How to Fix a USB Power Surge

Updated March 23, 2017

Universal Serial Bus ports have a power limit of 500 milliamps. Although USB ports are useful for transferring data and using various peripheral devices, if any USB device attempts to draw more than the allotted 500-milliamp limit, the port will register a power surge. USB power surges may disable the USB port for further use, and can cause permanent damage to your motherboard. It is important to know how to identify and resolve USB power surges..

Click on "Control Panel" from the Start menu. Click on "Device Manager" directly, or click on "Hardware and Sound" and "Device Manager" from the items listed. This will open Windows' Device Manager utility.

Right-click on the category labelled "Computer" and click on "Scan for hardware changes." Device Manager will notify you of any USB ports disabled by the power surge. If your USB ports work fine, you can stop here.

Click on the arrow next to "Universal Serial Bus controllers" that expands the tree. You will see a list of currently installed USB controllers and hubs, and a yellow exclamation mark will indicate any problematic devices.

Right-click on the first device listed under the "Universal Serial Bus controllers" heading, and click on "Uninstall" to uninstall the drivers for that device. Repeat this step with every device listed under the "Universal Serial Bus controllers" heading to uninstall all USB controllers and ports.

Restart your computer, and allow Windows to automatically reinstall all USB devices you previously uninstalled. By uninstalling and reinstalling these devices, you effectively restore the USB ports' usability.

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About the Author

Sam Foner began writing, teaching and performing in 1997. He has presented and lectured for many global associations, including the Young Presidents Organization and Rotary International, and his writing appears on and Foner is a member of Mensa International and holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from Hong Kong University.