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USB Interface to Internal HDD Does Not Work in Win XP


1 Dell Latitude D505 Laptop in a D/Port Port Replicator running XP Pro SP2
1 Seagate 40GB 3.5" HDD
1 External IDE/USB Interface (AC powered)

I have read many similar problems, but many of the solutions don't fit my situation.  Given the above, I get a "The device cannot start (Code 10)" error in Device Manager.  The same interface works fine with a DVD-R drive, and a Win2K box picks up the HDD.  I do have mapped network drives - and I literally cannot function without them.  Imaging the drive is not an option either.  If you need any more info, ask.
1 Solution
Did you use the exact same interface and drive on the Win2K box, and it works?  If so, you may have a power draw problem, since the DVD drive works fine.  A powered USB hub may be the solution for you in this case.
WarriorPoet42Author Commented:
Yes, I used the same interface (it is an external drive enclosure).  And it shouldn't be a power draw problem, since the enclosure has its own AC power.
No, you can have this same problem with powered USB devices - the problem is an unstable signal on the USB line, and a powered USB hub can buffer this.  This is different from the situation where the device gets power from the USB line.
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WarriorPoet42Author Commented:
OK.  If the is the solution, I'll be a little unhappy since I'm not really in a position to purchase one (this is a g'ment setup).  But if it worked on a Win2K box of the /exact/ same model, I would think that the signal was not the problem, right?  All other things being equal, it works in Win2K and not in WinXP.

Of course, my being unhappy with the solution does not wrong make it.  Hopefully we can find another, though.

BTW, someone suggested a similar problem for them was fixed by removing the USB 2.0 host.  The reasoning was that XP will revert to 1.1, and it is the stability of the drivers in question.  However, doing this prevented me from using my keyboard/mouse.  Luckily for me, it IS a laptop, so I just pulled it out of the docking station and reisntalled the host.
> All other things being equal, it works in Win2K and not in WinXP.

No, you are assuming that the hardware is behaving the same on both machines, and this is not a given.  If you had a dual boot OS on the laptop and was able to use it successfully in Win2K but not in WinXP, I would say it was an OS or driver problem, but there is variation in the desktop versus the laptop.  A powered USB hub doesn't cost that much, I use one of these:

Xterasys USB hub $16.30
WarriorPoet42Author Commented:
When I say 'box' I don't really mean a desktop, I just mean a computer - sorry.

When I said "All other things being equal", I was quite serious - two of the EXACT same systems, with the EXACT same hardware.  The only difference is the OS.  We have  hundreds of these machines.  Some of them were imaged with XP, some with 2K, as they arrived while we were in a transitional period.

I could take it down the hall and plug it in to a coworkers computer, and it would work fine.  However, my goal is not just to get at the data on the hard drive.  On my computer, it does not work, and it /should/.  I don't know why it doesn't, and that is something I cannot stand.  Hence, here we are.

So what I am really asking is:  

Is there any qualitative difference in the mass storage drivers that XP uses vs 2K.
If so, are not functioning HDDs a common result.
If so, is there a work around.
Even with identical hardware, you still might have variation between two machines, though in theory you shouldn't.  The USB port in one may be slightly malfunctioning and giving you problems.  With two identical cars, you can have differences in behavior due to parts which don't work exactly the same.  Why not borrow a powered USB hub and see if it makes a difference?  This has been one of the ways USB problems can be resolved.

There is no real difference between Win2K and WinXP USB drivers - most of the time, the same driver can be installed on both, from the motherboard manufacturer.
WarriorPoet42Author Commented:
If I worked with other technical users, I could borrow one.  However, my users would give me the kind of blank looks that have driven men insane. ;)

And I could buy one out of pocket, but I'm not inclined to spend money for my employer.  And despite its low cost, they are not inclined to purchase anything that would help me.

Finally, I should note that I have recently tested the drive on 6 boxes in the department - 3 2K and 3 XP.  Worked on all 2K, failed to work with the same error message on all XP.  So.

If that's where we are at, then I will close the question, and award you the points for your time.  If you can think of anything else - let me know.  (And AFAIK, the drivers are based on the USB chipset, which is Intel.)
wlennonVP of Domestic & Int'l OperationsCommented:
If you haven't already, you need to upgrade the XP to XPSP1  (Servive Pack 1) this may very well solve the problem...it worked on my wifes Dell Notebook.  No problems on my VAIO Notebook either as it came with XP Pro SP1.

Also have been using XP SP2 for quite a while now without any problems.

> Finally, I should note that I have recently tested the drive on 6 boxes
> in the department - 3 2K and 3 XP.  Worked on all 2K, failed to work
> with the same error message on all XP.  So.

That is important information, and it seems to rule out the laptop hardware as the source of the problem.  However, the hard drive enclosure has not been ruled out, and you have already confirmed that the WinXP driver works with a DVD-R drive.  Without spare parts or a budget to purchase more equipment, you're stuck - I think the enclosure may be the cause, but you would have to try another enclosure to be sure.
"If so, are not functioning HDDs a common result."

Just wanted to throw in a couple of cents here.  I have a Western Digital 80Gb hard drive (only a couple years old).  It runs just fine on XP SP1.  As soon as XP SP2 is installed, I got BSODs - no safe mode, no nothing.  I replaced this with a 20Gb drive of unknown age and mfr, and XP SP2 runs fine.  The WD drive works fine as a non-boot, non-system slave.

Sure, this is anecdotal, but I believe that some hard drives on some controllers simply will not work with XP SP2.
WarriorPoet42Author Commented:

I agree.  I and all my users are running XP SP2.


True, however, see above.


I tend to disagree, having seen the same problem (just no good solutions) elsewhere, and it seems to be an XP issue.  However, I don't think we are going to get anywhere else on this, so you get the points for your quick and numerous responses.  If anyone solves it, I'll see that they get 500 as well.
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