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Issues with USB Storage devices

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#1 zephris


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:38 AM

Description: All USB storage devices fail to load properly. All other USB devices load and work properly.

USB flash drives appear and Vista Drive Icon program for XP will accurately determine the amount of space used (but this takes minutes and should do it in seconds). Windows will not read the drive volume. Attempting access the device gives the "Drive not formatted" error. Windows fails to format the device.

External hard drives whether plugged in directly or through an AC powered hub fail to show. Will show in device manager but cannot access or assign drive letter. Shows partition information accurately. Unable to test formatting process on these drives as they are back up drives with critical information. However, these drives work and mount correctly in all other computers and work properly prior to windows boot.

All devices tested and work fine on a mac book and Windows XP, Vista, and 7 computers.

Have proven that USB ports work by virtue of the following:

All USB non storage devices are recognized and work (2 printers, mouse, keyboard, graphics tablet). One external hard drive is formatted in Mac format and (when recognized) works properly in Windows XP with MacDrive software. Problem is not cables or the drive. When the mac drive is plugged in before windows starts, boot up locks (this is normal). Removing or turning off the drive before boot allows windows to start normally. (This is not an issue but because of the behavior, this determines that hardware is not faulty as behavior has not changed. This means the issue exists entirely in the Windows XP installation)

Rarely, after hours of attempting to read the flash drive, it will recognize it properly and work with absolutely no problem (no delay in read attributes, no speed issues, works just like it should). Problem continues with other drives and resumes with that particular drive when ejected and reinserted.

The technical details:

XP SP3, fully up to date.

Fixes tried (all failed):

Remove USB devices

Remove USB drivers

Reinstall USB drivers

Change/assign drive letters.

Replaced cables.

Tried bypassing hub.

Tried other computers: mac and Windows XP, Vista, and 7 (all devices work fine in other computers).

Removed all drivers/records of past USB drives.

Safe mode

Booting with device plugged in.

Of note: Cannot reinstall windows because of issues regarding software setup that I would need to take weeks to correct and reconfigure (it is, ultimately, an option but I will loose time I cannot afford due to class assignments; remember that the external drives are the back up drives and I can't back up my files)

Any advice would be appreciated.

Edit: Moved topic from XP to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 chopperbobby


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 02:30 PM

You didn't say which external hard drive you have.
The Maxtor 3200 has this problem, and I searched just like you did, and had the same symptoms as you are having.
I found that it was a faulty power supply. I had a spare 12 volt power cord in my junk box, and I used it in place of the Maxtor's
power cord, and that fixed the problem.

#3 zephris

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:29 AM

I have two external hard drives, both from different manufacturers. Unplugging all USB devices except keyboard and mouse still yields same results: no joy when plugging in any external USB storage device (flash or hard drive)

Edited by zephris, 08 November 2011 - 08:29 AM.

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