Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently, a USB cord was ripped out of a port in my computer.

When it happened, it ripped out a piece of the port- the little white plastic insert that's in all of the ports.

Here's an example picture of a USB port (NOT mine), you can see the little white thing I'm referring to:

However, now, when I try to boot up my computer, I get a black screen, white text that says something like "Warning! USB device over current detected. Remove over-current USB device!". What could be causing this problem?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The white piece holds the data and power contacts that form part of the port. If that's missing then all or part of the contacts are gone too and it sounds like what's been left behind is shorting out between the contacts and/or the metalwork surrounding the port. Sounds like a repair job.

share|improve this answer
I just went into the computer and unplugged the wire coming from the usb port to the motherboard, and restarted. Then I got a bluescreen on logon, regardless of whether or not I'm in safe mode. Could this still be because of the same problem, is there something special I have to do to disconnect them? – element119 Dec 4 '10 at 21:49
Hmm - not good. If the port is physically disconnected then any short should be removed. Try booting in safe mode to see whether you get the same problem. – Linker3000 Dec 6 '10 at 19:34

I'm afraid that you'll most likely have to replace the port.

The ports themselves aren't very expensive (they are around $0.8 here), but you need to know where to look. Normal computer parts stores don't stock them. Instead you'd need a store for electronics engineers. If you don't know such a place, here's a starting point (you'll probably be able to find a port such as one you need on the list). Here's another. Another popular supplier is, but I don't know how to link to their search results.

The second problem is to replace the port itself. You'll need lots of soldering experience or someone with lots of soldering experience. If you don't know how to replace the part, it's be best to look for electronics repairman and have him get the replacement part. This way, you'll be sure that you'll get right part. Do note that many computer repair technicians will most likely tell you that you have to replace entire board. That's the reason why it may be a better idea to look for TV technician or some other type which is actually used to repairing things and not just replacing components.

About the error itself: As far as I know, it is specified by USB standard that if the port detects short-circuit it should power down and OS should notify user. This way damage which would normally result is avoided. Many motherboards don't have good protection, so I'd say you're lucky that it's still working.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the help- that's how I'll get replacement port. However, is it possible to run the computer without the port for now? I disconnected where the port plugs into the motherboard and I get a BSOD saying "irql_not_less_or_equal"... – element119 Dec 6 '10 at 2:35
@Chromium As far as I know (and I could be wrong) it should be possible to run the computer with port removed. If you're still getting errors, make sure that you've completely removed the port. Also try resetting BIOS settings. At which point do you get the error? If I remember correctly, that type of error is usually related to a BSOD, so if you can get far enough to get BSOD, it could happen that BSOD is caused by something else. – AndrejaKo Dec 6 '10 at 9:44

I work in a school. One of the computers here suffered similar damage. We were able to remove the board that controlled the damaged USB port. It meant that we lost both front USB ports [there were two on this board] but the PC was bootable and usable again without any financial outlay.


share|improve this answer
When you say you "removed the board"- isn't that board the motherboard? Because it seems that's what the cords are plugged into on my computer... – element119 Dec 4 '10 at 21:50
I was not the motherboard. I was a small board beside the on/off switch at the front of the computer. – VerGuy Dec 6 '10 at 11:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .