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External Hard disks not recognised...
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:31
Flemish to English
+ ...
Aug 20, 2008

A while ago I bought a Maxtor 4 HD. 500 gig. It was recognized by Vista and worked well.
A few months later, I bought a 750 gig Maxtor basic. When I connected it to the USB, Windows Vista Pro crashed and the PC rebooted. After waiting a long time (10 minutes) vista started and recognized the 750 gig and the 500 gig Maxtor 4. So, I put files on the 750 gig and the 500 gig simultaneously. Suddenly Vista crashed again, the PC rebooted, but this time did not recognize either of the external HDD. I went back to the store where I bought both. When they were connected to the PC, they functioned and nothing was lost.
Beginning of September, I intend to reinstall everything from scratch i.e. Vista and all other programs. Does anybody have any idea whether it is a WinVista error or did something else happened. My mother-board is a P5P800S (Ameritrends). Would reinstalling Vista solve the problem.


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:31
English to Finnish
+ ...
Suggestions out of a hat Aug 20, 2008

Williamson wrote:

A while ago I bought a Maxtor 4 HD. 500 gig. It was recognized by Vista and worked well.
A few months later, I bought a 750 gig Maxtor basic. When I connected it to the USB, Windows Vista Pro crashed and the PC rebooted. After waiting a long time (10 minutes) vista started and recognized the 750 gig and the 500 gig Maxtor 4. So, I put files on the 750 gig and the 500 gig simultaneously. Suddenly Vista crashed again, the PC rebooted, but this time did not recognize either of the external HDD. I went back to the store where I bought both. When they were connected to the PC, they functioned and nothing was lost.


I am definitely no USB expert, but here are two free associations that spring to my mind.

First, I have sometimes had USB-powered disk drives fail because of insufficient current. In such cases, the same disk may work perfectly on another computer. This issue is especially prone to occur when using passive USB hubs. It only applies to USB-powered drives. Some manufacturers work around this problem by shipping drives together with a second USB cable that can be connected to a separate power input, so that the drive receives power from two USB ports instead of one.

Another reason for persistent USB drive failure may have to do with static. I have cured such problems, even stubborn ones, simply by touching another exposed metal surface of the computer, e.g. a FireWire port, with the drive’s USB connector, or that of the USB cable, before plugging the drive into the USB port. This has worked surprisingly well, which I cannot really explain in technical terms. It was just a “try this” suggestion that I picked up somewhere on netnews or on the web.

[Edited at 2008-08-20 14:55]


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:31
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
disable 'autoplay' Aug 21, 2008

Try changing the default response of your computer. Disable 'autoplay' which may prompt your computer to cache the content of those huge external drives.

I noticed my own computer becoming unstable when I switched off the power of a large external drive before going on holiday and I intend to rebuild my computer's power supply soon because it has become very power-hungry with all the add-ons (several external hard drives without their own power supply, a camera, USB hub, microphone, second LCD-screen, etc.

You are wise to have 2 external drives, because there is nothing worse than insufficient backup when the computer hard drive or one external hard drive crashes.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:31
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Maxtor Status Icon Aug 21, 2008

The weird thing is that the Maxtor Status Icon highlights (turns green) and recognizes a non-existent HDD after 10 p.m.
I use one for files and intend to use the other for backup of my hard-disk when it is reformatted and everything reinstalled. I need those files on the invisible hdd.
Where do I disable autoplay: in the bios?


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NecdetB  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:31
German to Turkish
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Control Panel -> AutoPlay Aug 21, 2008

Williamson wrote:

Where do I disable autoplay: in the bios?


Hi Williamson,

Go to 'Control Panel', there you will see 'Autoplay'. Click on it and remove the tick in the box of 'Use AutoPlay for all media and devices'. Alternatively, you can get there following Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Change AutoPlay settings'.

If you ask me, this won't solve the problem but it is worth trying anyway.


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RieM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:31
English to Japanese
+ ...
Have you checked.... Aug 22, 2008

I assume you did, but anyway

http://seagate.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/seagate.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=4652

or

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=ext-ts-vista&vgnextoid=694d8b0e50e73110VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0aRCRD

The good news is that your HDDs are sill functioning, and so there might be a way to map the drives and make them available if you can see them in Control Panel > Device Manager. Detailed instructions are on these pages. Calling the tech support will probably take you to the same place.

I did a homework and went for WD external drive. So far so good, but it seems this type of "not recognized" problem is not uncommon with Maxtor (now Seagate) and maybe some others. Reinstalling the OS may fix the problem, but it may happen again. I'm a bit surprised that Seagate doesn't provide any updated drivers for these drives.


As for the motherboard, I don't think it is directly related to this issue. How old is your computer? They have a new bios version available -- you can google the chipset number and the company namd and download the software. If you do, (1) please back up your data just in case. (2) make a note of your current bios version so that you can roll back in case of unexpected issues.

Good luck!
Rie

(added later) The mysterious HDD icon probabaly indicates something is scheduled to run with the utility software that came with the HDD, but this is just my guess. Did you schedule a daily backup or a sync folder job? Or it may be just acting up for whatever reasons? I don't know... Uninstalling the utility software (assuming this is the culprit) will then make it go away! Good luck!

[Edited at 2008-08-22 04:48]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:31
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 22, 2008

The Pc is from 2005.
I still have some things to do. In September I intend to start with a clean slate, make a back of the necessary files before reformatting the hard-disk (also 500 gig) and reinstall windows + all other necessary files and sources of information. It will take three or four days, but after that I hope everything will be fine. At first both the internal 500 gig and the 750 gig + the 500 gig worked simultaneously. Windows recognized them and that was that. If I reinstall Windows, it guess theire is a chance that the clutter or any other program blocking the recognition of the hdd will be gone.
I have Windows Live One Care and WinPatrol...


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