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USB Device Not Recognized (External Hard Drive)

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Well, here's my problem:

 

I just bought a Western Digital 60gb Passport II 2.5" Hard Drive this past week at Black Friday. Took it home, worked wonderfully. It was formatted as FAT32, so I reformatted it to NTFS, still no problems.

 

So, I bring it to my other computer, and I get "USB Device Not Recognized". My other computer detects any other USB device just fine, just not my hard drive.

 

I've searched all over the internet, including Western Digital's own support site, but to no avail. If anyone could give me a solution, I'd be more than grateful.

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The one most common solution put forward is to power down your computer, unplug it from the wall. Wait at least an hour before plugging it back in. If it is a laptop; remove the battery.

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I'll try that, but I don't think it'll work. I've seen similar solutions but pretty much all that does is force the usb drive to power on; but that's not the problem since other usb devices work.

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Assuming that both computers have Windows XP installed, both have USB 2.0 compliant USB ports and are desktop systems...

 

From the Western Digital FAQ page (in case the link does not work);

 

Quote:
Why does a WD Passport drive click or not spin up when connected to a USB port?

 

Answer

Problem:

The WD Passport drive either does not spin up or tries to spin but clicks when it is connected to a USB port.

 

Cause:

There may not be enough power currently supplied to the machine's USB port. Most computer systems only supply 500mA of power through USB ports. The WD Passport hard drive requires a little over 1000mA of power at spin up.

 

Solution:

Try the Passport drive on another USB port or another computer. If the Passport drive is connected to a USB hub, try connecting it directly to the computer's USB port. If the drive is connected to a PCMCIA (PC Card) on a notebook computer, the drive may only function properly if you power it with the optional power adapter. If you decide to use a third-party USB cable to connect the drive to the computer, the cable may not be able to transfer enough power to the drive (This includes USB "reel" cables and extension cables). Western Digital offers an optional power adaptor and an optional USB 2.0 Power Booster cable (the USB 2.0 Power Booster cable has two USB connectors that plug into the computer instead of one).

 

Could this be the problem?

 

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As I stated before, it worked on one of my computers.

 

My problem computer actually has a better psu (350 as opposed to 250), and I have tried plugging it in the back, etc.

 

Anyone suspect my formatting it to NTFS has anything to do with my problems?

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Read the quote again. It is not necessarily related to the power supply, but to how much power is available to the USB ports by the motherboard's design to run external devices without the need for an external power source. This is a function of the motherboard and it's USB ports.

 

If the first computer is USB 2.0 compliant and provides sufficient power to the USB ports to run the device, then that's fine.

 

If the second system does not provide enough power to the ports and/or is not USB 2.0 compliant (which the passport drive is made for) then this may be why you are having the issue.

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You did not mention that fact in your first post. What make and exact model number is the motherboard that you are having the issue with?

 

Often, motherboards can have two sets (or more) of USB ports, one set USB 1 and the other USB 2.0. What does the motherboard manual say about the USB ports and the power supplied to them?

 

Also, look at the Passport faq page here and see if there are some other clues on what might be the issue.

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No clue about the motherboard manual of the older computer, it was built by HP.

 

The motherboard for my newer computer supports USB2.0 all around.

 

But I think I figured out the problem. (Or at least, overshot one.) The USB hard drive does not work on my old computer anymore, either. I think I have a few options now:

 

1.) Try to reformat it back to FAT32

2.) Call Western Digital and try to get it detected again

3.) Ask Western Digital to replace it

 

All of which may cause loss of the files I have on the hard drive, which I'd like to keep. What should I do?

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Have you been connecting and disconnecting the drive correctly in Windows XP?

 

Quote:
How do I connect and disconnect a WD external hard drive from my PC or Macintosh?

 

Answer

IMPORTANT: Failure to connect the drive using the procedure below may result in your system not recognizing the drive. Also, not disconnecting the drive correctly could result in data corruption or data loss.

 

 

To connect your external hard drive to your PC computer:

 

Turn on your computer and allow Windows to load.

 

Plug in the power to the external hard drive and let it spin up.

 

Connect the data cable to the drive first and then to the computer.

 

You should see a new icon appear in the system tray and the drive should appear in the Device Manager.

 

To disconnect your external hard drive from your PC computer:

Use the Stop and Eject Hardware icon in the system tray.

 

Your computer should tell you that you can safely remove the drive from the computer now. You may then unplug the drive's power cord from the wall if you wish to turn it off.

 

Reference

 

 

 

 

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Computer 101? Yes, I did that before I brought the drive to my other computer.

 

Since then well...obviously if the device is not detected there won't be an option to stop it.

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Well, I called WD and after they ran me through everything I already tried in the past few weeks, they told me I'd need to get a new hard drive.

 

Thanks for trying anyways, guys.

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I can not get this Power boster Cable in Israel.

Does somebody knows what is the cable internal connection?

Is there any additional "electronic" in this cable?

Best

Elisha

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I hope this will help someone; I bought a WD Essential 500 GB external hard drive and when I plugged it in I got the message “USB device not recognized”. After about 2 hours of fooling with this thing I pick it up to look at it and it started working, come to find out where the USB plugs in to the back of the hard drive has a loose connection, I laid it on its side and it worked perfectly.

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Hey, just to add that the workaround that Richie2066 mentioned has worked for me as well!! Crazy to finish up doing this after having been in IT for 10 years... wink

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I've got the same exact problem with my WD Passport. Which side did you lay it on to get it working? I even bought the power supply that Western Digital sells on their website, but Windows still does not recognize the drive (on any of my 3 computers). The other USB ports work just fine for other devices. I'd rather not reformat the drive.

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QUICK FIX!!!!

 

Ok I have had the same problem with this WD Passport USB Drive but just fixed it. My GF's computer runs it fine and it is crappy and older than my desktop. I was getting the "device not recognized" error. I always use a USB extender cable for my USB devices so I don't have to go behind my computer every time. EVERYTHING works on it except this WD passport for some reason.

 

I plugged the HD directly into the USB port on the back of my computer and it worked fine. There must be something odd about the USB cable that comes with the device. These problems tend to be caused by the connection. Maybe a new cable will help people out. I don't know for sure but something seems janky with these cables since a LOT of people have this problem.

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POSSIBLE CURE

--------------------------

 

I know it is rather late in the day for this thread, but as I have just been battling to get my Passport 250 to be recognised, I thought I'd share a possible cure which worked for me.

 

Simply use the SHORT WD supplied USB lead.

 

I have a number of USB2 leads, including one bought today, but it is only the original short one that worked.

 

My Passport worked fine with a longer lead as well - but then for some reason the WD 250 GB Passport failed to connect again - despite working pefectly on 4 PC's including an old pentium 3 model.

 

It seemed to have this happen after the last Windows XP update - but I honestly doubt if that's the reason.

 

I know this is a bit simple, but it surprised me! So I hope this thread is of some help to someone else!

 

Regards

 

 

Ann

---

 

Western digital Passport failed to be recognized

WD 250 GB Passport failed to be recognised

WD 250 GB Passport failed to be recognized

WD Passport failed to be recognised

Western digital Passport failed to start

Cannot access Western digital Passport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ugggh. I just got the WD Passport 250 drive home and it XP Pro SP2 won't recognize it... tried short and long cables, back and front ports... another computer running linux sees it just fine, so it definitely works... i did just get a windows update last night... ugggh.

 

Windows does three very quick "dongs" and that's it, when I plug it in... the hardware manager just says theres no driver for it.

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Most likely the problem with this unit, is just what the manufacturer says (see my earlier posts), either the motherboard does not supply enough power to run the drive, or, like in Richie2066's case, he found a faulty/loose cable connection.

 

Also, USB external hubs can be a problem for Windows. Kinda a catch 22. But, WD notes that they have an external poer supply that may solve the problem. Prearve also was told that he had a faulty drive by WD. He did not post if this solved the problem, but it could also be possible.

 

I had one external drive that came with a dual USB cable. If plugged into the system with just one, the unit would not be recognized. If I used both and the unit was seen correctly by Windows. So, an issue with having enough power through the USB ports was the issue in this case.

 

I have also seen an issue with front mounted USB (aux. ports) on some systems. Use the USB ports on the back of the computer (the ones directly connected to the motherboard) and the unit works. Also a power issue.

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Tried both front and back. Once my KDE 4.0 download finishes I'll be able to tell for sure that it is not a hardware issue... but I am guessing that isn't the problem... I have a fairly high-end (for it's day) MSI board, high-end power supply... not some wal-mart throw-away system.

 

Tried other cables. Turned off the printer. Did everything but toss it against the wall.

 

The point of my post was to generate a little discussion about the Windows patch that came through the other day, since someone else thought that might have started trouble for them.

 

 

(can't-stop-with-the-hyphens-for-some-reason) smile

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Understood, but the point was as the Western Digital faq page noted for the product;

 

Quote:
There may not be enough power currently supplied to the machine's USB port. Most computer systems only supply 500mA of power through USB ports. The WD Passport hard drive requires a little over 1000mA of power at spin up.

 

My point was that itś the power that the motherboard passes to the USB ports, not if it is an inexpensive system.

 

A Google search will reveal that many have this problem.

 

So, they admit that the product needs more power passed to the USB port than what many motherboards generally allow. They suggest that if Windows does not see the device properly, then this may be the issue. Hence, they suggest buying their external power supply for the drive.

 

Also, since this thread started over a year ago, with other postings with the same problem before the patch you mentioned, it seemed to point toward a hardware issue.

 

But, see what you find out and post any solutions. There are many nasty USB posts on this forum with windows XP.

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I JUST started having this problem with my SimpleTech 320GB external USB hard drive, yesterday. Ever since I bought it my computer recognized it immediately and im running XP. I have an alienware with plenty of power supply for the USB ports, and obviously since it has worked perfectly fine for the last 3 weeks that wouldn't be the problem. When I plug the drive into the AC Power Supply and turn the switch on in the back of the drive it powers on (ie.. Red light goes on) and you can hear the drive spinning, however, there are 4 blue lights on top of the drive that should be lighting up when plugged into the computer but are no longer doing so. The drive worked fine untill about 5 pm CST last night. I bought a sony DVD-RW drive external yesterday (since my internal NEC model that came with my computer i THINK burnt out on me, it still plays dvds but is incapable of reading a DVD-R)...I unplugged the Harddrive and plugged in the DVD-RW drive then unplugged the Dvd-RW drive and re plugged in the Hard Drive, immediatly following that, the Hard Drive stopped working.

 

When I start up my computer, it states that it is reading the USB Mass Storage device. But no USB Connection tab comes up at the bottom and there is nothing in My Computer.

 

Any thoughts???

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Originally Posted By: danleff
...A Google search will reveal that many have this problem.


What is this "Google" you speak of?

Seriously dude, if you want to say RTFM, then just say it. Don't pretend like you're being helpful.

I SEARCHED THE WEB. I READ THIS THREAD. SOMEONE MENTIONED THE WINDOWS PATCH FROM THE OTHER NIGHT AND IT CAUGHT MY EYE BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE AND A COUPLE OTHER QUIRKS THAT POPPED UP. OK?

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