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Windows 7: USB Port & External Hard Drive Issue

17 Sep 2016   #1
Janesdf

Windows 7
 
 
USB Port & External Hard Drive Issue

In addition to regularly backing up my Win 7 Home Premium PC on a USB, I also copy all of the important files from my PC to an external hard drive, which I removed from a non-working laptop about a year or so ago. Until yesterday, no problem plugging the external hard drive into my pc USB port and copying, however, yesterday there was the message "USB Device not recognized". I plugged the external hard drive into a different USB port and it worked fine. However, when I use the USB port that the hard drive did not work in, that port does work with my other devides (camera, mouse, headset). So, is there a problem with the USB port, though it works with other devices, or the external drive which works in a different port. And, should I be concerned that there might be additional problems in the near future with the external hard drive?

Thank you in advance for your help. Jane


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Sep 2016   #2
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Has a Restart solved the problem? Over here, I run into a very similar situation with my usb stuff! Often, a Restart [after saving current projects] fixes it up. Sometimes, during the year, only a shutdown-coldboot/startup fixes the problem. Please let me know a Restart was enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2016   #3
DZo35rh24

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hope you don't mind my posting this general comment here. Sorry I don't have a solution. I just wanted to note that I've found external USB hard drives to be the most finicky part of my entire computing experience for decades. More so even than printers, which is saying a lot. On every computer I used, every OS I used, with every hard drive I've used and every external adapter I used, external hard drives have been a pain. Can't get them to mount, can't get them to stay mounted (they dismount in the middle of an operation sometimes) and can't get any kind of consistent behavior. I'm terrified of data loss every time I use one. It's like the peripheral from hell. In specific I'm talking about plain HDDs that don't come in an enclosure specifically for external use. Not sure how well the ones specifically designed for external use work because I have not used them much. The only thing I can guess is that there are some differences between the specs in the adapters and the specs of the drives that don't always quite line up and that's what causes the problems. It's SO FRUSTRATING!
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17 Sep 2016   #4
Janesdf

Windows 7
 
 

Unfortunately, a Restart did not work. I've tried it a few times as this problem started a day or two ago. The external drive is currently working in a different usb port. But, since that port works fine with other devices, I don't know if there will be a similar issue with the current usb port.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
Has a Restart solved the problem? Over here, I run into a very similar situation with my usb stuff! Often, a Restart [after saving current projects] fixes it up. Sometimes, during the year, only a shutdown-coldboot/startup fixes the problem. Please let me know a Restart was enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2016   #5
Janesdf

Windows 7
 
 

I don't mind at all. I'm glad you commented. The external hard drive that has the error code is hard drive I removed from a laptop that died after two years and since the hard drive has 500gb, I did not want to get rid of it, and it was suggested that I buy a case for it, which I did when I removed it from the laptop. As I mentioned above, I do a full backup using a usb drive, copy important files to the external hd, and now copy important files to a second usb drive. Then I unplug them from my desktop after copying and backing up, then store them in a protective case. If one fails, I have the other two. So far, I've had no problems with usb drives, and this is the first time I've had a problem with a hard drive from a desktop or laptop.

Thanks for responding. It is very much appreciated as I was not aware of the issues you mentioned with usb drives.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DZo35rh24 View Post
Hope you don't mind my posting this general comment here. Sorry I don't have a solution. I just wanted to note that I've found external USB hard drives to be the most finicky part of my entire computing experience for decades. More so even than printers, which is saying a lot. On every computer I used, every OS I used, with every hard drive I've used and every external adapter I used, external hard drives have been a pain. Can't get them to mount, can't get them to stay mounted (they dismount in the middle of an operation sometimes) and can't get any kind of consistent behavior. I'm terrified of data loss every time I use one. It's like the peripheral from hell. In specific I'm talking about plain HDDs that don't come in an enclosure specifically for external use. Not sure how well the ones specifically designed for external use work because I have not used them much. The only thing I can guess is that there are some differences between the specs in the adapters and the specs of the drives that don't always quite line up and that's what causes the problems. It's SO FRUSTRATING!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2016   #6
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Have you eliminated the cabling and/or housing interface being at fault? Sometimes cables fail, sometimes the housing interface fails.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2016   #7
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

To add on to what is mentioned by RolandJS

If you are using 2.5" external box without external power adapter supply.
Do find a 3 point cable, that is, the USB connect to device, another direction into the USB, Plus 1 point to USB for power.
In other words, this external devices need the power from the computer, beside the data.

One end to the external box, as shown, and the other to 2 USB ports.
The center point is for data USB, whereas the other point (short) is for additional power required.

Refer to the picture.

Edit: NOTE: This cable come with the external casing.


Attached Thumbnails
USB Port & External Hard Drive Issue-usb_cable_power.jpg  
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18 Sep 2016   #8
Janesdf

Windows 7
 
 

The cable shown in your photo is the type I have. It came with my NexStar TX 2.5" SATA Hard Drive Enclosure. When my laptop failed, another member suggested I purchase the enclosure so I could use the hard drive externally.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2016   #9
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

So this means ruled out USB cable.

As you mentioned
Quote:
message "USB Device not recognized"
This also happen to my laptop and only on 1 specific USB port.
In the end, that flash drive was damaged by that specific USB port, and force to do chkdsk, it then resolved and accessible.
Until now, i am unable to find out why, but ignore it.

I suggestion you quickly make a backup copy of those files inside the HDD.
Especially the HDD was from a failed laptop.
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