Windows 10: External Hard drive off and on

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  1. Night Hawk's Avatar
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       23 Dec 2015 #11

    andreah1 said: View Post
    I'm not that computer literate, I think of myself as an intermediate but most of what you have said is complete jibberish to me, sorry. Far above my thought process. I don't have the time nor the skills to take the drive out of it's enclosure and try to open up my desktop and install it there, I wouldn't want to take the chance. Because the other peripheral that is plugged into the usb drive that the external hdd was plugged into is not having problems I'm quite sure it's got to be the external itself or like you said, maybe the usb cord. I'll check it later when I'm home but when I switched the cords around last night I didn't notice anything hard or brittle and have never experienced that, ever. I don't turn my computer off and on very much, just when I need a restart for updates pretty much.
    It's actually not that complicated as you might think but relatively basic entry level tasks I was referring to. But that's something you have to want to find out for yourself over time as a learning experience of it's own. Common sense and taking things slowly one step at at time is the means to arrive at a goal!

    WIth the system on 24/7 as the main build here is also running constantly one thing found is that every so often it does help Big Time to simply restart the system first when going to use to allow everything to reload itself especially usb as well as the rest of the device drivers to insure smoother operation of things. Here I have been right in the middle of something and suddenly no control over mouse or the keyboard won't type anything since some update that went unnoticed perhaps requires a restart or some driver either software or device type went stale and the restart sees it refreshed as it is reloaded back into ram memory again.

    If the driver Windows is using there goes stale and limp on you which could explain the disconnect and reconnect triggering the wav files to be played usually by Windows Media Player being the default player one thought would to simply unplug the drive for a few hours and in the interim try restarting or even shutting the machine down completely and then starting up fresh without the drive plugged in. Then when going to plug it back in again open up the Disk Management tool and change the drive letter! Windows will then have to refresh itself as the next drive letter is assigned a new letter by you and not simply assigned by Windows being that is the first drive letter available.
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  2.    23 Dec 2015 #12

    Thanks Night Hawk, I'll give that a try this afternoon. I have restarted it a few times hoping that it would clean up the problem. Maybe the new drive letter will do the trick. We shall see. I'll report in later! :)
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  3. Night Hawk's Avatar
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       23 Dec 2015 #13

    I meant to ask if the model you have uses an ac adapter or is strictly usb powered. I found one thing can be common between various devices when being charged or simply plugged and powered by a port that if the draw by the device is too high the port gets pulled down.

    A cell phone for example actually not the port but the separate self powered by ac adapter usb hub down far enough where one side or two of the four ports on one side of the hub blew out! The draw was then solved when just happening to spot an electric alarm clock made by Sony with a usb port on it that handles a higher draw. If this was happening there the disconnect and reconnect sound offs would be from a similar plight of the drive now pulling on a USB 2.0 port for example like it was a 3.0 drive since 3.0 went up to 100ma and can handle upto six devices over 2.0's four.

    That was a passing though there anyways. I would still give the other idea however a try to see if a fresh detection along with the change of drive letter will get you further along. The external drive being installed internally move was something many opted to do on their own when the first external drives were cooking in their enclosures from the lack of ventilation or having a fan and the drives simply ran too hot!

    If your drive is real warm when touched that could be an indicator for a temp issue now being seen. But first let's see if giving Windows a jolt will jog it's memory of the drive a bit. External drives will tend to run warmer anyways lacking the cooling you typically see inside a case between case fans, better air flow, etc. there. This will need a look as well just in case it is getting too warm and disconnecting on it's own and why I had initially pointed out the other drive enclosures so you wouldn't end up simply tossing a drive that may be still as good as new but could use some better cooling.
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  4.    23 Dec 2015 #14

    The external is only 2 degrees warmer than the internal, I checked that already. I have a program for that. So, we'll hope the letter change does the trick, if not I'll be buying a new one. Yes, it has it's own ac adapter, I've tried unplugging that as well. I'm going to unplug that and shut down the computer this afternoon for a little while and see where it takes me!
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  5. Night Hawk's Avatar
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    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       23 Dec 2015 #15

    Hope to be hearing some better news! If you do end up deciding to replace it you may want to consider simply adding a new drive on by way of a good fan cooled enclosure where the drives can be swapped out at any time rather then a drive sealed up entirely. They have good ones out there to choose from these days!
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  6.    23 Dec 2015 #16

    I'll keep that in mind
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  7.    23 Dec 2015 #17

    Tried unplugging and then assigning a new drive letter, no such luck, still doing the same thing. Guess I'll be looking for a new one after Christmas.
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  8. Night Hawk's Avatar
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       24 Dec 2015 #18

    That stinks! I wouldn't toss the drive right away if you still have important files on it. The idea of running the system for a bit with the drive unplugged and then plug it back in after a few startups or restarts was to allow the fresh detection of the Mass Storage Controller item you can find in the Device Manager for the drive's controller chip.

    Once the chip was detected fresh Windows would be made to reinstall the same driver fresh. With the external AccomData enclosure used here that's been a resolve for the skipping out problem you have been seeing. The first sealed drives however lacked any decent venting as well as hardly any ever seeing a fan to cool things down where drives would fail left and right until the companies smartened up a bit!

    A good fan cooled enclosure especially if you have eSata ports at all allows you to put in any drive. Drive sold OEM at places like Newegg can bought much cheaper then these poor choice self contained while many have been improved over the years. The enclosures are a little tight inside with short length wiring for the usb, power, Sata connectors inside as well as many still having IDE connections as well as being able to run 2.5" as well as 3.5" drives. But they are easier to work with.

    If you take your time and use some caution you should be able to remove the most likely Sata II drive from the enclosure and run that in a new one! Often the plugs and connections inside those get stuffed while the drives are still worth keeping. And when mentioning the usb cord that wouldn't what you would see outside of the casing but inside where the wires are exposed to make the connections where you could have a cold solder point.

    The AccomData enclosure here is now about a full 6yrs. old and has seen a few drives put to use in it. When left on constantly however the enclosure will tend to get warm and why I went for the fan cooled one at Amazon to give that a try. If your drive is still good why pay out for a new one when a $25 separate enclosure should be able to use the current drive? Just a thought to pass along here.
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  9.    24 Dec 2015 #19

    Thanks for your ideas, unfortunately, I barely have time to breathe let alone try to do surgery on a hard drive. There's nothing important on it, just my back up and once I get a new one, a new back up will replace it. I'm calling it quits on the thing and looking for a new one after Christmas. It still works, only issue is that it sometimes disconnects in the middle of my backup so I have to try to do the back up manually a couple times to get it to work, have to time it just right between disconnects. Thanks again for your help.
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  10. Night Hawk's Avatar
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    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       24 Dec 2015 #20

    Well if you need any help picking out a new one get back in here! I'm sure you'll be able to find a good one just the same. In the meantime you have yourself a Happy and Safe holiday season.
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