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I have a Mac Mini I usually use as a server, but sometimes I need to work on it. I prefer to use my keyboard and mouse on my primary computer, a laptop. These peripherals and others are attached to a USB hub, and I would like to be able to plug this hub into the Mac when I need to do something and then put it back. I can often do this (but not always) once, but inevitably there comes a time when Mac OS thinks there is a problem when I either unplug or reiplug in the hub.

Is there any way to stop this need to reboot? I don't have room for another keyboard nor do I want to get more equipment that I will almost never use.

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Are you seeing a dialog from OS X indicating that it needs to reboot? What does it say? – bneely Jan 31 '12 at 2:49

In support of this, next time it happens, make a note of the time you pull the plugs out, and then when you are rebooted, run the Console application, and check your logs for the same timescale. This should provide a handy clue.

Also, do you have any other devices on your USB hub that provide any more than just mouse/keyboard services? Any card readers, storage devices etc? These may need umounting properly before just pulling the plug and may be a part of it if you have them.

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Sounds like a kernel panic. Screen goes gray, with a box in the middle demanding to be shut down in a few languages? If so, you likely have a bad keyboard, mouse, or hub.

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