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Windows 7: A few questions about USB cables and more

14 Jan 2015   #1
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 
A few questions about USB cables and more

1.I have just noticed that my external hard drive has been forced to have its connector be bent by its own carrying case for one whole year. I have never noticed that the pocket in the case was there for the cable so I have always thought the case was supposed to be used with the connector plugged in. Is it safe to continue using this connector or should I get a replacement from Western Digital, the manufacturer? The port on the drive itself is fine, it is the connector that is bent and it still works. The only problem is that I would have to have the cable be shipped internationally from the US, (for anyone wondering, I always use international shipping legally) as WD drives don't sell in Korea. Also one side question: Could any harm have been done to the drive so far because of the case restricting airflow? I am supposed to not use the case when I actually am using the drive on my computer, right? (Don't worry about the data, I have another copy of the data on this drive.)
IMPORTANT Edit: Question 1 is now basically void as it is not the connector that is bent, but the port is bent instead. More info in post #6.

2.Also, I have a USB to Micro-USB cable and the outer insulation for the part of the cable right besides the USB plug is starting to come off from pulling too hard and shows a peek into what I assume are the shielding wires. So far, it is less than a millimeter wide so I can only see a bit of wire. Is it safe to continue using this cable as it is only exposing a very tiny bit of the shielding wires or should I get a replacement?

3.This last question is pretty simple. Do external hard drives and flash drives show SMART alerts like internal drives do?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jan 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

A simple rule of the thumb.

***If a cable in any fashion shows a problem; replace it.***

Can you show us exactly what case you have your hard drive in?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #3
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

I have the following: https://www.caselogic.com/en/interna..._-_101_-_black Also, I am trying to avoid unless necessary having to buy a new cable as international shipping is so expensive and I don't trust third party cables which can be lower quality.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jan 2015   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

It's a carrying case. I would never recommend using a hard drive while in the case.
You should always unplug the cables when they are not in use.

I have no control where you can or can not buy cables.

A damaged cable is a damaged cable.
Any more information on my part world be nothing but a guess. I understand your concern about different brand cables and the possibility of low quality.

You have 3 choices.

1. Don't replace the cables
2. Buy replacement locally
3. Buy the replacement using international shipping.

I can't make the choice for you.

If it was my choice in your position I would try to buy locally. My understanding is that in South Korea their are good manufactures of quality computing hardware. It would be nice if you could find a South Korean made cable.

A Chinese made cable sold in South Korea shouldn't be any worse that a Chinese made cable sold in the U.S.A.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #5
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
It's a carrying case. I would never recommend using a hard drive while in the case.
You should always unplug the cables when they are not in use.

I have no control where you can or can not buy cables.

A damaged cable is a damaged cable.
Any more information on my part world be nothing but a guess. I understand your concern about different brand cables and the possibility of low quality.

You have 3 choices.

1. Don't replace the cables
2. Buy replacement locally
3. Buy the replacement using international shipping.

I can't make the choice for you.

If it was my choice in your position I would try to buy locally. My understanding is that in South Korea their are good manufactures of quality computing hardware. It would be nice if you could find a South Korean made cable.

A Chinese made cable sold in South Korea shouldn't be any worse that a Chinese made cable sold in the U.S.A.
If only they still had Korean (not North of course) made cables though. If I ever have any problems, I will get a replacement cable. The cable is working fine and in the past I have had bent plugs on other cables correctly work until the device it is used for becomes obsolete. I have a backup of the drive anyway.

Also, the answer for the cable counts for the Micro USB cable too, right?

Is the reason why the case should not be used when connected to the computer because of ventilation?
(One note, the info for the replacement cable in the WD Store lists my model number as a WD My Passport Essential, even though it is really a original My Passport)

Also, can someone please answer my third question?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #6
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Oh no. Forget everything I said about the external drive cable. Now I just noticed it actually is the center plastic part in the port of the external drive cable bending, not the cable itself. Well, this has become a completely different problem. Warranty would probably not even count for this as this is damage done by my mistakes. Well, should I just calm down and hope that it won't ever break off as it is bent only by less than a 1 degree angle?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I can't see what you are seeing.
Never have your drive in a inclosed case without air circulation of any kind when in use.
Yes the drive when being used need to be able to cool. Air circulation is necessary.
Hard drives don't produce a lot of heat but it must have a way to dissipate the heat it does produce.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #8
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I can't see what you are seeing.
Never have your drive in a inclosed case without air circulation of any kind when in use.
Yes the drive when being used need to be able to cool. Air circulation is necessary.
Hard drives don't produce a lot of heat but it must have a way to dissipate the heat it does produce.
Well, thankfully, I always did open it up enough so that air can get in when using it.

But now I get what you are saying so I will just use the case for storage purposes and take out the external drive from the case when actually using it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #9
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

If I followed this correctly...

You have an external drive that you have transported in a carrying case.
You did not remove the USB cable when you put it in the case and the connector on the drive is bent at about 1 degree.

You also have another micro USB cable that has the outer insulation slightly torn and the shielding is exposed a little bit.

All pieces of equipment work.

Some things to think about:
You can always put the drive in a new enclosure.
To defray shipping costs find everything you need to replace and make it one order.
I think LayBack Bear gave wise advice. If the cable or connectors are damaged they should be replaced. He also said that he can't see the equipment nor can he decide for you.

I agree with what he said, but I'll tell you what I told my daughter in the Philippines (no local replacement parts and same $$$$ shipping concerns).
1) Backup your data (you have a backup so skip this)
2) See if costs are lower from Australia
3) Run the drive only when absolutely necessary on one USB connector (2nd one for power was chewed up by cat)
4) Replace the cable as soon as possible (she visits every the US year and friends visit her from all around the world)

The end of the story is that she just replaced the drive - the cable (forked power and data) cost nearly as much.
The really sad part of the story is that I purchased a Pay-as-you-go cell phone for about $15 USD and it had the exact cable needed - same rating and all. It was too late for her drive though, she wiped it and donated it.

The moral of the story is - USB cables are, for the most part, universal. If you have another cable, check the ratings and if they are equal then use that when you need to travel. You might get lucky like I did and find an unrelated piece of equipment that has a cable you can use for less money than a new cable + shipping. The catch is the cable ratings.

The micro USB cable doesn't sound too bad and electrical tape might extend it's usefulness. I really can't tell from here. If it's been pulled by the cable and not the head, then there might be damage in the head.

Some external drives report SMART, it really depends on the enclosure. The drive inside is a drive, but the SMART data has to get through the enclosure connector.

Best of luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #10
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

(This paragraph is about the Micro USB cable for my tablet) Well the way the insulation got kind of torn is because I accidentally pulled on my tablet while I was charging and somehow I was unlucky that the insulation on the cable connected to the head, not the connector, came off a tiny bit that if I bend the cable in one direction, what I assume are the shielding wires are seen. I may be able to post a picture later this week when I have the time to try and get a good picture.

(This part is about the external drive)Also, by the way, it is the plastic part in the center of the port that is bent, not the connector now that I looked more carefully. The port is a Micro-USB 3.0, you know, the one on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has an extra part next to the normal Micro-USB part for USB 3.0 speeds. Maybe if I am gentle with the connector, it won't bend more as it is still not even 1 degrees bent, it is barely visible unless I see it from an lower angle. It definitely is bent though as the connector on the cable is not bent, but when the connector is plugged in, it does bend in an angle, but the port is barely bent.
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 A few questions about USB cables and more




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