I'm having problems with the USB ports on my Samsung x20. Basically the Freecom FHD-2 Pro external HDD I'm trying to connect is very intermittent. The drive is either dropped or not recognised, which also seems to be causing the laptop to freeze. In addition, when it does work, about 50% of the time I'm told to plug the drive into a high speed USB port - all the ports on the laptop should be USB 2.

I tried to remove the USB controller in Device Manager, but it crashed. The laptop also seems reluctant to shut down properly, hanging on the "Windows is shutting down" screen until I hold down the power button. Performance seems fine as long as I don't use USB.

Is it possible to diagnose the fault with just the hardware I have? I can't figure out whether it's the drive or the laptop.