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Thread: Losing Communication with External Drive

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    Losing Communication with External Drive

    Hi Guys and Gals - Happy New Year!

    Hey, I store my images on an external usb lacie drive.

    The connection to this drive is unstable and I'm wondering if any of you have a solution to the problem.

    I have it connected to my XP laptop via a usb2 connection. The drive is DC and is connected to a power pack. I have two of these drives and both lose communication from time to time.

    I have tried re-installing drivers to no avail so I imagine its hardware. What is the hardware component I should be chiecking?
    .
    Cheers, Mal

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    For the love of what I see.
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    Next time it looses comms try, Start, Control Panel, System, Device Manager and look for warning triangles. This will give you a clue as to where it is may be.
    How old is/are the drive/s?
    When did you last do a defrag and disk cleanup?
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    Also try another USB port in the laptop, if there is one. But if that is the only copy of your photos, make another backup ASAP, just in case the comms issue is being caused by the drive and its on its way to heaven!
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    Can I ask Mal, which type of drive is it, is it one of the commercially ready to go external drives or is it a seperately purchased hard drive and external box (that you buy empty and install the HDD)? If its the latter, I have found they are very hit and miss with their connection, and you would find its the el cheapo external box itself.

    I have also found some of the Seagate ready to go drives to be a bit iffy too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abitfishy View Post
    I have also found some of the Seagate ready to go drives to be a bit iffy too.
    I have never had a problem with my external USB 1TB Seagate drive on my desktop. Seagate has an extremely good reputation...and they are one of the site sponsors. I would not be too quick to rubbish them.
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    It's all about the Light!
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    The most likely causes in order are:

    a) Faulty cable or USB port, try another port and/or cable
    b) Software issue (virus, configured Device, registry hack gone wrong etc.)
    c) Power connection for drive, has the power cord been strained / stressed at all?
    d) Faulty drive or control board
    e) Mother board issues

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    Thanks board members for your help to date.

    I have two lacie external 500Gb drives and four usb connections on the laptop - the drives are relatively new - I use two so I can have a backup copy.

    I have alternated usb ports; swapped cables around and swapped power supplies.

    Kym - if it's the control board or motherboard what are the steps to rectifying the issue. Can they be worked on?

    BTW the laptop has recently been reformatted.

    All the best, thanks kindly for your considerations

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    It's all about the Light!
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    The mother board or control board cannot be home repaired. Generally they need replacement under warranty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yarnella View Post
    ...and they are one of the site sponsors. I would not be too quick to rubbish them.
    Of course not, they only make top notch products.

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    Hello Board Members

    I think I have narrowed it down to a faulty external drive power supply.

    I have swapped usb cables and usb inputs repeatedly and have recorded each combination.

    Then I swapped power supplies -

    I have left it in the same position for over 24hrs without loss of connection - I feel sure I have isoloated it to a power pack.

    Thanks to all of you - I couldn't have done it without you

    Will let you know if the situation changes.

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    I've had intermittent issues with my Seagate 1Tb USB drive too, same as Mal describes.

    my issues started with Windows7, and I had no problems(to speak of) with WinXP.

    Occasionally I get the Windows notification that a device has been plugged in(or unplugged) and then get asked if I want to format the 'new drive'!!

    Rebooting the PC always gets it working correctly.
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    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread - I really appreciate your help.

    Turns out it was a faulty external drive power supply. (I think!)
    Last edited by mal from cessnock; 18-01-2010 at 11:36pm. Reason: Added signature line

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