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Mac OS X 10.6: If a USB device isn’t working

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
If a USB device isn’t working

Try these suggestions:

  • Make sure the USB device’s cables are properly connected.

  • Make sure you have installed the latest software for your device. Visit the manufacturer’s website for any updates.

  • If the device doesn’t have a power cord and is plugged into another USB device that doesn’t have a power cord, try plugging the device directly into your computer or into a USB device that does have a power cord. You might need to disconnect and reconnect the other device as well, if it has stopped responding.

  • If the device is connected to a USB hub, make sure the device and the hub are the same speed. Connect USB 2.0 Hi-Speed devices to a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed hub, and connect USB 1.1 full-speed or low-speed devices to a USB 1.1 full-speed or low-speed hub.

  • Disconnect all USB devices except the device you’re testing, an Apple keyboard, and an Apple mouse. Make sure that the device is connected directly to the computer, and any hubs or extension cables are disconnected. If you can use the device now, the problem may be with one of the other USB devices or hubs you had connected to your computer. Try reconnecting them, one by one, to your computer. When you find the device that causes the problem, review that device’s documentation for further troubleshooting steps.

  • Open Apple System Profiler and click USB. If the device appears but does not work, the problem might be with the device. Review that device’s documentation for further troubleshooting steps.

Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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