Troubleshoot USB device on a Mac

January 17th, 2013 | Posted by Ankit Sajwan in Macintosh

How do I troubleshoot my USB device on a Mac?
Troubleshooting the USB:

1. Make sure connection to the USB port is secure
Unplug the affected device from the USB port and then plug it back in. Make sure that the connection is secure.

2. Unplugging other devices that’s plugged into the USB ports
For troubleshooting purposes, unplug all USB accessories from the computer. Then start plugging in USB devices one at a time, testing each one to make sure they all work before adding the next. Sometimes two devices will have a conflict and won’t work together. If you find this to be the case, contact the manufacturer for assistance.

3. Is it a new device, or a device that stopped working?
Ask yourself, is this a new device that never worked, or is it a device that you’ve had for a while that suddenly stopped working? If it used to work, think about what changed just before the device stopped working. Did you recently add another new device? Install a new program? Try reverting the computer to the way it was before the device stopped working. If it works again, there is an incompatibility with the device and whatever you added.

4. Check in the System Profiler
Open System Profiler from the Utilities folder, which is inside the Applications folder. From the Contents column on the left, under the Hardware header, select USB; the panel to the right will show all the USB devices that the computer recognizes. It may not identify them correctly by name, but it should have the right number of devices listed.
– If the device shows up in System Profiler, even if the device doesn’t work, the issue is usually due to software. Your best solution is to try updating the drivers, creating a new user, or reinstalling the system software.
– If the device doesn’t show up in System Profiler, the issue is more likely to be hardware—either the device or the USB port isn’t working properly. In this event, continue on to the next item on this list. With each of the following items, check the System Profiler window (press Command-R to refresh the list) to see if the device appears.

5. USB port lacks power
If you have the device plugged into a USB hub or into your keyboard, plug it directly into one of the USB ports on the computer. If it works there, the issue is with the device to which it had been previously connected. The device may need more power than the port provides.

6. Not all USB ports in the computer are working
Check the device in all the USB ports on the computer. Also test each port using a good, working USB device. Sometimes one port on the computer will stop functioning, but others will still work. If this is the case, the computer may need to be serviced.

7. Does the device have a power cord?
Does the affected device have a power cord? If it does, try unplugging and replugging it. Make sure it’s plugged into a working power outlet (you can test the outlet by plugging in a lamp or clock).

8. Check if the device is properly mounted:
1. Open Hard Disk > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
2. Highlight the name of your device, if it shows Mount on top, click Mount so that it changes to Unmount.

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