External USB drive suddenly vanished from Disk Management.


R

Robin Bignall

A couple of weeks ago I bought a 500 gig IDE Caviar and put it into an
external USB enclosure. It worked perfectly and I've taken a couple
of system backups to it. Trying last night to do a third backup I
found that the drive had vanished from My Computer and Disk
Management. Drive is seen in BIOS as a USB mass storage, and also in
Device manager, which shows it enabled and working properly. I have
uninstalled and reinstalled it, to no effect. The only program that
can "see" it is Belarc Advisor, which thinks it's a 2199.2 gig mass
storage. So part of Windows can detect it's there but it's not being
detected as a 500 gig HDD. Is this an enumeration problem? I might
add that no other hard or software has been changed.
 
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D

DL

Is your enclosure a powered one?
What does WD Seatools say about the device?

A couple of weeks ago I bought a 500 gig IDE Caviar and put it into an
external USB enclosure. It worked perfectly and I've taken a couple
of system backups to it. Trying last night to do a third backup I
found that the drive had vanished from My Computer and Disk
Management. Drive is seen in BIOS as a USB mass storage, and also in
Device manager, which shows it enabled and working properly. I have
uninstalled and reinstalled it, to no effect. The only program that
can "see" it is Belarc Advisor, which thinks it's a 2199.2 gig mass
storage. So part of Windows can detect it's there but it's not being
detected as a 500 gig HDD. Is this an enumeration problem? I might
add that no other hard or software has been changed.
 
R

Robin Bignall

Have you EVER seen an IDE hard drive that ran on USB-only power?
What are you doing here?

Of course it is a USB enclosure with its own power -- an AKASA
Integral. I have two external USB devices with their own power: one
is 360 gig ASA, which I've put onto another computer as backup device,
and replaced it on my working machine with the 500 gig. I bought an
IDE enclosure / HDD (rather than SATA) because I have quite a few old
80 gig IDE HDDs which I wished to reformat before building them into a
third machine to give away. As I said, the AKASA / 500 IDE worked
perfectly through two backups as disk G. Now, out of the blue, it can
be seen by BIOS and Device Manager, but is invisible to My Computer
and Disk Management. Windows knows it's there but for some reason
cannot tell what it is.

This is an ASUS P3E5 deluxe board with 3x3 core2duo, 4 gig RAM, 1333,
3 SATA drives, XPPro SP3.
 
A

Anna

A couple of weeks ago I bought a 500 gig IDE Caviar and put it into an
external USB enclosure. It worked perfectly and I've taken a couple
of system backups to it. Trying last night to do a third backup I
found that the drive had vanished from My Computer and Disk
Management. Drive is seen in BIOS as a USB mass storage, and also in
Device manager, which shows it enabled and working properly. I have
uninstalled and reinstalled it, to no effect. The only program that
can "see" it is Belarc Advisor, which thinks it's a 2199.2 gig mass
storage. So part of Windows can detect it's there but it's not being
detected as a 500 gig HDD. Is this an enumeration problem? I might
add that no other hard or software has been changed.
--
Robin
(BrE)
Herts, England


(Robin goes on to say...)
Of course it is a USB enclosure with its own power -- an AKASA
Integral. I have two external USB devices with their own power: one
is 360 gig ASA, which I've put onto another computer as backup device,
and replaced it on my working machine with the 500 gig. I bought an
IDE enclosure / HDD (rather than SATA) because I have quite a few old
80 gig IDE HDDs which I wished to reformat before building them into a
third machine to give away. As I said, the AKASA / 500 IDE worked
perfectly through two backups as disk G. Now, out of the blue, it can
be seen by BIOS and Device Manager, but is invisible to My Computer
and Disk Management. Windows knows it's there but for some reason
cannot tell what it is.

This is an ASUS P3E5 deluxe board with 3x3 core2duo, 4 gig RAM, 1333,
3 SATA drives, XPPro SP3.
--
Robin


Robin:
These USB non-recognition problems (especially involving USB external HDDs &
flash drives) have been vexing all of us for some time now. Hardly a day
passes where queries similar to yours are not posted to this and other
newsgroups dealing with XP/Vista issues.

We've become increasingly convinced that the relatively large number of
problems in this area involving the non-recognition of USB devices that
we've all been experiencing is an indication that there is something
seriously flawed with respect to either the USB 2.0 specifications, possibly
involving quality control issues affecting the manufacturer of these USB
devices as well as supporting components such as motherboards and other
USB-related components. Then too, we've become increasingly suspicious of
the XP OS as it relates to its recognition of and interaction with these USB
2.0 devices.

We have encountered far too many unexplained problems affecting
detection/recognition of these devices and their erratic functioning not to
believe that something is seriously amiss in this area.

We continually encounter situations where a USB 2.0 device - generally
involving a flash drive or USB external hard drive, will work perfectly fine
in one machine and not in another. And, in far too many cases, we're unable
to determine why this is so since we're unable to detect any
hardware/software problem in the balking machine that would cause this
non-recognition effect.

We've put together a more-or-less checklist for troubleshooting these rather
common USB non-recognition problems that (hopefully) may be of some value to
users encountering this type of problem...(I realize not all of the
following will have relevance to your specific situation, but they may be of
some value to others having a more-or-less similar problem as you're
experiencing).

1. Access Disk Management and see if the USB device is listed. If so, and
there's no drive letter assigned, see if you can assign a drive letter to
the device.
2. If the USB device is listed in Disk Management with an assigned drive
letter, right-click on its listing and select Explore from the submenu.
Hopefully, Windows Explorer will open and the device will be listed.
3. Connect the USB device *directly* to a USB port on the computer, not via
a USB hub. Try different USB ports should your computer have multiple ports.
4. Avoid using a USB extension cable.
5. Try connecting a USB device (that does not contain an auxiliary power
supply) to a USB port both before and after the boot operation.
6. Where a USB (or Firewire) external HDD is involved, access Device
Manager, highlight the Disk drives listing and click on the Action menu item
and then the "Scan for hardware changes" sub-menu item. Do the same in Disk
Management > Action > Rescan disks.
7. Again, if the problem device is a USB external HDD that is not being
recognized by the system - access the BIOS and disable the "boot from USB
device" option should that setting be present in the BIOS. Ditto for "USB
legacy support" or similar setting if present.
8. Try alternate powering ON/OFF methods. If the USB device contains its own
power supply (as in the case of a USBEHD), try booting up with the device's
power on, and if the USBEHD is not detected, then try powering on the device
only *after* the system has booted to a Desktop.
9. Try a different USB cable.
10. In the USB controllers section of Device Manager, uninstall all the USB
controllers listed and reboot.
11. If the device in question is not a commercial USB external HDD but
rather one in which you installed a PATA HDD in a USB enclosure, jumper the
HDD as Master (or Single if the HDD is a Western Digital disk). A number of
users have reported that jumper configuration corrected their
non-recognition problem. In my own experience it has never seemed to matter
how a USB external HDD (regardless of make/model) is jumpered when installed
as a USB device in an external enclosure. But I continue to see user reports
indicating a jumper change resolved their problem, so it may be worth a try.
12. If the device in question is a USB external HDD, first check out the HDD
with the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic utility. If it checks out OK,
and you can remove the HDD from its enclosure (without voiding any
applicable warranty), do so and install the HDD as an internal HDD to
determine if there are problems with the disk.
13. If the USB device is connected to a USB 2.0 PCI card, try changing the
card's PCI slot on the motherboard.
14. Access the website of the manufacturer of the USB device to determine if
there's any firmware update or info re the problem you're experiencing or
there's any possibility that the USB enclosure itself might be defective.
15. Determine from the manufacturer of your motherboard whether there's a
BIOS upgrade (or other software download) affecting USB device recognition.
(We have encountered a few - very few - older motherboards (about five or so
years old) that exhibit USB 2.0 connectivity problems, even though they're
presumably designed for USB 2.0 capability and the installed XP OS includes
SP1 or SP2. (I'm assuming your PC contains a SP since there were definite XP
OS-related USB-connectivity problems prior to the SP1 update). In a number
of those cases involving a motherboard problem an additional USB 2.0 driver
was included with the MB or available from the motherboard's manufacturer.
Theoretically there should not have been any need to install an auxiliary
USB 2.0 driver, but we found this was the only way to ensure reliable USB
2.0 connectivity. Admittedly this was a rare situation with only a very few
motherboards and we haven't encountered this identical problem with
motherboards manufactured over the past five years or so.)
Anna

P.S.
A number of posters have reported they've found useful information re
troubleshooting USB devices on this site...
http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html
 
A

Alister

Anna said:
1. Access Disk Management and see if the USB device is listed. If so, and
there's no drive letter assigned, see if you can assign a drive letter to
the device.
2. If the USB device is listed in Disk Management with an assigned drive
letter, right-click on its listing and select Explore from the submenu.
Hopefully, Windows Explorer will open and the device will be listed.
3. Connect the USB device *directly* to a USB port on the computer, not
via a USB hub. Try different USB ports should your computer have multiple
ports.
4. Avoid using a USB extension cable.
5. Try connecting a USB device (that does not contain an auxiliary power
supply) to a USB port both before and after the boot operation.
6. Where a USB (or Firewire) external HDD is involved, access Device
Manager, highlight the Disk drives listing and click on the Action menu
item and then the "Scan for hardware changes" sub-menu item. Do the same
in Disk Management > Action > Rescan disks.
7. Again, if the problem device is a USB external HDD that is not being
recognized by the system - access the BIOS and disable the "boot from USB
device" option should that setting be present in the BIOS. Ditto for "USB
legacy support" or similar setting if present.
8. Try alternate powering ON/OFF methods. If the USB device contains its
own power supply (as in the case of a USBEHD), try booting up with the
device's power on, and if the USBEHD is not detected, then try powering on
the device only *after* the system has booted to a Desktop.
9. Try a different USB cable.
10. In the USB controllers section of Device Manager, uninstall all the
USB controllers listed and reboot.
11. If the device in question is not a commercial USB external HDD but
rather one in which you installed a PATA HDD in a USB enclosure, jumper
the HDD as Master (or Single if the HDD is a Western Digital disk). A
number of users have reported that jumper configuration corrected their
non-recognition problem. In my own experience it has never seemed to
matter how a USB external HDD (regardless of make/model) is jumpered when
installed as a USB device in an external enclosure. But I continue to see
user reports indicating a jumper change resolved their problem, so it may
be worth a try.
12. If the device in question is a USB external HDD, first check out the
HDD with the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic utility. If it checks
out OK, and you can remove the HDD from its enclosure (without voiding
any applicable warranty), do so and install the HDD as an internal HDD to
determine if there are problems with the disk.
13. If the USB device is connected to a USB 2.0 PCI card, try changing the
card's PCI slot on the motherboard.
14. Access the website of the manufacturer of the USB device to determine
if there's any firmware update or info re the problem you're experiencing
or there's any possibility that the USB enclosure itself might be
defective.
15. Determine from the manufacturer of your motherboard whether there's a
BIOS upgrade (or other software download) affecting USB device
recognition. (We have encountered a few - very few - older motherboards
(about five or so years old) that exhibit USB 2.0 connectivity problems,
even though they're presumably designed for USB 2.0 capability and the
installed XP OS includes SP1 or SP2. (I'm assuming your PC contains a SP
since there were definite XP OS-related USB-connectivity problems prior to
the SP1 update). In a number of those cases involving a motherboard
problem an additional USB 2.0 driver was included with the MB or available
from the motherboard's manufacturer. Theoretically there should not have
been any need to install an auxiliary USB 2.0 driver, but we found this
was the only way to ensure reliable USB 2.0 connectivity. Admittedly this
was a rare situation with only a very few motherboards and we haven't
encountered this identical problem with motherboards manufactured over the
past five years or so.)

In addition to Anna's excellent list, can I also add my own ha'pennorth.

I have come across an issue with a number of third party USB HDD enclosures
which are supplied with a lead with a single mini USB connector on one end
and a double type A USB connector on the other end. We have found that
larger IDE drives - 500GB > 2TB require BOTH type A connectors to be
connected to the PC in adjacent ports, as a single one is insufficient to
power the drive.

Alister
 
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S

smlunatick

In addition to Anna's excellent list, can I also add my own ha'pennorth.

I  have come across an issue with a number of third party USB HDD enclosures
which are supplied with a lead with a single mini USB connector on one end
and a double type A USB connector on the other end. We have found that
larger IDE drives - 500GB > 2TB require BOTH type A connectors to be
connected to the PC in adjacent ports, as a single one is insufficient to
power the drive.

Alister

Most better USB enclosures of EIDE / SATA drives should have their
very own AC transformer that plugs onto a standard power jack. If the
enclosure only uses USB to provide the power then these style of
problem occur. This is due to the fact that most USB motherboard
ports are "paired" and the combined "power" is split over the "paired"
ports. Usually to confirm if this is a problem, you need to
disconnect every USB devices from every USB port and only use the
minimum USB devices (keyboard and mouse) with the drive enclosure. If
this seems to allow the enclosure to constantly work, a powered USB
hub may help. Powered USB hubs have their own power transformer,
which will add power over the hub's USB ports. However, most USB
device manufacturers tend to not support their devices when connected
to a hub.
 
R

Robin Bignall

A couple of weeks ago I bought a 500 gig IDE Caviar and put it into an
external USB enclosure. It worked perfectly and I've taken a couple
of system backups to it. Trying last night to do a third backup I
found that the drive had vanished from My Computer and Disk
Management. Drive is seen in BIOS as a USB mass storage, and also in
Device manager, which shows it enabled and working properly. I have
uninstalled and reinstalled it, to no effect. The only program that
can "see" it is Belarc Advisor, which thinks it's a 2199.2 gig mass
storage. So part of Windows can detect it's there but it's not being
detected as a 500 gig HDD. Is this an enumeration problem? I might
add that no other hard or software has been changed.
--
Robin
(BrE)
Herts, England


(Robin goes on to say...)
Of course it is a USB enclosure with its own power -- an AKASA
Integral. I have two external USB devices with their own power: one
is 360 gig ASA, which I've put onto another computer as backup device,
and replaced it on my working machine with the 500 gig. I bought an
IDE enclosure / HDD (rather than SATA) because I have quite a few old
80 gig IDE HDDs which I wished to reformat before building them into a
third machine to give away. As I said, the AKASA / 500 IDE worked
perfectly through two backups as disk G. Now, out of the blue, it can
be seen by BIOS and Device Manager, but is invisible to My Computer
and Disk Management. Windows knows it's there but for some reason
cannot tell what it is.

This is an ASUS P3E5 deluxe board with 3x3 core2duo, 4 gig RAM, 1333,
3 SATA drives, XPPro SP3.
--
Robin


Robin:
These USB non-recognition problems (especially involving USB external HDDs &
flash drives) have been vexing all of us for some time now. Hardly a day
passes where queries similar to yours are not posted to this and other
newsgroups dealing with XP/Vista issues.

We've become increasingly convinced that the relatively large number of
problems in this area involving the non-recognition of USB devices that
we've all been experiencing is an indication that there is something
seriously flawed with respect to either the USB 2.0 specifications, possibly
involving quality control issues affecting the manufacturer of these USB
devices as well as supporting components such as motherboards and other
USB-related components. Then too, we've become increasingly suspicious of
the XP OS as it relates to its recognition of and interaction with theseUSB
2.0 devices.

We have encountered far too many unexplained problems affecting
detection/recognition of these devices and their erratic functioning notto
believe that something is seriously amiss in this area.

We continually encounter situations where a USB 2.0 device - generally
involving a flash drive or USB external hard drive, will work perfectly fine
in one machine and not in another. And, in far too many cases, we're unable
to determine why this is so since we're unable to detect any
hardware/software problem in the balking machine that would cause this
non-recognition effect.
Rather than go through this list I'll skip to the end.
We've put together a more-or-less checklist for troubleshooting these rather
common USB non-recognition problems that (hopefully) may be of some value to
users encountering this type of problem...(I realize not all of the
following will have relevance to your specific situation, but they may be of
some value to others having a more-or-less similar problem as you're
experiencing).

1. Access Disk Management and see if the USB device is listed. If so, and
there's no drive letter assigned, see if you can assign a drive letter to
the device.
2. If the USB device is listed in Disk Management with an assigned drive
letter, right-click on its listing and select Explore from the submenu.
Hopefully, Windows Explorer will open and the device will be listed.
3. Connect the USB device *directly* to a USB port on the computer, not via
a USB hub. Try different USB ports should your computer have multiple ports.
4. Avoid using a USB extension cable.
5. Try connecting a USB device (that does not contain an auxiliary power
supply) to a USB port both before and after the boot operation.
6. Where a USB (or Firewire) external HDD is involved, access Device
Manager, highlight the Disk drives listing and click on the Action menu item
and then the "Scan for hardware changes" sub-menu item. Do the same in Disk
Management > Action > Rescan disks.
7. Again, if the problem device is a USB external HDD that is not being
recognized by the system - access the BIOS and disable the "boot from USB
device" option should that setting be present in the BIOS. Ditto for "USB
legacy support" or similar setting if present.
8. Try alternate powering ON/OFF methods. If the USB device contains itsown
power supply (as in the case of a USBEHD), try booting up with the device's
power on, and if the USBEHD is not detected, then try powering on the device
only *after* the system has booted to a Desktop.
9. Try a different USB cable.
10. In the USB controllers section of Device Manager, uninstall all the USB
controllers listed and reboot.
11. If the device in question is not a commercial USB external HDD but
rather one in which you installed a PATA HDD in a USB enclosure, jumper the
HDD as Master (or Single if the HDD is a Western Digital disk). A numberof
users have reported that jumper configuration corrected their
non-recognition problem. In my own experience it has never seemed to matter
how a USB external HDD (regardless of make/model) is jumpered when installed
as a USB device in an external enclosure. But I continue to see user reports
indicating a jumper change resolved their problem, so it may be worth a try.
12. If the device in question is a USB external HDD, first check out theHDD
with the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic utility. If it checks out OK,
and you can remove the HDD from its enclosure (without voiding any
applicable warranty), do so and install the HDD as an internal HDD to
determine if there are problems with the disk.
13. If the USB device is connected to a USB 2.0 PCI card, try changing the
card's PCI slot on the motherboard.
14. Access the website of the manufacturer of the USB device to determine if
there's any firmware update or info re the problem you're experiencing or
there's any possibility that the USB enclosure itself might be defective.
15. Determine from the manufacturer of your motherboard whether there's a
BIOS upgrade (or other software download) affecting USB device recognition.
(We have encountered a few - very few - older motherboards (about five or so
years old) that exhibit USB 2.0 connectivity problems, even though they're
presumably designed for USB 2.0 capability and the installed XP OS includes
SP1 or SP2. (I'm assuming your PC contains a SP since there were definite XP
OS-related USB-connectivity problems prior to the SP1 update). In a number
of those cases involving a motherboard problem an additional USB 2.0 driver
was included with the MB or available from the motherboard's manufacturer.
Theoretically there should not have been any need to install an auxiliary
USB 2.0 driver, but we found this was the only way to ensure reliable USB
2.0 connectivity. Admittedly this was a rare situation with only a very few
motherboards and we haven't encountered this identical problem with
motherboards manufactured over the past five years or so.)

Computer was built just before Xmas and has ASUS's latest BIOS and
drivers. The powered enclosure has been tested with a variety of 40
and 80 gig IDEs, successfully. The 500 gig HDD is a WD Caviar, dated
March 1, 2009, so it's brand new. Tried it with/without jumpers. It
worked for two weeks with no jumper = master. In Device Manager/USB
the device is "USB Mass Storage", enabled and working properly. In
"Disk Drives" it's "USB Drive", enabled and working properly but the
tab "volume info" is empty, all dashes.

In "Event viewer"/system there's a continuous error "Bad block" code
07, "Unknown media". So it appears that the HDD has gone wrong. Since
neither My Computer nor Disk Manager can see it, I don't know how to
run diagnostics. Uninstalling it and reinstalling does not clear the
error. It seems to have gone wrong just sitting there, most of the
time with power off. I only power it up for backups.
 
A

Anna

(SNIP)
In "Event viewer"/system there's a continuous error "Bad block" code
07, "Unknown media". So it appears that the HDD has gone wrong. Since
neither My Computer nor Disk Manager can see it, I don't know how to
run diagnostics. Uninstalling it and reinstalling does not clear the
error. It seems to have gone wrong just sitting there, most of the
time with power off. I only power it up for backups.
--
Robin
(BrE)
Herts, England


Robin:
Possibly you may be dealing with a defective HDD. You should immediately
check out the disk with WD's diagnostic utility -
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=613&sid=1&lang=en
Anna
 
S

smlunatick

(SNIP)
In "Event viewer"/system there's a continuous error "Bad block" code
07, "Unknown media".  So it appears that the HDD has gone wrong. Since
neither My Computer nor Disk Manager can see it, I don't know how to
run diagnostics.  Uninstalling it and reinstalling does not clear the
error.  It seems to have gone wrong just sitting there, most of the
time with power off.  I only power it up for backups.
--
Robin
(BrE)
Herts, England

Robin:
Possibly you may be dealing with a defective HDD. You should immediately
check out the disk with WD's diagnostic utility -http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=613&sid=1〈=en
Anna

Have you check in the Disk Management so as to see if your XP is
detecting the hard drive?

Right Click om My Computer ico
Select "Manage" from the "shown" menu
Locate and click on Disk Management.
 
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R

Robin Bignall

(SNIP)
In "Event viewer"/system there's a continuous error "Bad block" code
07, "Unknown media". So it appears that the HDD has gone wrong. Since
neither My Computer nor Disk Manager can see it, I don't know how to
run diagnostics. Uninstalling it and reinstalling does not clear the
error. It seems to have gone wrong just sitting there, most of the
time with power off. I only power it up for backups.
--
Robin
(BrE)
Herts, England


Robin:
Possibly you may be dealing with a defective HDD. You should immediately
check out the disk with WD's diagnostic utility -
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=613&sid=1&lang=en
Anna
To respond to the post following yours, the disk is NOT shown in Disk
Manager or in My Computer.

WD diagnostics immediately fail and ask me to check the cable. I've
tried three different cables in all USB sockets. This drive appears
to have failed catastrophically. I shall contact the supplier.
Thanks for the help.
 
S

smlunatick

To respond to the post following yours, the disk is NOT shown in Disk
Manager or in My Computer.  

WD diagnostics immediately fail and ask me to check the cable.  I've
tried three different cables in all USB sockets.  This drive appears
to have failed catastrophically.  I shall contact the supplier.
Thanks for the help.

Can you try this drive on a different PC? I too had problems with a
WD pocket drive that the diagnostics failed. It might be that the
diagnostics can not access the USB ports.
 
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R

Robin Bignall

Can you try this drive on a different PC?

Not without a deal of difficulty.
I too had problems with a
WD pocket drive that the diagnostics failed. It might be that the
diagnostics can not access the USB ports.

I tried the Akasi USB enclosure with a couple of spare IDE drives and
the WD diagnostics and they worked OK. The failed disk has been RFA'd
back to the supplier. Whatever went wrong it seems to be consistent,
in that both Device Manager and WD's Data Lifeguard tools thought the
500 Gig drive was actually a 2199.2 gig mass storage device, but
neither could detect a serial number or manufacturer. I suspect that
since WD's diagnostics couldn't even see the device, some data in the
firmware has got screwed up, and I wonder how.
 

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