View Full Version : Wierdest laser problem yet

David Fairfield
01-16-2012, 4:48 PM
I've had a few strange problems over the years, mostly due to using Adobe and the old driver, a problem since solved. Now the strangest thing started last night.

Everything works fine with the computer, a 2004 Dell PC. But as soon as I switch the laser on, the computer dies. I can't reboot it. The on/off switch doesn't work. All of the computer's indicator lamps are off, the monitor says no signal. But if I plug a zip drive in, the zip drive's indicator light turns on !? So the computer is not entirely switched off, and not switched on either.

If I unplug the computer, plug it back in, and reboot, everything is fine. I can run the laser, as long as its switched on BEFORE the computer is switched on. They are both plugged into the same house circuit, but different outlets. I have noticed a lot of static electricity in the shop these days.

Pretty wierd, huh? :confused: Any ideas on what might be causing it and what I might do to fix it?


David Fairfield
01-16-2012, 4:51 PM
oh also, I switched off every other appliance on the circuit, did not help.

Neil Pabia
01-16-2012, 5:22 PM
That does sound strange, it almost sounds like a virus type of issue.

David Fairfield
01-16-2012, 5:27 PM
Darn strange huh? Here is my workaround-- I put the computer to sleep mode, then switch the laser on, everything is OK when I wake up the 'puter. Why that works, is also mysterious.

There are two surge protectors between laser and computer and their respective electrical outlets, maybe that has something do to with it. Or maybe its got Stuxnet! :) Anybody know what might be happening?


Gary Hair
01-16-2012, 5:35 PM
Is the laser plugged into a USB port? I have a new phone that I connect to my computer to charge and sync via usb. If I have the phone plugged in and it's in sleep mode, the computer hangs looking at that usb port. If the phone is either disconnected or off, then it boots fine.

Have you tried the laser on another computer? A computer built in 2004 is WAY past it's prime, may be time for a new one?


Neil Pabia
01-16-2012, 5:44 PM
It could be the motherboard (on the PC) starting to give up.

Dan Hintz
01-16-2012, 6:17 PM
If the BIOS supports "Wake on LAN", "Wake on USB", etc., try turning it off.

Chuck Stone
01-16-2012, 6:36 PM
have you tried changing the cable between the computer and the laser? I wonder
if there's a problem there .. .something shorting out? If something got crossed,
it could be sending voltage back through a wire where it isn't expected.. ?
pure WAG, here..

Mike Troncalli
01-16-2012, 7:23 PM
I had a similar problem with my PC and my inkjet printer. Tech support said to basicly try another USB port or reload the printer driver. Couldn't give me a clear reason why it happened. This was a computer and printer that had been working fine for years. Once I moved it to another USB port I have not had the problem since, any other device that I have plugged into the port where the printer was works just fine as well.

paul mott
01-17-2012, 3:37 AM

You mention recent increase in static.

It way be worth checking your earth connection at your incoming supply then right through your electrical installation in general then the laser circuit in particular.

Just a thought.


David Fairfield
01-17-2012, 5:13 PM
OK it seems to be working again, so far, so good. I just put the USB cable into a different plug on the back and that seems to have fixed it. Weird solution for a weird problem, figures. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. And thanks Mike, welcome to the creek!