Western Digital USB hard drive stops working

  NikolaiVronsky 11:28 22 Nov 2006

System: Dell Dimension 9150
XP Home SP2
External Western Digital USB 250Gb hard drive

This drive has worked with the PC since I replaced my old PC in April 2006.

This weekend, when I plug the usb cable for the drive into the PC, the My Computer window freezes, the drive won't auto load, the system loses some function. All I can do is switch off [and see below about that] and cold boot.

Have removed and replaced the mass storage usb drivers. Can't do System Restore to pre the weekend as system won't permit it.

Tried the drive on our second Dell system and it works fine. My other WD usb 80 Gb drive works fine still, as do the two 120 Gb usb Seagate backup drives that I have.

Around the same time, the system started to freeze on shutdown - I have to switch off at the wall each time. Might be a connection I suppose.

Any suggestions as to how to get the 250 Gb drive working again on the 9150?

  Technotiger 11:36 22 Nov 2006

Hi, have you tried it with no other usb devices attached?

  Technotiger 11:37 22 Nov 2006

ps - or - in a different usb port.

  NikolaiVronsky 11:44 22 Nov 2006

I've removed the hub, plus any devices I normally have attached from the front ports on the PC.

The broadband modem/router, mouse, keyboard and printer are still attached as they are all usb devices.

I tried the drive using the other port at the front of the PC, and also one at the back, each time with the same result.

I can try using a different usb cable although the original one works fine on the other PC with that drive.

  Technotiger 11:51 22 Nov 2006

Hmmm, you seem to have tried just about everything - sorry, but I do not know what else to suggest. Hopefully someone else will be able to assist.

Good luck.

  freaky 19:32 22 Nov 2006

Possibly your USB port on the PC that connects to the external drive is faulty, or the cable is. Especially as it works OK on the other PC's.

  NikolaiVronsky 20:17 22 Nov 2006

Hi freaky
unfortunately my other external usb hard drives all work through that usb port - though none is precisely the same drive.

it is bizarre!

  freaky 20:44 22 Nov 2006


Get your point, very strange....can't suggest anything at the moment, but will have a think.

In the meantime somebody may come up with an idea.

  freaky 20:59 22 Nov 2006

Reading through your post again about " Around the same time, the system started to freeze on shutdown - I have to switch off at the wall each time".

What is the rating in Watts of the PSU in the Dimension 9150, and have you added any new hardware to it since the External Western HD functioned OK ?

Reason I am asking is that the Western 250GB may require more power than the smaller capacity external HD's. If your PSU output is borderline then this might be the cause.

  NikolaiVronsky 21:55 22 Nov 2006

I'm not sure what the rating is - the original psu died a few weeks ago and Dell replaced it. However, things have worked fine since - with all the external drives - sometimes with several on the go at once [not normally done though].

My previous PC, a NEC, developed the same problem of needing to be unplugged to shut down when I moved from Windows Me to XP home. Makes me wonder either if the XP auto update has changed something. I've switched off auto update now, not sure if it is a sensible thing to have just doing things without my say so.

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