since I have broadband and put the USB card in that slot.

Now, with a tangle of wires, transformers, and USB hubs, I got everything up and running again… Just not as convenient as before.

And, the moral of the story is?  Discharge yourself of all static electricity before touching your computer.