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USB drive not mapping/recognized

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Have this really annoying problem with a USB drive not popping up in the tree upon plugin.  Dell Precision workstation 360 with Windows XP pro, with a NexStar SCSI hard drive dock.  I plug the drive in and all will be fine - it is rocognized and accessible by OS.  After awhile, it will drop, as in disappear - cant be seen and won't show up again after unplug/replug until the machine is rebooted.  I have mapped the drive to a specific drive letter hoping that would help and no.  The interesting thing is that i can go into manage-->disk management and see the attached drive, even change the drive letter, and even click on explore and open and the drive will be accessible, but once click on "folder" to bring up the tree on the left, the contents will disappear and the right window will go back to my computer, with no USB drive/drive letter present.  This has been plaguing me for awhile.  Any ideas?
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Question by:greenbull
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 36567799
Perhaps Windows is turning off the USB port to save power. Try this:

Control Panel>Device Manager>Universal Serial Bus Controllers

Right-click on each of the USB Hubs and select Properties (better to do all of them). Then select the Power Management tab and you should see a box that says <Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power>. If my theory is right, it is checked. Uncheck it!

Btw, some docks and USB hubs are bad for high-speed devices, like disk drives. Many manufacturers even warn about using them, suggesting that you put their products directly into a USB port on the computer, not into a dock or USB hub. Have you tried it in a USB port directly in the workstation?

Other ideas are a bad USB port (try another one) or a bad hard drive (try another USB device in the same port) or a bad USB cable (try another one that you know is good and make sure it is a USB2.0 cable...USB1.1 won't cut it for a hard drive...btw, I'm amazed at the number of times that the problem is a bad USB cable). Regards, Joe
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Lionel MM earned 250 total points
ID: 36573482
If the above does not work (hopefully it will) you may want to remove/uninstall all USB entries in Device Manager (Control Panel--System) and then reboot your PC; right click on each entry and select uninstall; some will disappear and other will not; some will ask if you want to reboot now others won't--always select no to the reboot until you have uninstalled all the USB entries and then reboot. I run into this on XP PCs all the time and in most cases doing this resolves the issue
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Author Closing Comment

by:greenbull
ID: 36893173
Thanks!  Uninstalled USB entries and so far it hasn't failed.  Much appreciated!
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