Int. HD plugged into USB: Have access but no power

  bob dob 19:12 14 May 2017

Hi all. I have two Hitachi SATA internal Hard drives from an old laptop and I have plugged them in to my Vista laptop via a USB-SATA cable to try to read them. The cable has 2 USBs, a main one and one leading off. I have the main one plugged in to my laptop's USB. On the SATA cable it has a blue light that says 'access' and a red light where it says 'power'. If getting power to the Hard drive is the issue, how do I do this please?

  wee eddie 19:34 14 May 2017

Your Hard Drive needs both USB's to be plugged in to give it sufficient power to work.

Incidentally, it would make sense for your Lappy were Mains powered if you are using such a power hungry External Hard Drive for more than a few minutes

  bob dob 20:42 14 May 2017

Hi and thank you for replying. My laptop is currently powered by the mains and I have just tried again with both USBs plugged in but I still get the same result. From the back of my mind I seem to remember something to do with me trying these HDs in a caddy that stopped both working and I then threw that caddy away. Would this make sense? If so, would it still show 'access' as the blue light (which I presume to mean 'all is okay'?)

  [DELETED] 20:59 14 May 2017

Try shutting down the laptop. Connect the external drive with your cables and boot up the laptop.

  Jollyjohn 21:53 14 May 2017

You may need to use a powered USB hub to get enough power to the attached drive. There may not be enough power available from the laptop USB ports.

  bob dob 22:17 14 May 2017

Thank you. I will try to get a powered USB hub.Can I ask - does the 'access' blue light give a clue as to whether the HD is ok?

  wee eddie 22:55 14 May 2017

Powered Hubs are very cheap. Blue lights tend to infer that it has powered up successfully.

However, that does not mean that it is working

  alanrwood 09:36 15 May 2017

Especially as you are connecting 2 hard drives. A USB can supply a max of half an amp (Unless it is USB3).

  Bris 12:43 15 May 2017

Its worth noting also that even if you are running your laptop from the mains, every device that you connect via USB, unless it is externally powered, will draw additional current from the power brick.

Laptop supplies, unlike those installed in a desktop PC, are not designed to provide much more than that required to run the laptop alone and the result of any additional current draw can substantially shorten the life of the power supply as it causes the power supply to overheat.

If the power supply gets more than warm to the touch then its being overloaded.

For this reason its advisable to connect your external HDDs via a powered caddie as suggested.

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