Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The USB 2.0 power bug is back. (And it’s bigger than before.)

Jack talked about this on Sunday's show. This article gives some additional background.

The bug will ultimately have a fix, which Microsoft now says it is preparing.

That’s the good news. However, the bad news is that it appears to be a fairly widespread issue and, for some, unavoidable.

The issue comes down to the way Windows XP Service Pack 2-equipped notebook PCs react to the presence of USB 2.0 devices. With a one of the devices attached, the machines basically burn more power and thus, when switched to battery power, don’t run for the same length of time on a battery charge.

The cause is rooted in the intricate way in which USB 2.0 devices interact with ACPI, the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface power management software included with Microsoft’s Windows XP Service Pack 2, hardware testers who discovered the issue report.

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