W7 not detected Toshiba 250GB 2.5 External HD

January 4, 2011 at 08:50:32
Specs: Windows 7, 2 GHz / 1979 MB
Hi, I have recently purchased an external 2.5" Toshiba 250GB HDD (model: X250). This device needs no external power to run & it comes with a "Y" shaped USB cable. I ran it on my Laptop (Zenith, Core 2 Duo T6400, 2 GB, 160GB, win 7) & it worked fine.

I copied a few files (like some 20 odd GB in small files), watched the movie clips on my Xtreamer HD media player, all fine. I then realised that this HDD was formated in FAT32 & I will need to convert it to NTFS inorder to copy files > 1 GB... I had two options, one was to format the drive & copy my stuff back from the original DVD backups. Second was to try converting this external HDD from FAT32 to NTFS using some partitioning software. I tried the later to save some time & effort & that's when my misery started... the conversion process started & it went on for almost an hour. Then suddenly at around 80% it stalled and gave some error saying drive not detected. (I would keep moving the mouse on the laptop from time to time just to ensure it never went into sleep mode, although the laptop has been configured not to enter sleep mode - but just to be extra sure as I knew that an error in this process might fail my HDD). I rebooted to see the quantum of damage & as I expected the drive was not being detected on my laptop. I tried connecting it to my home PC (old P4, Win XP SP2, 512 MB) and it didn't detect there either (earlier it had worked there).

I asked Hitachi for a replacement & received one. I was excited & connected this drive to my laptop & was surprised that this drive also wouldn't detect on my laptop. Ditto on my PC. All I could hear was a 'click - click' sound every 3-4 seconds repeatedly till the drive was connected to the USB port. The while light on the bottom of the HDD continue to glow. I confirmed that the drive was Dead on Arrival & was about to give it back for replacement when I tried connecting it on my office laptop (HP, Core 2 Centrino, 4 GB, 160 GB, Win XP - SP2) and to my surprise the drive was detected. I am not supposed to be connecting external media on office network but it detected the drive in Explorer. I was not too sure & tried again & it was detected again. To be sure, I connected it to my wife's laptop (IBM Thinkpad, Core 2 Duo, 1 GB, running Win XP - SP1) and then to my Xtreamer Media player and it was detected in both these as well. I am now forced to believe that there is some mess with my laptop & home PC and that the external HDD is not getting sufficient power to start. Any suggestions? I have tried to deleted 'USB Mass Storage Device' but no avail. The clicking noise on connecting the HDD to the laptop continues. Pls Help. Thanx, Ronni

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January 4, 2011 at 11:02:23
Are you connecting BOTH the USB cables? That type of USB powered drive is less dependable than one with an AC power supply.

The new drive is probably NOT partitioned & formatted. Therefore will not show in Computer. Go to Disk Management and Partition and format it there.

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January 4, 2011 at 17:09:43
Hi OtheHill - The drive is formatted & partitioned as I can browse the drive on my office laptop, wife's laptop as well on my media streamer. owever on my laptop, it just doesn't show up, neither does it show up under My Computer -> Disk Management

I chose this drive for portability ober a 3.5" drive

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March 19, 2011 at 11:24:13
Click Click sound is dangerous. I used to get that in one of the drives which required two pronged (data + power) USB cable.

These kind of drives usually use MORE POWER than that provided by standard USB ports and hence the two cables will drive power from two USB ports is the idea I guess.

On some of these drives, there is a pin for connecting external power though the power adapters are not provided with the drives.

Never use these drives without using two pronged cables. It will be also be a good idea to first connect both the prongs to two computer USB ports and later connect the drive to the cable. Also refrain from using non-powered USB hubs to connect the two USB prongs as that may not still provide sufficient power. Good quality POWERED USB hubs though may work fine.

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March 21, 2011 at 09:51:37
Thanx ecntu
The drive is working now
Hitachi sent another cable. Mini USB on one side along with a small round power supply pin - both these go in the HDD. Other side is standard USB to go in the laptop

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