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Mike
Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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I am getting a usb over current notice on 15 Macbook Pro.

Customer Question

I am getting a "usb over current notice" on 15" Macbook Pro. How do I fix this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Michael replied 7 years ago.
The "over current" notice means that you're drawing too much power through your USB ports!

There are two ways to get past this error message:
1. unplug some stuff - sure, it sounds silly and might not be an acceptable answer. You obviously have these things plugged in for a reason.

2. get a powered USB hub. These can be obtained from virtually any store that sells computers and components. A powered USB hub doesn't draw power from your computer - but has its own power supply and supplies power to your devices without drawing it from your system.

Beware, not all USB hubs are created equal. I've bought my share through the years, and some will be labeled as powered, but don't come with a power supply (the wall-wart style power plug). If in doubt, open the package and check it out!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Negative, nothing is plugged into this laptop. The message started appearing about 5 days ago and I've had the laptop for 2 years now. The messages usually appear at start up and often cascade until I click the OK button.
I very rarely use any ports and if I do its usually the firewire. Macbook Pros have powered USB ports, so unless I was using a device that required more power than the laptop could provide, I don't see why this message is appearing.
Steps I have taken to correct the problem.
1. Reset PMU
2. Reset PRAM
3. Reinstalled OS (because this didn't solve the problem I have to suspect hardware)
4. Disconnected power supply and removed battery for 2 hours

None of these steps have worked.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

I think you have answered your own question.

You can check what is connected to the USB busses by going to your Apple Menu and choosing About this Mac...

Then click on the More Info button. In here, click on USB on the left and look at the list of devices using the busses.

You'll find Bluetooth, keyboard, trackpad, and sometimes other items are actually connected as well.

So I agree with you, this is going to be a hardware issue, especially the fact that it happens at startup. Another tip... look at Console (Applications - Utilities) and read the System log from when you restart. You should see a message in there referring to the overcurrent. It may reveal what device caused it.

Hope this helps,
Mike
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Mike,

I looked at the SP and here is what I have. The console is a good idea, not sure why I hadn't thought of that. Here is what I see in the console.
8/1/09 6:36:34 PM com.apple.launchctl.System[2] BootCacheControl: could not open /var/db/BootCache.playlist: No such file or directory

USB High-Speed Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB
Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBEHCI

USB High-Speed Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB

Built-in iSight:

USB Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB

USB Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB

Bluetooth USB Host Controller:

USB Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB

USB Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB

Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad:

IR Receiver:

USB Bus:
Host Controller Location: Built In USB

I am 20 year Apple Expert as well.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

Yeah, see how many items are in there?

I don't see anything from console mentioning USB. So there may be another message somewhere else.

I still think you may need to take it in, or run your AHT disk on it to test yourself.

Mike
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I've never found the AHT to be much use, but I will give it a shot.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Me either. But if it does give you any type of error code, it helps with the 'Geniuses'.

Mike