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Troubleshooting a Belkin USB Hub for Mac

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 6/20/2011

If you're using a USB hub to increase the amount of USB ports you can use on your computer, you'll probably have it break sooner or later. When it does, you need to know what to do to try and fix it. Here's a list of a few things you can try before going out to buy a new one.

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    How to Troubleshoot a Hardware Device

    Before you get started with the actual process of troubleshooting any electronic device, it's imperative that you follow a set of rules to make sure that you don't cause whatever it is you're trying to fix to suffer an even greater problem than it already has. Troubleshooting doesn't always work, but there are some things you can do to make sure you don't make things worse.

    #1: Never hit, bang, damage, throw, or otherwise physically harm the device you're trying to fix. It seems pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people choose to fix something by banging it on a table or hitting it with a clenched fist. Unless it's a proven method and otherwise stated within a guide, never cause physical damage to an electronic device.

    #2: Properly connect and disconnect the device whenever applicable. Just because it's not working doesn't mean it shouldn't be treated as if it is, so don't just unplug and replug things at your leisure; make sure you properly eject the device first if possible.

    #3: If you're not sure, don't do it. If you run into problems with a guide and you're unsure whether you're doing something right or not, it's best not to take the chance and just look elsewhere for a more descriptive guide. Another option is to post a comment on any particular guide and hope that the author reads and comments back.

    Follow these three rules, and you're well on your way to getting your USB hub back in working order. Now, onto the guide...

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    Getting Specific: USB Troubleshooting

    If your USB hub is having issues for whatever reason, it's important to realize that the problem likely lays within the hardware itself (that is, the physical device) as opposed to a lack of drivers. Most operating systems will recognize a USB hub as one of the devices applicable for "plug n' play" status, if you will, which essentially means it'll work without needing to install the Belkin USB hub drivers for Mac. Great news for first time users, but it also means you may have to replace your device if you can't get it working.

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    Step 1) Locate the Problem

    usb-port 

    A lot of people make the false assumption that something not working means that it's broken. This sounds weird, I know, but bear with me. The issue people have is actually locating what the exact problem is, and the first thing you can do wrong is assume that the problem lies with your Belkin USB hub. There are plenty of other things that could be malfunctioning, including (but not limited to) the following:

    - Your computer

    - Your USB port that the hub is plugged into

    - The cord connecting the hub to your computer

    In order to locate the problem, you're going to have to do a bit of testing. First, (properly) unplug the hub from your computer and try using it on a friend's computer or another computer in the house. If it works, you (sort of) got lucky, because your hub is totally fine. Now we know that the problem is either your computer or the USB port in your computer. If this is the case, you need to purchase new USB ports (which aren't too expensive) or try reinstalling the Belkin USB hub drivers for Mac. If it still doesn't work, chances are the issue is within the Belkin USB hub itself.

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    Step 2) Restart and Retry

    If you remember one tip in your life for how to fix anything with computers (I know, I'm stressing this point a lot; it's important), remember this phrase: Restart and retry. Literally nine out of every ten computer problems you have can be solved by unplugging the device, restarting the computer, plugging the device back in, and then trying it all over again. For the Belkin USB Hub, follow these steps:

    - Properly disconnect the device. If you for some reason cannot, simply pull the cord out from your computer.

    - Shut down your computer. Don't restart, as it's good to let your computer sit for a minute or two completely shut down before starting it back up.

    - Start up the computer as normal.

    - Plug the device back in and try to use it again.

    If you're still totally out of luck, then you probably have bigger problems than just a bit of a bug. Continue on in the guide.

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    Step 3) Try a New USB Port

    Belkin-4port-USB-Hub-F5U021 

    So let's say your problem is that a specific device- let's say a mouse- won't work when plugged into this USB hub. You'll want to try a couple of things before scrapping everything altogether. Unplug the mouse and try a different port on the hub itself; sometimes individual ports are busted, so it's good to make sure that you don't have a piece of hardware that is only 75% functioning. If you still have no luck, maybe the problem is the mouse itself. Plug it directly into a USB port, like the ones found on the back of your computer, and see if it works. If it does, then yes, you'll need a new USB hub. If it still doesn't work, then congratulations: You're USB hub is fine, but you need to buy a new mouse.

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    References:

    Information Reference

    Author Knowledge

    TechSupportForum

    Image References

    AboutTricks, USB Port.

    TechExcess, USB Hub.