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External Hard Drive locks up XP system

Posted on 2012-04-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-04-09
I was having problems booting up my Windows XP system when someone on EE suggested that I unplug all USB connections.  I did that and that worked.  However...,.One of the USB connections is an external hard drive.  When I reconnect it, the system freezes up and the hard drive is not recognized.  Is there something I can do short of taking this into the PC shop again to get the hard drive recognized?  I tried to find the disk that came with it but of course I can't find it.

Question by:dkcoop03
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

motnahp00 earned 375 total points
ID: 37804377
Sounds like your computer has a bad set of drivers. Did you recently install something?
LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 375 total points
ID: 37804391
Can you power it from an external power supply?  Some people have had this problem when the external drive required more power than the USB port could supply.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 750 total points
ID: 37804775
as DAve says above : does the external disk have its own power supply?  if not that can be the cause - many systems do not provide enough USB power, for various reasons -  and the MAX is 5V at 0.5A = 2.5W
you can always connect it with a powered USB hub - like the one i use  : http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=158910

>>  One of the USB connections is an external hard drive.  When I reconnect it, the system freezes up   <<   this says to me : disk with Problems!!!
now in your case it can be due to :
-usb cable to ext disk
-ext disk enclosure (eg usb bridge)
-or the disk itself

the cable can be swapped to test, and the disk you can remove from the case, and connect it directly to an IDE or Sata port for testing
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Author Comment

ID: 37821634
I purchased Drive Boost but so far am not having a lot of luck with it.  I do have a question for Dave. The drive is powered externally.  If the Drive Boost does not end up working then I'm going to try plugging it in to my Windows 7 machine.  Do you think that will work.  Also, why would an external powered USB hub work?  I have an old usb hub that I plugged it into but the system still doesn't recognize the drive.  I'm at my wits end because I have files on there that I have to have access to.
LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37821778
You didn't originally say how your drive was powered.  We suggested an external Powered USB hub because if it was powered by the USB connection, you might not be getting enough power from the USB port on the computer.  If it is externally powered with it's own power supply, then that doesn't matter.

You can take it out of the USB controller and plug it directly into your PC's internal connections to see if the drive is Ok and the controller has failed.  I know that has happened on at least one unit I had.
LVL 93

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 750 total points
ID: 37822527
yes, as i posted above :
 "the cable can be swapped to test, and the disk you can remove from the case, and connect it directly to an IDE or Sata port for testing"

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37825762
It seems to be the driver.  The driver software I purchased took two days to scan the drive and was very counter-intuitive to use as it would go back to previous menus when you selected something but it looks like the old XP machine recognizes the drive.  The windows 7 machine took about a day to recognize it and then when I plugged in another external (I was going to copy some folders from the Maxtor to the other external) it killed the connection.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 37826393
tx for feedback

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