Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

I am working on a Compaq EVO 310 for my uncle. It is a 2.0GHZ P4 machine. I have done the following:

Installed a 500GB HDD fresh install of WinXP Pro 32 bit installed all drivers from the compaq website for the machine

When I try and plug in my flash drive....does not matter which brand of size to install software the machine will reboot. It does not matter if I use front or rear panel USB ports. What the heck is going on?

share|improve this question
Could just be a bad motherboard, I have had several laptops (all Compaq or HP if I remember correctly) which have had the same problem in the past. What was funny about this problem was if Windows was installed then using the USB port would crash the computer, but if Linux was installed the port just didn't work but the computer didn't crash :) – ubiquibacon Jun 6 '11 at 21:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

More than likely, the pins inside the USB port on the computer are bent, or the plastic piece in the middle is broken or removed. What happens is that the usb port is shorting out. i.e. the +5v line is touching ground or one of the data pins, and the computer shuts itself down to protect itself from damage. Unfortunately, there is no way to fix this really. Your best bet is to fill it in with some non-conductive material and never use that port again.

Now, please go back & accept some of your previous questions before you get forever-ignored by people here.

share|improve this answer

I don't think it's about shorting +5 and GND pin. USB is meant to be shorting proof. It's more likely a broken motherboard or driver problem. Do you have any other USB devices working?

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.