Can a defective or shorted mouse cause my motherboard to burn?

I kept trying to use a regular USB mouse (EMO-128-USB with cable, not wireless) on my MacBook (laptop) and when I plugged it I got a message that the device was using too much power or something. It never turned on but did’t harm my MacBook either.

Then I plugged the same mouse on my desktop computer and right away the computer turned off and there was smoke coming out of the USB port where I plugged it. Then I unplugged the mouse from the USB port and I can see that the USB plug of the mouse is burnt.

My desktop computer doesn’t turn on any more. I can’t even hear the fan (the extraction fan) working. I do see a light in the tower so it means the power supply is suplying the motherboard but the motherboard doesn’t turn on.

I can't believe that the motherboard doesn't have protection against defective USB devices.

The motherboard is a ASRock N68-VS3-UCC.

The mouse is a Sentey (model No. EMO-128-USB).

Can I fix the motherboard or do I have to buy a new one? Could the processor, RAM memory, Hard Drive or any other devices have been ruined as well? I need to know what I need to buy.

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Let's go by the numbers, so to speak:

1) does the motherboard feed pilot LED comes on when you connect the PSU to a power socket?

If so, power still goes in the motherboard.

2) most modern motherboards have built in safeguards.

Your motherboard being ready for overclocking is even more likely to have it. Your PSU is still salvageable , the CPU and HDD most probably are too; if you have an SSD, the risk it may have got corrupted or even burn goes a bit higher. RAM is a bit of a hard thing to put a finger on. It may be the case the sockets went bust but the chips itself are functional; test it in another machine if you can.

3) your machine not booting may be caused by having the USB socket shorted.

I once had a case of a desktop that would not boot because of a mouse that shorted the USB where it was connected (although not with a as dramatic outcome as yours) and the solution for the problem was to simply replace the mouse. So, yes, your machine may appear dead because there is a safeguard in place preventing it to power up and fry the rest of the machine.

4) what else was living inside your machine? Graphics cards, video/TV or other type of expansion cards? Those are more vulnerable to short circuits than anything else.

5) replacing USB ports on a motherboard may prove challenging.

The backports require a bit of skill and ingenuity yo replace but it is doable. If you want to do it, you'll need to post here more pictures of the affected area; the soldering points may be in plain sight or be hidden and require more work to reach or may even be inaccessible without specialized tools.

P.S.: you can salvage parts from one machine to the next around 95% of times. Unless you have a catastrophic failure - epic power surge. like a lightning strike, or a fire starting from the PSU - some part will survive. You just have to have the patience to go through it and test everything.

P.S. 2: ASRock is an offshoot of ASUS, originally intended to supply the entry level budget consumer market. Now, it rivals its parent company and supplies the full range of consumer motherboards, from the entry level to the more high end motherboards, for enthusiasts and gamers. There's a lot of trash talk on the inter-webs about the brand but so there is about any other brand; don't allow yourself to be fooled by angry fan boys (oh, how much I wanted to use another expression regarding the fan boys...).

Don't consider your machine a total loss as it is now.


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Thank you for your insightful reply. Yes, I´m obviously angry at ASRock but only due to the fact that my computer is gone just because of a faulty mouse. Like I said before, my MacBook didn´t catch on fire when I plugged the same mouse. I guess ASRock it´s a reliable brand but it wasn´t for me in this case.

You said "3) your machine not booting may be caused by having the USB socket shorted.". How may I diagnose that? How do I disable (or "unshort") the USB that got burnt? Just to see if the MotherBoard will turn on or if I need to but a new one.

From there I´ll be able to test the other components.

Thank you so much!

You need to get rid of the USB block on the motherboard. Being as fried as it is, its the only way I can see to do it.

If you have the skills to do it or know someone who can help you with it, go for it. Don't think you have anything to lose there. But if you are forced to pay someone to do it, ask for a quotation first. Anything above 10% of the original value of the board is useless to invest.

Wow, the situation is difficult, but thanks to for the solution)

You could also try to remove all the fused material resting inside the USB socket with a piece of plastic and some patience, in the case all of the slag only came from the mouse plug. In the pictures you posted there's a running going over the pins to the base of the socket and that may be grounding the circuit and causing it to short.

If you try this, do it at your own risk and responsibility!

There is no way to make a sure diagnose of the origin of all that running without actually looking at it.


That's crazy! It certainly sounds like the mouse has a high voltage short to the data line, and the ASRock board didn't have any built-in protection.

Here's a relevant discussion from an EE forum:

It is possible, particularly if the device is self-powered. Attempting to draw too much current or even a dead short will not hurt a proper USB host port. However, accidentally applying high voltage to either of the data lines could be bad. At least that could blow out the drivers for that port, but it's no stretch to imagine it could take out the whole hub chip.

Send that killer mouse to the recycler and post some photos of your board here.


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Here's how to add images to an existing question: 在已经存在的问题里加入图片

Below are pictures of the motherboard and the mouse's USB plug. You can tell what pin got burned,

it's completely gone. Both at the motherboard USB port and the mouse's USB plug. The mouse's USB plug has kind of like an aluminum foil at the bottom but it's not that, it's the metal pin that got burnt and stuck in there.

The motherboard is a ASRock N68-VS3-UCC.

The mouse is a Sentey (model No. EMO-128-USB).

Both brands are obviously garbage and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. The mouse is so cheap and simple yet it stopped working. Not only that but it also caused the motherboard to burn up. The motherboard is also garbage because it had no protection. How come that my MacBook didn't catch on fire because of a faulty mouse? I guess you get what you pay for.


I added some pictures to the original question. Let me know if you can't see them. Thank you

Is that foil inside the mouse's USB port? That sure looks suspicious. (The MacBook has overvoltage protection built in that the ASRock does not.)

@kyle looks like foil but my bet is that it's melted metal.




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