@ravencajun - USB question

WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8aOctober 17, 2013

I bought an external DVD Writer/Player so that I can install Microsoft Office on my laptop (laptop does not have a slot for the CD). The external device has to have two USB connections plugged into the laptop for the writer/player to work. My problem is that although the laptop has USB slots on each side, the two USB connectors for the player or very short, so I can plug in only one USB connection. Is there a device that I can purchase so that I can use it to plug in both USB connectors to the laptop.

I hope this isn't too rambling and hope it is clear as to what I am trying to describe.

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redcurls

Not raven here, but i know we have like an "octopus" plugged into our desktop which allows several USBs to be used.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:01AM
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SnidelyWhiplash

That's called a USB hub, red. That can work, but maybe not. Often when devices have two cords to plug in, it's because they need more power than is supplied by just one line. With a hub, the power of one socket is shared with many devices and may not work.

An alternative is to simply get a USB extension cable (Socket on one end, plug on the other) that will give the added length for one cord to reach the other side of the PC. They only cost a few dollars.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:34PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Hubs are cheap you can get two Hubs and plug the cords into the individual USB ports on the pc, I keep several Hubs around, I pick them up at big lots or Walmart for around $5. The hub will have a longer cord which makes it easy to plug into any port.
Google USB hub for examples.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:57PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Here's an example of a hub at Newegg. One thing to remember is that you want USB 2.0 not the old slower USB 1.0, they now also have 3.0 but only very new computers have those. However they are backwards compatible so a USB 1.0 device will work with a 2.0 or 3.0 hub. The higher the number the faster the transmission.

Here is a link that might be useful: USB hub

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 1:39PM
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jemdandy

One caveat: Too many devices drawing power (not the data signal) can overload the computer port and cause it to shut down. When that happens, about the only way I know to reactivate the port is to disconnect the items causing the overload and reboot the computer.

Devices like a mouse and most thumb drives have low power requirements. But watch out for mechanical devices like high RPM disk drives and floppy drives. I've had no trouble with a 3.5 floppy drive, but a 7200 rpm hard drive (tradename Pass Port) shut down the port on an older laptop. The inrush current to start the disk spinning exceeded the port's allowable capacity and the port shut off. (If the USB port on the computer senses an over currrent draw, it automatically shuts down as a protective measure,)

Some hubs do accept an exernal power supply. You may wish to consider this option if you plan to connect devices that have significant power demands, or if more than one power hunger devices will be draining current at the same time.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 4:12PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

I'm off to the store in a few minutes to see what I will purchase. Thank you all so very much for the wonderful advice and options.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 5:25PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

ragin, I don't know if you're carrying on about hubs (which I personally think is not the best choice for this person) because I recommended an extension cord, or because you didn't. For very occasional or even one time use as may be the case here, there's no need to risk having a problem or paying too much. Most people have no need for a USB hub, PCs come with plenty of slots. You're welcome to a different view.

USB 3.0 has been out and available on PCs for several years, it's not a recent release.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:31PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

I ended up getting the extension. The guy at the computer store highly recommended that. It was $3.50. Worked perfectly.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 2:09PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

I'm glad you got your problem solved.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:58PM
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