Since last few weeks I constantly get this error, as status bar balloon:
Power Surge on Hub Port - A USB device has exceeded the power limits of its hub port.
Due to this now I am unable to access any USB devices properly, they get disconnected intermittently.
I did quite a few things to resolve this problem, firstly obviously through the Windows help. I even tried all the things told on the Microsoft website(which essentially says is to check and update the driver) but in vain.
One suggestion, I found when I google'd was to disable the USB2 controller through the Device Manager and since at every startup the System configuration comes up complaining that it has been changed etc.(On that same site it is mentioned to ignore this message.)

But after everything I still cant solve this problem.
Any help is much appreciated.

The system is installed with Windows XP service Pack 3 and all the updates till last month.
Please let me know if any other hardware info is required.

My laptop is about 5 years old now, its an HP with Celeron 1.4G processor. Windows XP SP3 installed. All latest windows updates installed. 2 USB ports available. BIOS is HP 68DTD ver F.0A

Do I need to update my BIOS from somewhere ? or is this a hardware problem altogether?

  • This looks like a HW problem with the hub to me - I've had the opposite problem with a cheap hub - it was intermittently disconnecting. Do you get this problem with other hubs as well, or just this one? With any USB devices, or just some? Feb 10, 2011 at 20:18
  • I have this same problem on an HP Compaq NX 6110 laptop, with similar specs as yours (Celeron 1.4. Windows XP SP3). I'm pretty sure it's hardware related, because even after wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows, I still get this error intermittently.
    – bmaupin
    Jul 27, 2012 at 22:16

5 Answers 5


That error means you are drawing too many amps for one of your USB hubs (motherboards usually have multiple USB root hubs).

If you go into Window's Device Manager you can find the USB 'root hubs' in there, and if you check each hub's properties it should tell you the maximum mA (milliamperes) available for that hub (or it's ports) and how many mA your devices are currently drawing (probably under a 'power' tab, it's been a while since I used XP ;) ).

Try unplugging a couple devices and see how it goes. Or rearrange them to keep ones that draw a lot of power in different 'sets' of USB ports.

You want to be using less mA than are available. Also, devices will use more when being used then when sitting idle, so try and leave 'extra' mA on each hub.

For example, if you have a USB scanner and you start scanning, it draws more mA. Suddenly your USB mouse and USB HDD stop working because you overloaded the hub they all share by drawing too many mA, exhausting what was available for that hub.

Hope that helps...

  • Thank you and apologies for the delay in responding. Before connecting my USB pen drive, I checked the power tab for all the USB Root hubs(5) and the max power available is 500mA/port and under Attached devices it shows 2 ports available and 0 power required. When I connected my pen drive there appeared a new entry USB Mass Storage Device with a yellow warning sign. In properties, the Device status says, device cannot start (Code 10). The driver date is 7/1/2001 and ver is 5.1.2600.0. I also tried the solution by Moab but no success. I will update my ques with some more info. Feb 11, 2011 at 22:36

Typically, I see that message in relation to a surge at the time of connecting a USB device and especially with Dell computers. External USB hard disk drives in particular can draw enough current to trip the built-in protection of the USB port. Each manufacturer designs their own circuit to detect the surge, and it is possible that with age the circuit is more sensitive today than the past. Drivers won't help, as this is probably a hardware-only circuit.

3 potential remedies

  • Isolate the device in question to a particular USB port. If your computer has 3 USB ports, one of those is likely on its own USB controller and also power circuit.
  • Get a powered USB hub with a power supply capable of delivering more than 500 ma, preferably 1000 ma.
  • Connect your pen drive prior to powering on your computer. This prevents a surge at the time of connection.
  1. ) Visually check all your USB ports for damage.

  2. ) Open device manager and expand USB Controllers, right click on all the sub entries and select "uninstall", one at a time. Once this is done click the "scan for hardware changes" Icon at the top of DM, it will reinstall all the drivers, see if USB works now.

  • Hi, I tried this but no success. Also, commented in details to techie007's answer. Will also update the ques with some more info about my system. Feb 11, 2011 at 22:38

I have begun receiving this error message - but only when I connect my iPhone 4 using a specific cord. I have found that the port will work fine with some cords and will generate the "power surge" message with other cords. My simple answer is to change the cord.


Just thought I'd add that I've suffered the same issue, and I can evidently say that this is not a software or driver issue, nor is a hardware issue. This is caused by a file in windows (for which I'm still searching the name) which has been corrupted through the surge or "over volting" when connecting a external USB device.

I have found that (and this may be extreme for some) but is a sure remedy that re installing a fresh Windows will in fact remove the corrupted file and replace it during the install. It has worked on more than one occasion for me, but to be honest from what I've read the actual warning that Windows issues are not harmful to your PC at all, this simply means that your device might not work at its potential or at all if not fixed.

This does not mean the hardware will deteriorate or worsen by all means, most people say to just disable the warning message all together and some say don't, but its a matter of how annoying it is for you, personally I'd cleanly install Windows to make sure that this "warning" doesn't conflict with apps and general PC performance

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