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USB drives won't mount

I have some 3.5 desktop  drives in USB 3.5" enclosures.  Recently I've started having a problem with them. Every so often the drives won't mount. I get an error with USB device in the Hardware Manager. If I remove the drive from the enclosure and put it on an IDE channel then its picked up ok. It also works fine when I put it back in the USB enclosure. But then after a while the drive refuses to mount again. I've not lost any data with this yet. But it only a matter of time. Since I use the USB drives as part of backup routine.

Any ideas? Generally I just turn the drives off when I turn the desktop or laptop off. Theres no other way to unmount it.
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Sparky191
Asked:
Sparky191
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1 Solution
 
Sparky191Author Commented:
The USB error is

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device.
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rindiCommented:
Have you made sure you have disabled any powersaving "features" for your USB devices in hardware manager? Also make sure the power connector of the Enclosure fits very well to the drive. If you can, also connect a powersupply directly to the USB enclosure (some come with external PSUs) or use a powered USB hub. The PCs often have problems supplying the USB outputs with enough power, particularly notebooks, but also desktops.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
All 3.5" enclosures use an external PSU. None of them are bus powered. Thats only for 2.5" drives.

What powersaving features do you mean?
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rindiCommented:
If you look in device manager at the USB section (probably USB root hub properties) and right click these devices and select properties, you may also have a Power management tab. This you can turn on or off (I'd turn it off). It may not be present in all configs, but have a look.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
I'll have a look.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
But I don't understand why, once I've mounted the drive on an internal IDE and then put it back in the enclosure, it works fine. Without changing these power settings.
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rindiCommented:
That could still be a problem, so turn those settings off. But mainly what I suspect is the power connector inside the casing. That would explain it working once you have mechanically removed, then replaced the disks. What I'd also try doing is to polish the metal connectors of the powercord, and also press the contacts more closely together, so they really fit tightly. The quality of these contacts is often low.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
Could be these enclosures weren't very expensive. I'm running chkdisk on one of the drives at the moment. To be honest I'm thinking of changing to 2.5" drives. Much less cable clutter. Should be more reliable too.
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rindiCommented:
That could help, yes. Something else which may matter, a standard 3,5" disk gets pretty hot and cooling might not be the best in such an enclosure. If a disk runs too hot it will probably shutdown and then it may be hard to get it to turn on again. A 2.5" drive normally runs slower than the the bigger ones and doesn't generate that much heat. Also, since those drives are meant for laptop use, they shouldn't use as much power, again meaning less heat.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
Why hard to trun back on? Can you be a bit more specific?
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rindiCommented:
Once the disk shut off because of a thermal issue, you would probably at least have to turn the system off, then back on, to get it running again (removing it from the PC may also help, but because the disk itself will just have "gone", the OS will think there's something wrong and not free up the USB port, so the OS will need to restart as well anyway.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
The problem is that the disk won't mount. Not that they dissappear. Once they are mounted I have not problems with them, even if they are running for 24/7.
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rindiCommented:
That's exactly what would happen if there is a power problem. Normally if you connect an IDE drive and forget the power connector, the BIOS can still "see" the drive, but it won't run (naturally), so it wouldn't actually disappear.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
Never noticed that. Must check it tonight.
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Sparky191Author Commented:
I found the problem. It was a faulty USB cable.
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rindiCommented:
thanx
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