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Is it possible for a USB port to burn out a device plugged into it?

Out of nowhere yesterday my wired keyboard and mouse both sort of died. On the keyboard some of the keys stopped working, as if one of the pins on the controller matrix burned out.

On the mouse, I plug it in and it works for a few minutes before it loses power. It has a power indicator LED, and some mouse speed indicator LEDs. The power indicator goes out completely, while the others get very dim as if the USB port lowered the voltage. Windows reports "USB device not recognized".

I've tried the mouse in another computer and still no power. When I plug the keyboard into another computer, it has the same broken keys.

I'm kinda bummed since they were each $80. Is it possible that the USB port on my work laptop fried the keyboard/mouse?

1 Answer

Yes it is possible. Anything that supplies electrical power to a device can be faulty and cause damage.

You could use a multimeter to measure the output of the USB ports. You can see the USB power specifications here.