External USB drive keeps connecting/disconnecting on Win10

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by JoK, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. JoK

    JoK n00b

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    Hi all,

    I've got a really strange situation with my Dell XPS laptop (Win 10) and external USB drives.

    Since I bought the laptop, my external USB drives and my smart phone keep connecting and disconnecting. The situation with one of the drives now is so strong that I can't use the drive at all as it disconnects and reconnects back every 3 seconds. I know that this may be a sign of drive failure but the strange thing is that when I plug everything on a USB hub, the drives connect correctly.

    Any ideas why this might be happening?

    Thanks
     
  2. ljw1

    ljw1 n00b

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    It's not strange at all. The usb port is not capable of powering the devices. Some ports have very aggressive current limiters and will disconnect any device that draws more than the limit. HDD are especially bad for this as they draw a large current on startup. Most USB hubs don't care how much current you draw.
     
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  3. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, in agreement with ljw1 Sound like a power problem. Forget the exact current limits, but many usb ports are at best able to power one at a time. Your laptop should be able to power either if powered from the wall outlet, but if purely on battery, power limitations may not be enough to keep the drive connected. Checking your power profile may help if its set for max longevity instead of a more aggressive profile. Setting it to a more normal profile may help. External 3 1/2" drives pull more current than 2 1/2" drives so using a smaller one should work.

    There are powered USB hubs that will solve the problem if changing the profile doesn't help. If the hub you are speaking of is a powered one that you are using to connect to the laptop, you have found a solution. If its to a different computer then getting a powered hub will solve the problem. Sometimes USB ports are labeled to distinguish between a normal .5 amp current draw and 1 amp current draw. Using a different port may help and if its a even newer computer, a port may be able to deliver up to 5 amps. Check the port that you are using. There may be a more capable one.
     
  4. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have a similar problem with a Transcend Storejet 1gb bought a few years back, but only on one of the side ports, the lower one on the DELL XPS(Left).
    It works on the other one above that one.

    However recently I bought 4 x 1Gb external HDD's 1Gb, and they all work on this port.


    Note=by-the-way: I just mention this bacause while investigating I noticed a lot complaints about similar errors on Google.
    This drive was not NTFS, after which I had updated it to NTFS with 3rd party program without formatting. It worked, but gave that 3000ms timeout error for Avast antivirus which I only later noticed & coupled it to this hdd(Hard Disk-1 eventviewer, this disk was always slow to start autoplay with XP after plugged in.
    After buying new external hdd;s, I formatted it, disccheck recover bad sectors, and reformatted it again with NTFS. After tranferring the same files back, it was fast and still is when plugged in, and the 3000ms timeout error is gone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  5. JoK

    JoK n00b

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    I will be using the USB hub from now on although I don't see how this is different given that the hub does not have a separate power supplies.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. ljw1

    ljw1 n00b

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    What you might find is that the usb hub has a capacitor inside it to deal with the startup current draw. It is tricky as vendors do so many different things with the usb port hardware.
     
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  7. dwd999

    dwd999 Limp Gawd

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    Don't forget to open up the Device Manager and make sure that Power Management is turned OFF for each usb port listed. I never could understand why the default isn't OFF.
     
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  8. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    It's also possible that since the computer sees the port as a different device, it allows it to draw additional current instead of limiting it as it would to a single device. Effectively, the port acts as a loophole that allows a device connected to it draw more current. The port gets full power because its not a current draw. I wonder what your device manager looks like when a device is connected to it.

    This is "still" a good idea, but since an unpowered port replicator works I must admit I am searching for an answer that works exactly - if one exists.
     
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