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Thread: External Hard Drive

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    External Hard Drive

    I have a Formac Disk Mini, 160GB External Hard Drive and have used it on my previous XP machine. Issues i used to have on this machine were that it would only sometimes power up and spin properly when plugged into the front ports and only rarely not work when plugged into the back USB ports. The device comes with a usb power/data cable and an extra usb power cable incase it is needed.

    Now in my new machined, running vista, it just does not seem to want to work. The device gets plugged in and it keeps trying to spin the disks up but then failing, and then trying again, basically making a ticking noise as if it is a clock. I can't find drivers or anything for it, what could be the problem? I am using both usb cables to give it as much power as possible and it is plugged into the direct motherboard usb ports.

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    Lightbulb Re: External Hard Drive

    Maybe the hard drive has developed a fault?

    The only ways I can think of which would confirm it, are:

    1. Take the enclosure apart, and try a different hard drive in it?
    2. Test the hard drive in a different enclosure?
    3. Test the hard drive on a different system - via an adapter... i.e. an AC Ryan 'Udrive', or a Sharkoon 'DriveLink' (or any other similar adapter)?
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  3. #3
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: External Hard Drive

    Classic symptoms of insufficient power. (The drive spins - when the head actuator moves, it loads up the power supply - voltage drops - actuator parks, vooltage rises - actuator moves..... etc)

    A USB port should supply 500mA, although some (particularly laptops) will not supply that.

    However if it isn't operating with using two USB ports - plugged into a desktop machine, there may be something else causing the problem.

    Short of getting out a multimeter and probing the voltages, it might be worth taking the enclosure apart and reseating the poer connector. It is possible for the contacts to develop a high resistance, which will cause a voltage drop - which could affect the head actuator.

    Otherwise try a different power cable, or (if the enclosure has a separate power socket) use an external power supply.

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