USB hard drives inactive problems

zraptor
zraptor used Ask the Experts™
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Hello Experts,

I am having an issue with a couple of removable hard drives on a server of mine.  I am running Windows Server 2008 standard 32bit and am using software called Paragon Hard Disk Manager to perform daily backups.  I have two identical Western Digital Black 2TB hard drives in external USB enclosures.  Every morning when I come into work and check on the overnight backup the USB drive that was being used is no longer marked as active in the OS nor is assigned a drive letter.  the backups run and are successful but I am having to go in every day and re-activate the hard disk and assign a drive letter so I can use it the next night.  what am I missing here?  This is becoming a major issue because I have different employees rotate doing the backups each day and Its not feasible to have them perform these steps.  Does anyone know what may be causing this or how I can correct it?
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Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Check your power settings and/or spindown settings.   If the system is going to sleep and turning off USB, then if the drives were spun down when that happened they likely are not detected when the system "wakes up".

If that's not it, is there a possibility of a drive letter conflict?   i.e. do you have both of these drives set to assume the same drive letter?
IT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
These hard drives are not being removed, right? And the machine is not being restarted - right?
If right then the drives are simply getting into sleep mode.
Check in registry if NoAutomount has been enabled. This could cause such issue as well.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\mountmgr
In the right pane - NoAutoMount must have value 0. If not then set it and restart the machine. Since the the drives must get the drive letter as soon as they wake up.

Author

Commented:
I have checked the power settings and the machine is not set to go to sleep or enter standby mode.  

Both drives are removed daily and taken home so that one drive is receiving the backup and one drive is off the premises to ensure that we always have a good backup off-site.

Author

Commented:
I do have them both set to use the same drive letter but they are never plugged in at the same time together.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
It's likely this is an issue with the specific bridge devices you're using.    I'd try a different USB bridge device (i.e. a different enclosure).

Author

Commented:
okay, I will give that a try and let you know, thank you!

I had been using them in these enclosures before without much of an issue but I did just upgrade from Seagate 1TB drives to these Western Digital 2TB drives, could that have anything to do with it?

Author

Commented:
I must say, it didnt seem to start happening until I began using this Paragon hard disk manager software to perform backups but I dont see how the software could possibly be causing that or why it would?
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Certainly the different drives could be interacting with the USB bridge in the enclosures;  but it's also true the Paragon software could be doing something (perhaps spinning down the drives when the backup completes) that may also be contributing to the issue.

I agree the software seems an unlikely culprit; but you may want to disable it for a night and see if the drive still "disappears" overnight.     Or, alternatively, switch one of the units back to the 1TB Seagate drive and see if it has the same issue now.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Check the registry key. Is it set to automount disabled?

Author

Commented:
so far, mountmgr in the registry seems to be working!  thank you all!!!
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Always welcome.

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