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Windows 7: Multiple External Hard Drives on Laptops

08 Apr 2010   #1
Vosberg1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
Multiple External Hard Drives on Laptops

OK, i got a good question. I have two Seagate Passport External Harddrives. I am trying to link both of them to my laptop. Now, i have a weird issue. When both are linked, in Device Manager it shows both as active, and functioning properly, but only one will show up. When i look at status, one will show as "online", the other will show up as "offline". The sizes on the drives are 320, and 500 gb respectivly. Both show up with the same name in device manager. I was wondering if anybody has any ideas on this issue. I am a little confused. Is it compat issues, not enough power, or is it because both have the same name? Can anyone shed some light on this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2010   #2
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

I assume you're referring to Western Digital Passport drives. Passport drives are smaller and don't have their own power supplies. Due to this, they require up to two usb ports in order to be functional.

In order to connect one of these usb powered drives to a laptop you'll either need a high powered usb port, or two usb ports. A normal external hard drive requires a usb port for data and an ac adapter for power.

Multiple External Hard Drives on Laptops-harddrives.png

In other words, you either need four usb ports, or enough power for the hard drives. You are lacking one or the other.

The best way to connect multiple usb powered drives at the same time is to purchase a powered usb hub. A powered USB hub will power the drives and allow them to connect to your pc. This Sabrent 7-PORT USB Hub w/ AC Adapter is what I use and it works perfectly.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #3
Vosberg1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

OK, that makes good sence, got one question, is there a splitter for the USB cables, where i could run the HD's off of the USB prots, the USB cord supplyed is single ended. And, thanks for the quick reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2010   #4
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

If the USB Cord is single ended then it's going to rely on being plugged into a high powered usb port. Most laptops can only sustain enough power to output one high powered port at a time so until you purchase a self powered usb hub, you may only be able to connect to one hard drive at a time. If you want a cable with two connections, you can purchase them. They are either called USB Dual Power Cable, USB mini B to AA Y Cable, mini B to Dual A or any combination of those options.

Here are a few examples:

LaCie (Short) @ B&H
Generic 3' @ Amazon.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #5
Vosberg1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thanks for the replys, that helps much. I was a little frustrated last night trying to set this up!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multiple External Hard Drives on Laptops




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