How do I boost power on my USB ports?

I’m a great fan of USB devices as I can add extra functionality to my computer without opening it up. Recently however, when I plug in one of my 2.5″ disks, I get a message that says “USB Hub Power Exceeded”. How can I fix this?

USB is a very convenient way of increasing the capabilities of your computer, but you need to keep in mind that some devices draw power through this connection and this power is not limitless. In fact, the maximum output you can get on this is 500 milliamps (mA). This is fine for pretty much an USB device, but if you start daisy-chaining USB hubs and connecting devices to them, you can end up trying to draw on too much power and getting the message above.

The way to address this is to use a USB hub that has it’s own power source. This will provide each of the ports on the hub with a fresh set of power, rather than trying to share the single supply at the computer’s end. One such device is the CyberPower 7-Post USB 2.0 Hub which is currently on sale from for around $25. There’s not much more to describe, it’s a USB hub, but the one thing you’ll be sure of is fault-free operation of the devices you plug into it. This is because the hub has it’s own AC power supply and doesn’t depend on what the computer is giving it.

If you’re having the error message above, or the newer “USB power surge error”, then this is the way to go.

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