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External HDD won't work


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#1
CFC Lucy

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I am no techie but was quite pleased with myself when I dismantled an old laptop, put the drive in an enclosure and it all worked fine.

I have 3 computers at work, all XP. A desktop and a laptop and a really old Compaq that I use twice per annum for running Alpha 4 stuff (I am a Luddite!).

Today was the first time I have tried to use the External HDD on the old Compaq. I plugged it in and it said something about not haveing a fast USB. I clicked ok and off it whirred. When I now try to transfer the data from the drive to either my desktop or laptop, the drive won't work. It still works on the old Compaq though.

Anybody know what I sholud do to try and resolve this please?
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#2
Vaillant

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Hmm this one's odd.. I have an external drive myself, 3.5" one though...

Umm well i've used it at 1 computer with slower USB, but my drive still worked...

Did you set the drive as Master? Cause if you didnt, the Compaq may have taken it in as a Slave, and done something to it...
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#3
computerwiz12890

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Hello CFC Lucy and welcome to Geeks to Go.

If your laptop is old enough, it could be using a different type of File System. This may have confused your newer computers when you tried to connect your External Hard Drive to them.

To find out if this is the case, do the following for all your computers:

Open My Computer, Right-click on your hard drive and select Properties. Somewhere in the window that pops up, you should see something like "File System: NTFS" or "File System: FAT32" Let me know what it says for each computer.

@Vaillant: I've never seen or heard of an external hard drive that has a master/slave setting. They are recognized differently from internal hard drives. They are considered mass storage devices, rather than actual hard drives.

Edited by computerwiz12890, 29 November 2005 - 10:19 AM.

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#4
CFC Lucy

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Hello CFC Lucy and welcome to Geeks to Go.

If your laptop is old enough, it could be using a different type of File System. This may have confused your newer computers when you tried to connect your External Hard Drive to them.

To find out if this is the case, do the following for all your computers:

Open My Computer, Right-click on your hard drive and select Properties. Somewhere in the window that pops up, you should see something like "File System: NTFS" or "File System: FAT32" Let me know what it says for each computer.

@Vaillant: I've never seen or heard of an external hard drive that has a master/slave setting. They are recognized differently from internal hard drives. They are considered mass storage devices, rather than actual hard drives.


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#5
CFC Lucy

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Hi there, hopefully my hero.

My Desktop has 2 drives, C: Fat32, F:NTFS

My Laptop (This is a Dell Latitude D600 is quite new) C:NTFS

The External HDD worked fine on the above two.

The trouble started when I used it on an old Compaq C:NTFS

All on XP

:tazz:
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#6
computerwiz12890

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@Vaillant: My apollogies. I've been searching and I've learned a few things about USB HDDs, including how they are set for master/slave/CS.

@CFC Lucy: The File System is not the problem. I found a cool program, which can give me more information about your computer. I will try it out and make some instructions for you. Until then, try the following:

1. Plug your External Hard Drive into the power outlet. Turn it on before you plug it into the computer. When both the computer and the hard drive are turned on, plug up the External Hard Drive into the computer. If it is not recognized, Right-click on My Computer, click on Properties. Go to the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager. If you see any Exlamation Points or X's next to anything, please include the name(s) of the item(s) that are marked in your reply to me.

2. Plug your External Hard Drive into the power outlet. Turn it on before you plug it into the computer. When both the computer and the hard drive are turned on, plug up the External Hard Drive into the computer. Note the exact time in which you plug it in. If it is not recognized, click on Start, Run, type eventvwr in the text box and then press Enter. Click on Application and see if there are any exlamation marks or red X's at the time when you plugged the Hard Drive in. If there is an exlamaton mark or X, double-click on that entry and copy the description of the error. Do the same thing for the System section and post any results in your reply to me.

BTW: How old is your External Hard Drive? What is the model and size of the Hard Drive?
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#7
CFC Lucy

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Hi wiz.

Am I having a blonde moment? My HDD enclosure hasn't got a power supply!

What I didn't say was after it I first used it on the old Compaq (Slow USB) and then try(ied) to use it on either my laptop or desktop, the red light stayed(s) on and it clicked(s) away like a demented chicken, sounds pretty serious. But plug it back in the old Compaq, and it works fine!

Does this throw any more light on the subject? Basically it worked fine on the newer machines until it was plugged into the Compaq.

Edited by CFC Lucy, 29 November 2005 - 03:29 PM.

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#8
computerwiz12890

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No it's not a blond moment :tazz:. It's one of those External Hard Drives that are powered by the computer, which is not very good. Is it a brand new hard drive? If so, the best idea may be to return it. I've read that those that don't use their own power have problems.

If it is an old hard drive, we can troubleshoot some more, but I don't like "demented chicken" sound you're describing. :)

BTW: What is the brand name of your external hard drive?

Edited by computerwiz12890, 29 November 2005 - 08:19 PM.

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#9
CFC Lucy

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No it's not a blond moment :tazz:. It's one of those External Hard Drives that are powered by the computer, which is not very good. Is it a brand new hard drive? If so, the best idea may be to return it. I've read that those that don't use their own power have problems.

If it is an old hard drive, we can troubleshoot some more, but I don't like "demented chicken" sound you're describing. :)

BTW: What is the brand name of your external hard drive?


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#10
CFC Lucy

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Morning Wiz.

We seem to have got some wires crossed, probably me not explaining things clearly.

I'll try again: I took the drive out of an old laptop and stuck it in an enclosure. I have been using the drive on both my desktop and laptop successfully for a couple of months. I also have an old Compaq which I use a couple of times a year to run an application in Alpha 4 (DOS program DBase lookalike).

I attached the drive to the old Compaq and a message came up saying something like 'No fast USB connection available, performance will be slow' or words to that effect. I clicked ok and it did its job. The Compaq successfully copied files to the external drive. When I try to transfer the data to either my new desktop or laptop, the drive will no longer work and clicks like a nutter and is not recognised. However, attach it back on the old Compaq, and it works fine. All have XP os.

In brief, it worked on the 2 newer machines, now only works on the old Compaq. Does this help?
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#11
computerwiz12890

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Ah, now I understand completely. Let's get started.

The first thing to note when trying to fix a USB hard drive is whether it was pre-assembled or if you/a friend assembled it. Pre-assembled drives are generally less troublesome. If they do not work, these are the reasons, generally:

- A defective or damaged drive/cable.
- A problematic PC or Windows installation.
- A PC that doesn't meet the minimum system requirements of the drive
- Check BIOS support and update, check Windows version.
- Windows hasn't assigned a letter to the drive.
- The drive doesn't get sufficient power
- all drives should have an AC power supply. Power supplements from the PC or laptop are rarely sufficient.

When discussing home-built drives, we must add a problem or two to the above list:

- The drive used was not jumpered properly.
- Pins were bent during the assembly the drive.
- The drive was not formatted from the factory and requires partitioning and formatting.


Possible solutions to your problem
In Windows 2000 and XP, there is a utility called Disk Management (DISKMGMT.MSC). It's in Administrative Tools > Computer Management. The drive should appear there. If it does, try assigning it a letter. If that doesn't help, try marking the partition as active. Both actions can be done by clicking on your drive and clicking on Action in the menu at the top. If your drive doesn't appear there, the following could be your problem:

Insufficient power. Most 3.5" drives come with AC adapters and these are rarely a problem. Unfortunately, 2.5" notebook-sized USB drives usually lack an AC adapter and are a huge problem. We have yet to see a USB disk drive that gets it's power from PC or laptop and works with any consistency. Always seek a product which has it's own power source. If feel that this is not your case, maybe the next situation is your case:

The third most common issue is mis-jumpering the assembled drive. Western Digital and IBM/Hitachi have specific jumper settings for situations where the drive is not paired with a slave drive. Try changing the jumper settings to Cable Select (CS) if it is not that way already.

If none of these work, you can try a windows repair on the 2 computers that don't work. If you need help with doing that, let me know. We're gonna go through the list of most common causes of this kind of problem and I'll mark them off as we check them out.

Edited by computerwiz12890, 30 November 2005 - 12:37 PM.

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#12
CFC Lucy

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WIZ,

Sussed it, and what a fool I feel.

It was all about power. It works if I use different USB ports. I was using the USB ports on the keyboard, drive doesn't work. If I use a USB port on the cabinet, no probs. What a waste of everybody's time - Sorry folks!
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#13
dsenette

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this is why the drives that are powerd by the usb port cause issues....HD's have a habit of using random ammounts of electricity at random times....therefore the usb ports....can sometimes just not be enough to keep them going reliably
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