Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

Summary: A recent Apple support note tells a tale: depending upon the particular USB setup, the placement of USB hubs, and how the keyboard and mouse are connected to the system, users may experience "unexpected behaviors" and "general system instability." Yikes!

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
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A recent Apple support note tells a tale: depending upon the particular USB setup, the placement of USB hubs, and how the keyboard and mouse are connected to the system, users may experience "unexpected behaviors" and "general system instability."

Yikes!

Some third-party USB hubs and devices connected though them may disconnect unexpectedly after the computer is woken from sleep. This may cause unexpected behaviors such as general system instability within open applications, or data loss if a connected device was being used to store data from an open document. If a printer was connected through the third-party USB hub, it may not be recognized.

There are a number of variables in the issue that described in the note. And Apple says it can't provide a list of the problem hubs.

To avoid the problem, the note suggests the following:

1. Connect all USB input devices, such as mice and keyboards, directly to a USB port on the computer or to an Apple display that is connected directly to a USB port on the computer. 2. Press the power button on the computer to wake it up instead of using an input device that is connected to a third-party USB hub. 3. Connect USB storage devices directly to a USB port on the computer to prevent third-party USB hubs from affecting them.

Now, suggestion Number 1 sounds like a good tip anyway. And Number 2 seems superfluous if you follow Number 1. Then there's Number 3.

What is a "USB storage device?" Certainly, the note is talking about flash drives. But what about cameras? iOS devices? Audio recorders?

No idea. Perhaps clarification will follow.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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74 comments
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  • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

    I don't believe it!!!! Apple with issues??
    mike2k
    • Apple is not the only system with USB issues!

      @mike2k Anything that's connected via USB, to most all peripherals have had problems over it's history. Manufacturers can't seem to get the standards through their heads and everyone wants to make their product unique by way of deviating from those standards in some way. That includes Motherboard manufacturers and chipset makers. Talk about fragmented? ...USB hardware and firmware on their chipsets are all over the place in how they handle the same drivers. That's just pathetic and..... no wonder Apple is having problems with 3rd party USB hubs!
      Monarky
      • Apple isn't the only one having issues, everyone does.

        @Monarky

        I've seen PCs BSOD from a bad USB hub or device. I've see PC motherboard fry when a liquid was spilled on a usb mouse, and once when liquid was spilled on a USB Hub. And I've seen Macs Kernel Panic with a bad USB device/hub as well.

        This is not something indigenous to apple. The problem is the manufacturers, just like Monarky said. They don't adhear to the standard and their devices don't play well with others. So in reality, everyone has problems with 3rd party USB hubs.
        i8thecat
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        Deleted
        snoop0x7b
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @Monarky "Self-Serving Bias"....go read the definition.
        Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

      @mike2k that should read, I don't believe it, Apple admitting to a problem?
      slickjim
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @Peter Perry It's happened before, them admitting issues is not really news ya know.
        athynz
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @Peter Perry - I believe it says ...problems with USB hubs causing system instability. If the fix is to plug directly into the machine, then the problem seems to be outside the realm of Apple's responsibility. With that said, I am having issues with my external backup drive and iPhone plugged thru a hub.
        Gr8Music
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @Peter Perry

        That is hard to believe. I wonder how many user complaints were deleted from the Apple forums before they admitted to this problem.
        Mythos7
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @Peter Perry It's only a half admission. They're still blaming a third party. Nothing new about that behavior.
        snoop0x7b
    • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

      @mike2k it is because you did not buy an Apple hub. they probably have code in their OS that says if it is not Apple - kill trhe machine and say you need to buy our more expensive hardware .
      stevejg61
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @stevejg61 No need to add code to the OS just make the hardware sensitive enough, that any variation from rigid Apple specifications throws a monkey wrench into the works! Then sit back and tell people it is third party hubs, so they are forced to buy Apple hardware that is spot on to the specifications. Oh and a lot more expensive also!
        leopards
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @stevejg61 Apple does not make USB hubs.
        Gritztastic
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @stevejg61 yes and like antenna gate, instead of figuring out how to fix the issue, they suggest you dont use a USB hub.... god I hate apple.....
        nickdangerthirdi@...
      • God, some of you Apple haters are...

        @stevejg61 pathetic. But, some day you won't be teenagers anymore and your teenage opinions on Apple will merely be an embarrassment to you and not a source of amusement to others.
        godsfault
    • You sell enough, you will eventually find an issue.

      @mike2k
      What if Apples were used in the real world for real work?
      kd5auq
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @kd5auq

        They are. I use them, exclusively. I've had no problem with third party hubs, but then I don't use the hub for critical attachments, and I unplug those I do use when not in use.
        kasmithjr@...
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @kd5auq
        I have used only Apples for over twenty years, for real work. I have a couple of PCs too, the kids love playing games on them. Apple really sucks for games. No laser cannons or steering wheels. And when the PC gets a virus, just get a new one. I have had problems with third party hubs. Follow the recommendations and you won't have these issues.
        jjstaud
      • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

        @kd5auq

        They are - you fool!!!

        What if the PCs with viruses were used instead? Maybe spam would be sent around the world in large numbers?

        Maybe Infrastructure would be at risk from viruses that target it directly?

        Sure, Apple does have issues from time to time - and yes they do admit it regularly.

        But PC problem have been a source of much income for me, most of it I turn down now because I can't stand the stupidity of it.

        i prefer to stay sane and not spend my time solving the stupidity over and over again.

        If you like the madness of repeating the mistakes then go for it!!!
        richardw66
    • RE: Apple reports problems with USB hubs causing system instability

      @mike2k
      Lol yeah right. Its the usb devices fault not the apple its connected to and the reason you can't make calls on the iphone is because your holding it in your hand wrong lol Apple never takes responsibility for its own issues or failures.
      Fletchguy