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Win 10 disconnects external drives at random

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Please help me understand what’s happening.

I recently bought a new machine - Dell with Win 10 Pro.

All data is stored on two external USB drives, which I will name here as N: and T:.

Each drive is backed nightly on two other external drives.

From day one, drive N: would disconnect (or would be disconnected?) from the system for no reason, at random times. It has never once happened while it was connected to the old machine, a Gateway with Vista.

When that happened, I would disconnect-reconnect the power supply to the drive and the computer would recognize it instantly. Today, however, “instantly” stretched into several minutes.

Yesterday, drive T: went into coma during a backup to a new drive, at about 65%. I killed the backup process, restarted the machine. The drive was not visible, I thought it died.  This morning it was plugged in, became visible, the backup resumed (!) but then stalled at 81%.  

Both drives are Seagate. N: is 4.5 years old, T is almost 3. I Know they will die one day, but so far suspect the OS.

Any ideas or explanation are greatly appreciated.


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