Removable USB hard-disk not working

October 4, 2005 at 03:13:39
Specs: XPsp2, athlon 2.4 and 500Mb

I have an external (portable) hard-disk caddy, made by Dynamode. It’s a aluminium box with a 2.5 GB Maxtor HDD formatted to FAT32 inside; the drive is set to master (Dynamode say it should be set to master). The caddy connects to a PC with a USB lead. There is a separate power source for the HDD. The caddy came without drivers of any kind. I asked Dynamode for drivers but they did not tell me where to get them. Documents that came with the caddy said it works with USB 2 and USB 1.1.

I have two PCs.

PC number one is has an Asrock mobo with 500Mb RAM and an Athlon 2400Hz processor. I think it has USB 2 ports - I say this because in device manager there is one “enhanced” USB controller. It runs XPsp2. It has two HDDs: one 40Gb with two equal partitions, one of which has the system files; one 80Gb with a single partition. All drives and partitions are formatted to NTFS. Zone Alarm free is present, so is AVG free. When I plug the caddy into this pc it does not behave consistently. Once it appeared in Disk Management, without a drive letter, but it has since disappeared. The present state is this: it appears in Windows Explorer as disk G, but I cannot create a folder in the drive or browse the drive; it does not appear in Disk Management at all; it appears in Device Manager at Disk Drives identified as WDC AC32 500H USB DEVICE, there are no volumes and the driver is by MS; it also appears in Device Manager as a USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE. In both the previous instances device manager reports that it is working okay. Nothing relevant appears in Add/remove programs.

PC number two is an HP Brio with 250Mb RAM and a PII 600Hz processor. I think it has USB 1.1 ports. It runs W2000sp4. It has one HDD of 15Gb with one partition formatted FAT32. It dual boots W2000 and W98se. Zone Alarm free edition is present, so is AVG free. When I plug the caddy into this PC it does not behave consistently. Once it appeared in Disk Management, without a drive letter, but it has since disappeared. Once the disk appeared in Windows Explorer and I think I could write to it (it seemed to be writing), but I could not browse into the disk so I don’t really know if it was written to or not. The present state is this: it does not appear in Windows Explorer; it does not appear in Disk Management at all; it appears in Device Manager at Disk Drives identified as WDC AC32 500H USB DEVICE, there are no volumes and the driver is by MS; it also appears in Device Manager as a USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE. In both the previous instances device manager reports that it is working okay. Nothing relevant appears in Add/remove programs.

I have tried with and without Zone Alarm – no different.
I have tried re-booting the PC with the HHD powered up and running – no different.
I have tried re-booting the HDD whilst attached to the PC – no different.

Can anyone tell me what I need to do to make it work?


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#1
October 4, 2005 at 06:42:46

What model Asrock MOBO do you have?

The problem may be that neither computer has USB 2.0. You should try it in a computer with known, working USB 2.0 ports. If you see the same behavior, it is probably the caddy or the HDD.


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#2
October 4, 2005 at 10:41:24

The Mobo on PC number one is an Asrock K7S41GX

I checked and can confirm that PC number one has USB 2.0 ports.


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#3
October 4, 2005 at 10:46:26

Are you sure that the USB 2.0 ports on PC number 1 are working?

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Related Solutions

#4
October 4, 2005 at 11:46:49

I think the USB ports on PC number one are working because: (a) the USB port I am using works with a Bluetooth dongle (b) Device Manager can identify the HHD caddy.

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#5
October 4, 2005 at 12:09:40

If you can, I'd try it on another computer with known working USB 2.0 ports and WINXP SP2. If you see the same behavior, it's the caddy or the drive.

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#6
October 5, 2005 at 13:48:03

Thanks for all the suggestions.

The caddy is working now with a different HDD in it, so the 2.5GB HDD must have either been faulty (not formatted properly?) or incompatible for some reason. The HHD in it now is a 10GB drive formatted to FAT32, it is even working on PC number two, albiet slowly due to USB 1.1 port I presume.


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