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External USB drive not accessible on Win2k machine

Posted on 2006-07-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I got a message on screen that I was running short of virtual memory and Windows was going to increase this.  I thought it best to reboot the machine.  I then found that my LaCie external USB drive was no longer accessible but shows on Device Manager as <unknown device>.  IIRC I didn't install a driver for the drive originally as it showed up automatically.

What should I do to fix this?
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Question by:ampassy
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rickhobbs earned 500 total points
ID: 17163470
Start by checking to see if any of the USB devices have bcome disabled in device manager.  Also, try plugging it into a different port and see if it rediscovers the device.

What OS and service pack are you running?
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by:ampassy
ID: 17163692
Win2k SP4
The USB drive was plugged into 1 of 2 ports on the front of the machine. Following your suggestion I plugged it into the other port, there was a pop and the m/c switched off with a slight smell of burning.  (On closer examination it seems the second port is damaged).

I swapped the power supply for a spare, connected the USB drive to a port on the back of the machine and found when I switched on the m/c ran and recognised the USB drive.

I wish all problems were fixed as straightforwardly.

Can you suggest at all what happened, though?  I had actually had a second drive connected to the port on the back and it wasn't seen after the reboot I mentioned originally, but it shows now too.
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Expert Comment

by:rickhobbs
ID: 17163933
More than likely one of the USB devices did not load correctly on startup, disabling the USB.  Upon restarting again, it did start correctly. Check your event logs to see if there are any events that would explain further.
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