External Hard Drive compatibility

Iomega Prestige desktop hard drive - 1tb...
April 22, 2010 at 11:29:30
Specs: Windows XP
I recently connected an iomega 1TB external hard drive to my Advent computer (running on Windows XP) and it failed so I changed it at the shop and reisntalled it. All seemed well and I was able to copy/move 250GB of data to it 2 days ago. Yesterday I didn't access it but could see it on My Computer. However, today it is not there and I keep getting an error message popping up saying "USB Device Not Recognised" and I am technically too incompetent to see what's wrong! PLEASE HELP

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April 22, 2010 at 11:44:28
Troubleshooting USB device problems including for flash drives, external drives, memory cards.
See Response 1:

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April 22, 2010 at 15:01:41
Thanks T&W - if I'm understanding you - even though the USB connected external hard drive worked perfectly well for 36 hours (and I have made no other changes to my set up), there may not enough power getting to the USB port?
The hard drive was connected to a USB on the rear of the desktop adjacent to another port where (while I had the computer out to connect the hard drive) I connected a webcam (which I also haven't worked out how to use!). I have taken the webcam lead out and hey presto my hard drive is back on My Computer and I no longer get an error message...THANK YOU!
Doubtless this was simple and logical to you but when it failed I just thought I was an incompetent muppet again!

Cheers, Steve the Wineman

P.S. if you ever need to know anything about wine...I'm your man!

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April 22, 2010 at 15:32:31
We're glad to hear you solved your problem, but...

That's odd. I've heard that some laptop built in ports have your problem, but not desktops.
If you had both the webcam, which doesn't draw much current, nowhere near 500ma, and the external drive plugged into the built into the mboard ports on the back of the desktop computer in the same I/O area where mosts of the ports are, you should be able to get 500ma from any port there, even when all the ports there are being used. Usually two ports connect in an internal wiring hub (on the mboard) to one USB controller module, but you should be able to draw 500ma from both ports individually at the same time, 1 amp total from the two - ports that are one over the other are usually in that kind of hub - so - if you can't actually get 500ma from both ports in that situation, then using USB ports that are beside each other, rather than in a vertical stack, should work.

If the "...USB connected external hard drive worked perfectly well for 36 hours...." with the webcam also in the same port it was in, the only other thing I can think of is the computer's power supply may be failing.
What is the power supply's capacity (max output - watts)?
If you have a video card in a mboard slot, which video chipset does it have?

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April 24, 2010 at 08:53:36
How would I find out the answers to your questons regarding power supply capacity and video chipset?

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April 24, 2010 at 20:55:46
The video chipset name is shown in several places.
One place is in Device Manager.
RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager
Double click on Display adapters.
What does it say there ?

I'm assuming you have a tower case.
The power supply capacity is shown on a label on the power supply inside the computer case - max xxx watts (output).
Remove the left side panel of the computer case as seen when you're facing the front of the computer. Usually there are two or three screws at the back on that side you unscrew, then the side panel can be slid to the rear to un-latch it.
The power supply box is at the top of the case at the back.
Copy down the brand and the max watts. Tell us what that is.

There should be air being exhausted from the back of the case from the power supply's fan when the computer is running.

If you have a video card in a slot, that's what the monitor video cable connects to, lower down on the back of the case. If you don't, the monitor video cable is plugged into a port high up on the case near the top.

While you're in there, if the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.

Also check for mung on the video card fan and heatsink if it has that, and the power supply's openings / fan.

With the cover still off, start the computer and make sure the cpu fan spins - if it doesn't spin, if you're sure the power supply is working okay, don't use the computer until you have replaced it.
If it spins too slowly, and/or if it makes rattling or screeching noises, most likely to be noticed when the computer has cooled to room temp, has not been used for a while, and then is started up, the cpu fan's bearings are failing - the cpu is likely to overheat as a result of that if it can no longer spin it's full speed - replace it as soon as you can.

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