Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Dodgy WD Passport portable HDD


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Odyssey42

Odyssey42

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:15 AM

Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:06 AM

My 320 GB WD Passport portable HDD has become unpredictable. Some times on some computers, it will be recognized, usually not.

I always plug it into a USB port on the back of each computer.

The thing cost over $100 so I don't want to toss it without trying to fix it. Any ideas on how to diagnose the source of the problem and repair it? Thanks in advance.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,260 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:05:15 AM

Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:32 AM

Is it under warranty?

Louis

#3 Odyssey42

Odyssey42
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:15 AM

Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:13 PM

Louis, Thanks, but if it were, I would have just sent it back.

#4 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,260 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:05:15 AM

Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:21 PM

Well...some persons don't seem to think of that...and their devices are under warranty.

Since it's not under warranty...I would crack the case and remove the hard drive and connect it directly to the motherboard.

If it works properly, it was the enclosure or power supply.

If it doesn't work properly, you need to try running a manufacturer's diagnostic on it.

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

Louis

#5 Odyssey42

Odyssey42
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:15 AM

Posted 23 August 2009 - 07:43 PM

Hamluis, Good idea. Have d/l'd the diagnostics.

Not sure how to crack the case without tearing things up. Any guidance?

#6 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,260 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:05:15 AM

Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:10 AM

I've never owned a sealed USB external drive...I assume that they are able to be opened just like any other case (screws).

If not, that is one of the reasons I don't suggest that anyone buy a sealed case...when they can achieve the same result by just buying a hard drive and an enclosure.

Louis

#7 Odyssey42

Odyssey42
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:15 AM

Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:27 PM

Since this one may well be toast, I may be buying a new one. Are there 2.5" enclosures sold (with or without the hdd) that are USB powered (instead of from 120V)?

If so, do you know anything about their reliability?

Since this one may well be toast, I may be buying a new one. Are there 2.5" enclosures sold (with or without the hdd) that are USB powered (instead of from 120V)?

If so, do you know anything about their reliability?

#8 Odyssey42

Odyssey42
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:15 AM

Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:36 PM

I managed to get the case apart (start separating the two pieces at the corner opposite the USB plugin and carefully work it apart with a very small screwdriver). I have a SATA USB docking station which will dock either 2.5" or 3.5". The WD hdd from the Passport fired up immediately and works perfectly.

So it is either faulty in the Passport's connector board that plugs into the end of the drive and converts the signal to USB, or it is not getting enough power through the USB connector.

Is there a Y-connector to allow the drive to take power from two USB ports, and if so, is this recommended? If not, is there another way to boost the power?

If not, then it must be the connector board. Does it make more sense to just get a new 2.5" USB case than to try to get a replacement board from Western Digital?

#9 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,260 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:05:15 AM

Posted 25 August 2009 - 07:24 PM

Well...as I said, I have never owned a sealed external drive nor have I ever owned one without its own power supply that required being plugged in.

From what I understand, relying on the USB connection by itself for power to a hard drive or an optical drive...is a bad idea...as well as buying an external drive with no on/off switch.

Worth reading, IMO: http://www.getusb.info/how-good-are-bus-powered-usb-devices/

So, to answer your query...it seems to me that inadequate power for the hard drive might contribute to problems with said drive.

Louis

#10 Odyssey42

Odyssey42
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:15 AM

Posted 28 August 2009 - 04:22 PM

Update:

A few days ago I had ordered an inexpensive portable USB case for a 2.5" SATA drive, and it just arrived, and it has a twin lead USB cable.

I put the Passport hdd drive in the new case and plugged only one of the two leads into a front USB port (a 2.0) on my Dell 4700, and it fired up instantly and runs like a rocket!

So the controller card in the Passport looks like the weak link. Good job the new case, which cost about $9.00, arrived before I could extract a reply out of WD about the price of a replacement controller card. But I'll bet it would have been at least twice the cost of the entire new kit, if not more.

#11 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,260 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:05:15 AM

Posted 28 August 2009 - 07:10 PM

Well done :thumbsup:, happy computing.

Louis




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users