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I have been unfortunate enough to have TWO motherboards blown because of a power surge through a USB device. The first time it was the devices fault, a crappy .mp3 player that had a AA battery in it caused instant computer death. The second time it was my fault because I messed with a battery on
a device while it was plugged in.
If all USB ports had a small circuit breaker like those found in christmas tree lights it would be all but impossible to blow the motherboard. They would have to be replaced if tripped but that is a lot easier than replacing the whole motherboard.
(?) SMT resettable fuse for USB port protection
[Spacecoyote, Mar 29 2009]
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||[link], if there's a fuse for the purpose, then surely there's a motherboard out there which uses it.
||If you are convinced that the MP3 player destroyed your computer I would send a nasty note to the company that made it unless it fell in the bathtub or something like that, insisting that they pay for the damage that it caused. There's no excuse for a device shorting out like that, it could be a fire hazard if has a dead short-the only way I would think the computer would die.
||Since it's DC, a diode might be better... Totally prevent a surge from getting to the mobo!
||your motherboards were for crap then. Who made them? I would never give them my money for a replacement.