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 PostPost subject: The USB drive from HELL        Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:14 am 
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Hey, well I was wondering if anybody could confirm what my friend is saying. He tells me that by simply resoldering the data line and voltage pins in the stick you can destroy a motherboard. It works in theory but does it work in real life?


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:38 pm 
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If you leave it on the board too long it can destroy it. The extreme heat needed for soldering is what kills components. So if you need to do it, don't keep the heat on for more than 5 seconds, and keep it off for 15.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:03 pm 
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You might have misunderstood me due to my wording, but i meant changing the connections in a stick or thumb drive, not the actual port. So, is this the motherboard fryer its claimed to be?


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:14 pm 
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do you mean the connections have been changed around to short the usb port or something? In theory this would damage the motherboard, but in most cases the motherboard has protection against this. Some cut off the power to the usb ports. Mine just completely cuts the power.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:25 pm 
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Well, ill tell my friend but this. You know, something similar happened to me 2 years ago, I bought this cheap usb mobile charger/fan/light combo and about 3 hours after I plugged it in, blackness. Only the noise of the power supply was audiable in the room, apart from my yelling. :x
Good thing the motherboard was under warrenty.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:34 am 
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A decent motherboard should have protection from short circuits. Infact windows can even tell you its been overloaded. :)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:53 am 
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I'd be careful when doing this with a laptop, they tend to be more sensitive when it comes to USB connections (in a negative way, that is).


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:54 am 
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Laptops will die easily, so id avoid even trying if you really dont have to.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:57 am 
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If you want to kill a USB port, build a usb version of the etherkiller! :D

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But seriously though, I had a faulty usb device once. I thought it killed my usb port, but it was good old windows stopping it from working after the overload. rebooted and it was fine! Maybe connecting a suspect device through a hub or similar would be better? It might just kill the £1 hub then


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:29 am 
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The problem isn't so much with the data lines, (these are only TTL levels voltages. Shorting these should just render the peripheral unreadable). The problem would be shorting the GND and +5v supply lines (pins 1 and 4). Cross these and you'll probably kill the voltage regulator. If the host shares the offending regulator for it's main source of power - you'll obviously kill the host!

The only other combination is shorting either of the data lines (pins 2 or 3) to GND or 5v. Throwing a (relatively) high voltage down TTL level data lines would give more destructive results I'd imagine.

I know the first half of this is 100% true because I had a user approach me with a dead 2 week old Dell laptop (cough, Dell, cough, crap, cough). Further digging revealed he'd plugged in a printer with a USB cable that his dog had chewed through! Funnily enough, pins 1 and 4 were shorted down the line. Doh!


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:36 pm 
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i used to have this usb hub that as soon as i plugged it in it reset the computer. no idea if it was the hub or the pc (it was crap)


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