USB ports not recognizing some devices
My USB flash drives stopped mounting about the time I bought and tried using some cheap HP 2GB flash drives that were sold in 3-packs at Staples. I bought the for my two kids to use at school, and wanted to try them out, and rename them with my kids' names (so they could be ID'd and returned if lost. After that, none of my other recent-model SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drives would work, about 5 of them of varying sizes. But I had a much older SmartDisk FlashHopper 250MB USB flash drive from about 2003 that would still mount each and every time, when all the others wouldn't. So, that told me that my ports probably weren't just fried. I also noticed that I could always use my wireless mouse (Bluetooth, but run through the USB ports), a KORG micro musical keyboard most of the time (also USB). Checking under "About This Mac" and then clicking on "More Info", I could see that my IR port was still recognized, but my built-in iSight camera on the Hi-Speed USB port was not, hence the reason I would get a "No camera available" message when using Skype or PhotoBooth. I can still use a FireWire iSight with those apps, but there goes my portability. Sometimes, my Canon scanner, which is also powered by USB, will work from its Photoshop plug-in. But my iPhone will never sync or charge from my MacBook. I have to sync it with another desktop Mac and go through MobileMe to update my MacBook to get my iPhone's new entries.
I went to the Genius Bar at our local Apple Store and asked them to do whatever they could to verify the ports' functionality. They knew of no "issues" regarding the MacBook USB ports, so their only test simply verified that my ports were not showing their flash drive, and that my likely solution was a motherboard replacement.
BUT, they held out the possibility that my MacBook's PRAM battery might be malfunctioning and causing the problem. They suggested going to iFixIt.com and follow the instructions for replacing the battery. I HAVE NOT yet done this, as it is listed as a "difficult" procedure, so I need a day of time when I can be without my MacBook. I am experiencing other maladies on my MacBook which could be also attributed to a faulty PRAM battery, such as new finder and app windows being positioned off to the side of the screen edge, and my Airport consistently hooks up with other weaker wireless networks before my own inside network, even though I have put my router at the top of my "preferred list." So, I am hopeful the battery is the fix . . . Anybody else out there have any success?
Is this a good question?