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WD Hard Drive not Detected on Server 2003 computer

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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I plugged a WD 320 GB passport hard drive into a Server 2003 SP1 computer and the "New Hardware" window didn't appear until over 5 minutes.  Then when it did finally appear I selected "Search the internet (this time only) for a driver".  A driver wasn't found, and I didn't find one on the manufacturer's web site even if I wanted to point to a driver manually.  *** I plugged this same hard drive into a different Server 2003 SP1 computer and it worked fine. *** The other computer detected it right away and the "New Hardware" wizard didn't even appear.  I just plugged it in and it worked great.  *** I also plugged a USA flash drive into the same USB port on the defective computer and it detected it with no problem. ***   How can I get the WD drive to work with the defective computer?  Is there another hard drive that would work better?
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Commented:
Can you please provide some system specifications? What environment is the system in? Is it a personal machine or a company owned/managed machine? I think this would help. A few things that might also be helpful just grabbing are:

How old is the machine? Some older computers will not support drives of this size, or if they only have USB1.1 the drive may not work at all. I have also seen before where a USB hard drive and USB wireless NIC would not work on a computer. It simply took too long to respond and it seemed as if the machine was locked up. Adding RAM remedied this particular machine. Some antivirus/Internet Security packages disable support for some USB storage devices. Check your Add/Remove Programs list to see if you see any applications such as these. One that's used quite regularly by companies now is Symantec Protection Agent. You may even require a password to remove it.

Commented:
ATTENTION: I am going to recreate this Experts Exchange account with the name Justin_Chandler instead of my nickname "chemao". I will post again on this and you can apply points to that account, please. Thanks!
I'm here, please credit this account if you found my information helpful. Thanks!

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I never heard of using a USB hard drive with Windows 2003 Server. Is there a reason why you need to use a USB drive rather than an internal SATA or SCSI drive?

I agree with Justin_Chandler's remarks. Can you give us more information about the server that will not detect the WD USB Passport drive?

HTH,

Eric
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Commented:
i would test on different  usb ports
you can also remove all USB entries from device manager >USB section
>>   I also plugged a USA flash drive    <<  i hope you mean USB...

Author

Commented:
We have 3 SCSI drives inside the Dell PowerEdge 1600SC server which is used in a business environment.  We want to use the USB drive to backup all 3 internal drives onto one external drive once a week.  The server is 6 years old.  It only has two USB ports in the back of the computer.  Is there a way to check if the ports are USB 1.1 or USB 2.0?  Maybe that's the difference between the server that the drive works with and the server that it doesn't work with.  And yes, I did mean "USB" drive.
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>>  Is there a way to check if the ports are USB 1.1 or USB 2.0?   <<   yes in device manager >usb section, look for the word "enhanced"  this is USB 2; if not present, = USB1

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Commented:
I added a PCI card to add 5 USB ports to the computer and it detects the hard drive now when I plug the hard drive into one of the 5 ports on the card.  However, the hard drive is working *very* slow.  It takes 10 minutes just to copy 100 MB.  Any ideas on how to speed this up?
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Commented:
well  - i needed more than 20 minutes to copy 380 MB..
it depends on how much files there are
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Commented:
and is it usb 2 now ? i suppose so
also - some older bios  start in usb 1 mode, so check if there is a dsetting for it as well

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Commented:
There are a lot of small files.  I'll compare how long it takes to copy one large file on a different external hard drive attached to a different computer with how long it takes to copy the same file with the new setup.
Just my two cents. In the past, I've noticed that, many times, USB transfer rates, even over USB 2, are quite slow.

What is the make and model of the USB PCI card that you added? Does the maker provide updated drivers specifically for Windows 2003 Server?

Author

Commented:
It's a WD passport drive, and WD won't even support it with Server 2003 even though it works.  A support person told me that it was never test with that operating system.  Thanks for the comment

Author

Commented:
I installed a 5 port USB card in a PCI slot and the drive is detected and works.  It works slow, but found out that this is normal by making comparisons with another computer and external hard drive.  Few large files copy much faster than many small files.  Thank you everyone for the input.
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Commented:
yep - usb is not nearly as fast as advertised
USB 2.0 can hit close to 500Mbps, which is not quite half the maximum transfer rate of UDMA5 or SATA150 (SATA-I); This is, however in burst mode, which lasts for a brief moment only. Typically you'll see transfer rates closer to 300Mbps, which is only about one fourth the capabilities of the drive. This means that a file tranfer will take [at best] approximately 4 times the transfer time as an internal copy. ALSO, the USB bus is shared with other components so if you're doing other tasks at the same time, your rates may be a bit lower. Basically, with anything external, YMMV.

Justin Chandler
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Commented:
i do not agree with the above; i see (with files of around 1-2 Mb size) only 1/10th of the max speed , which is 480 Mb/sec  = 60MBYTE/sec MAX
FYI 60MB/sec MAX is rarely attainable. You should be seeing only around 250-300Mbps MAX.

So you are only able to copy 6MB per second? That's definitely a problem because you should definitely be seeing 25-30 MB/sec transfer rates (with writing slower than reading). Have you installed the chipset drivers for your system by chance? I have seen on several occasions where performance was improved by doing so. Usually I paid attention to video performance which often enabled the faster capabilities of the system; although it's not farfetched to think it could have the same benefit on USB ports.

Another thing to check is if your system has a mix of USB2.0 and USB1.1 ports. Also ensure you're using a cable that is USB2.0 compatible. A typical USB cable may allow a USB2.0 device to work but it will not see the benefits.

Justin Chandler
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Commented:
if you look at my profile - you would not ask that...but thanks for your willingness to help, appreciated
i even opened a question a time ago to see if somebody could help, but i could not get more speed out of it
here the link to it :  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Removable_Backup_Media/Q_24101039.html
I feel I should post this since  trying to get my WD2500ME  passport to be recognized by my downgraded (Vista -> win2003 server) has been the bane of my existence...   I have also had this problem with older installations of XP pro

most recent problem was on my Acer Aspire 5520

in my case  the USB 1.1 - usb 2.0 was not the problem.

I  tested with Data Lifeguard software provided by western digital:

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=203&sid=84&lang=en

The diagnosis software was able to see the drive size.  Then a light clicked and I Immediately went to

Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management  

there I was able to see the drive but found out it did not mount or assign a drive letter / path.

I  Simply assigned a drive letter and I was good to go!

For some reason on windows 2003 server and some XP professionals the self powered WD passports don't map it automatically :/.

Anyway this is a pass forward tip. hope it helps somebody.


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