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External drives disconnected at random

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This was posted earlier to the Win 10 forum (no replies). I now think it’s a hardware problem.

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:.

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 this happened, I disconnect-reconnect the power supply to the drive and the computer recognizes it again.

Several days ago, 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%.  After couple more tries, backup was finished.

Both drives are Seagate. N: is 4.5 years old, T is almost 3.

Three-four days ago, the N: drive was connected to an HP/Win 7 machine, to a random USB port. It stayed connected for three days, without being lost once. The T: drive was plugged into a USB port on the front face of Dell (it was in the back previously).

This morning, the N: drive was reconnected to the Dell machine, one of the rear USB ports. The T: drive was also plugged to one of the rear USB ports.

About two hours later N: disappeared from Win explorer view. The T: is still visible.

The question is What to analyze next, and how?

I remember checking USB drivers a couple weeks ago. According to windows, they were up to date.

Are there tools that allow me check functionality of the hardware components?

Are there known compatibility issues between an 5 y.o. drive and newer (1 y.o.)  hardware?



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Might be help or insight at the link below,



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I just started reading the article. Will follow all advice.

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