|Apologies for the late reply. |
I have tried everything so far: Unplugging all of my USB devices, removing my USB extension card so that more power would be available to the onboard controller. Nothing made a difference. Altough I have a 500V 24 pin power supply, my motherboard only takes 20 pins so I suppose that chops off some of the power? The disk seems to be making noise when it spins, so I presume it got a bit used up and needs more power to spin for minutes on. It seemed to work okay and only rarely shut down with the computers at my college, which are more powerful. However at home, even though it worked perfectly in the first 6-8 months of usage, it didn't seem to work properly anymore whatever I did.
So in the end I removed the casing to see if something had gotten stuck in the mechanisms, or if there was a part I could oil. What I found inside the two first levels of casing was actually a simple laptop hard disk with a built in SATA interface, and plugged in the SATA connectors was a USB mini-b-to-SATA adaptor. I couldn't believe it. Cheap move, Seagate. Luckily they weren't soldered together so I just connected the disk to my onboard SATA controller and it seems to be running smoothly. So I'll back up my files and decide what to do with it later...
I'm still shocked. I know laptops hard drives take less power, but how does that ensure that they can run on any USB 2.0 controller? I figure those Expansion drives are just refurbished overstock laptop hard drives. Well thanks for you help Othehill. You've clued me into the right direction at least. I've bought a solid, less convenient but AC powered hard drive to replace this one and hopefully it can last a few years.