Solved SATA drive caddy works on laptop - but not on desktop?

Asus Deluxe a8n-sli deluxe desktop mothe...
October 14, 2014 at 06:45:35
Specs: Win7/Win8, AMD x2/3GB
I have a 120GB 2.5" SATA drive spare that I want to use on my desktop PC. I have one of those USB caddy devices - the USB cable is two-headed at one end with one plug on the other. If I use it on my laptop, I plug the two USB cables into the side and connect the HDD into the caddy and it works perfectly - Windows (8.1) shows the drive immediately.

However, when trying it on my desktop (and I have drive many different USB ports) the LED on the caddy comes on, but when connecting the drive (or connecting the USB cable to the caddy with the drive already in place), nothing happens - sometimes you can hear the drive attempting to start, sometimes you can hear nothing. But nothing registers on the PC either - there is no USB connection sound for example.

The drive is in good condition and hasn't ever been used that much. And it shows on the laptop as working perfectly. So why can't my desktop PC (also Windows 8.1 and clearly has more power available to give out) start the drive?

Thanks for any ideas

message edited by Alex2002


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✔ Best Answer
October 14, 2014 at 12:07:18
Maybe the two close USB's are using a common power source. If you have a USB extension lead it would be worth seeing what happens if you use two USB's that are further apart.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks



#1
October 14, 2014 at 07:16:32
How about a better explanation about which USB ports are being used on the desktop? Do you have numerous other USB devices connected?

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#2
October 14, 2014 at 08:05:13
On the desktop I have 4 ports on the motherboard itself - they are on the I/O part of the motherboard at the back of the system and I've only got two of these occupied - keyboard and mouse - which are hardly power hungry. I also have two other USB ports connected from the motherboard to a backplate which is in one of the expansion bays - one of these has an iPod cable in and the other is vacant. As are the two USB ports I have connected to the front panel of my tower-case. These two ports at the front have always been a bit problematic. Thinking about it now, could this have any impact on how the other ports function?

So in answer to your question, I have 8 USB ports with only three used.

message edited by Alex2002


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#3
October 14, 2014 at 11:48:46
It does sound a bit like a power issue but I've no idea why using the double head on the PC fails. Could be worth checking your USB power capacities and/or combinations of different USB's.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#4
October 14, 2014 at 11:58:44
Thanks for the replies.

I've tried disconnecting the front USB panel header from the motherboard completely, disabling those unreliable ports (devices always seem really flimsy when plugged into those two ports, not sturdy at all) but this has not changed anything. I've tried the two ports on the USB backplate and two of the system motherboard mounted USB ports on the back and the result is the same - sometimes a "click...click...click...click" or sometimes nothing at all.

To make sure I wasn't losing the plot I then plugged the two USB connectors from the external caddy drive into my laptop and it came up instantaneously. There are no issues with the disk. The ports on the desktop PC should have enough power, as I checked in Device Manager and they report as 500mA each.

I'm struggling to get my head around this one. I can't understand how a laptop can self-power a drive through USB but a desktop PC (admittedly old but has USB 2.0) with a 550W PSU can't.

Is there anything else I can check? I am limited testing different USB ports on the desktop as the "Y" cable has the two headed USB plugs very close together, so I can only use two close together USB ports too.


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#5
October 14, 2014 at 12:07:18
✔ Best Answer
Maybe the two close USB's are using a common power source. If you have a USB extension lead it would be worth seeing what happens if you use two USB's that are further apart.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#6
October 15, 2014 at 08:25:31
Well Derek, you were right. On my motherboard, I have 4 USB ports built in at the back in blocks of 2. I had been trying the USB drive in 2 USB ports one above the other. When connecting the double-headed USB cable, say, one plug in connector 1 and the other in connector 3, it works!

So in doing this I've had to change my mouse and keyboard USB assignments and Windows has just thrown a wobbly trying to install drivers for them. One thing I need to keep an eye on now is my CPU temperature - might sound odd but a few months back on this very system, despite installing new cooling, the CPU was always running at 45-60 degrees, even when idle. I discovered this was down to a bluetooth USB dongle that I had forgotten was connected - amazing that something so simple was causing a major increase in CPU usage and temperature. So now I am wary that this USB device may do the same thing and so far, temperatures are looking a bit higher.

Thanks for your help!

message edited by Alex2002


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#7
October 15, 2014 at 13:44:09
Glad to hear we've made some sort of progress and thanks for popping back to let us know.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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