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External Hard Drives and XP

I'm trying to have an external backup drive for my PC...have alot important stuff that needs to be backed up.  I've gon through a Maxtor external USB driver and an Seagate external USB drive.  Both of them have problems in that they disappear from my computer after a couple reboots.  I have a brand new computer , Compaq Presario, with USB 2.0 ports.  I looked on Compaqs website for my computer and found no upgrades for the USB hardware-wise.  I looked on Seagate's website and they say that no drivers need to be installed because it's included in XP service pack.  I have auto updates turned on my computer so I get the latest updates from Microsoft.

Is there anyway around this?  Could I get a external hard drive that is not USB dependent?
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lcor
Asked:
lcor
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1 Solution
 
xrokCommented:
If you have Firewire connection, You can try it
But, I don't understand, why USB would n't work...it is pretty standard.

One thing, My Microsoft Optical Mouse (USB) does not work on all USB port for some reason.
Never bother with it, I just move to different port and works.
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rindiCommented:
run msconfig on the XP box and make sure no unnecessary programs or services are running. If you don't know which are unnecessary you can try different settings. If you still have problems, check your system for malware. Use http://hijackthis.de and download the utility, then run it and paste the results to that site so they can get analized and you can repair your system. Also make sure "System Restore" is turned off for those procedures, or changes could automatically get unchanged after a reboot.
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lcorAuthor Commented:
xrok,

I tried Firewire.  Same problem.
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xrokCommented:
Aw....

when you unplug and plug back in the usb drive, the PC respond?
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lcorAuthor Commented:
yep
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xrokCommented:
Hmmmm...

Thats very odd. Only thing may cause your problem that I can think of is...

1. BIOS Setup, check for USB Setting
2. Power management for USB Port and Drive
3.PC does not supply proper voltage to USB Port, when it boot up

Hope this will help

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Cyber-DudeCommented:
You need to update your USB drivers; it should fix the problem;

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=822603

If you already running SP2, try to run this setup again.

PS
I found a great web site with neat resouces may help you through...
http://www.usbman.com/USB%202%20News.htm

Good luck;

Cyber
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r-kCommented:
Reinstalling drivers as suggested above is what I'd suggest also, One way to do it easily is to remove all USB devices from Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager. Then reboot, and let XP detect and install the USB drivers automatically.

Also try a different USB cable if possible.
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kode99Commented:
If you want an alternative to USB you want to go with external SATA,  it is a lot faster and you will not have the problems with the communications to the drive.  These are external but to the system they will appear as a regular internal hard drive.  You likely have internal ports which you can get a piece for that will make them into external or get a SATA card that has external ports - depending on the onboard controller you may be better off with a card from Addonics.  That way they guarantee the hot swap works properly.

2.5" External SATA Enclosure
  http://www.addonics.com/products/external_hdd/aesexdsa.asp

3.5" External SATA Enclosures
  http://www.addonics.com/products/external_hdd/aeehdsa35.asp

There is pretty much any combination available from Addonics so if you need to use a IDE drive or a SATA drive or whatever they have the parts to do it.

If you do not need a massive amount of space I also highly recommend using the 2.5" size drives and enclosures.  They a designed for portable use and can take a bit more abuse than a desktop drive.  They are small enough to pocket and also produce far less heat.

As for fixing your existing problem I think that has already been covered.  On top of a different cable also try different ports.  I do usually find the removing all the existing USB drivers and freshly reinstalling will fix the problem.  Something else to try is plug the 'failed' drive into another machine to verify it is in fact working.
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rindiCommented:
Did you try the msconfig things I suggested further up?
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ccomleyCommented:
Wierdness.

I have external USB2 and Firewire disks.

One of the USB disks has been more or less permanently on my main XP workstaton for the last three months and is "shared" and used by three other PCs for storage.... never a moments problem.

So I suspect the PC, not the range of drives you've tried.

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lcorAuthor Commented:
ccomley,  

Yea,  I think it's the computer.....what you expect with a Compaq Presario?...should have a bought a Dell or something more substantial.
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lcorAuthor Commented:
rindi,

I'm going to try everyone's idea...

1. msconfig
2.  remove all usb drivers and reinstall
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craylordCommented:
Unplug the drives, restart

1. Click Start. Click Run. Type cmd and press OK.
2. Type "set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS=1" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
3. Type "set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" (without quotation marks) and Press Enter.
4. Type "start devmgmt.msc" (without quotation marks) and click press Enter.
5. Click View. Click Show hidden devices.
6. Click "+" to expand Disk Drives, Unknown devices and USB devices.
7. Are there any extra hard drives and unknown devices (including grayed out devices)? If so, please right click it and click Uninstall. DON'T uninstall your primary drive, it shouldn't be grayed out, but I just want to verbalize this point. :)

Restart and reconnect
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lcorAuthor Commented:
craylord,

I did what you said and under the hidden devices the Seagate hard drive shows up but it doesn't show up as the K driver in My Computer.

That's weird!!
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craylordCommented:
If it shows up, delete it from the device manager. restart
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lcorAuthor Commented:
I talked to Seagate this morning and the tech support says that the hard driver goes to sleep after awhile.  Tech support says that everytime I do a backup, I should just power off and power on the drive.  

Does this jive with anyone?  Has anyone heard of an external disk drive going to sleep?

I told Seagate tech support that that's ridiculous !  How are automatic backup supposed to be performed if the drive can't be accessed?

Anwyway, I'm thinking of getting rid of this clunker and going with something else.  Can someone recommend a Windows XP  compatible external hard drive that works okay with Compaq Presario AMD Internet computer?
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rindiCommented:
That's a USB setting, but you should be able to disable powermanagement on USB ports. In Device Manager select the USB ports and rightclick them, select properties and just look for powermanagement features, then turn them off.
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craylordCommented:
Here's my recommendation if you want to ditch the maxtor.

Go to compusa, they have a 120gb internal hd for $40 after rebates ($70). Heck get a few. So long as they're on different receipts and you can mail the rebate to a family or friends household. You could get yourself a cheap raid 5 :) ... hmm, I may be spending a little bit this week.
http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=293303&pfp=hpf2

Next order a hard drive enclosure.
http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_attrib.php?page_id=351&sortby=popular-&vendors%5B%5D=0&form_keyword=hard+drive+enclosures+3.5&lo_p=0&hi_p=0&x=47&y=12

Assemble and write a batch file to backup your stuff.
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