Question USB Bizarre Behavior

Jun 16, 2021
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Hello all! HP Z230, latest build Win 10.



I have two external drives connected through USB 3 ports on the front of the box. Drive "F" (WD My Passport) has a large collection of music files. Drive "G" (Toshiba) is a file backup drive. They have worked perfectly for two years. Now the following happened. All of a sudden, neither drive was recognized. I went through all of the standard steps--reboots, reinstall of USB drivers, etc.No soap. I started playing with the drives. Now the "F" drive is correctly recognized and functions normally, although there was a lot of odd behavior at first, that went away after reboots and driver reinstalls. BUT if I also plug the "G" drive to any of the front ports, the "F" disappears and "G" is not recognized. BUT the "G" drive works perfectly if I plug it into the port on my monitor. I can build a machine from parts. I have solved many complex problems for myself and others. I can't figure this one out.

Possibly relevant. I had several older drive plugged into these ports with a SATA to USB setup to recover older files. This went okay. There have evidently been some MS updates regarding USB including the "Extensible Host Controller" and "Root Hub USB 3.0" (see screen grab) I suspect these.

Windows 10 Professional (x64) Version 2009 (build 19043.1052)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States)
Installed: 6/9/2020 9:43:59 PM

Hewlett-Packard HP Z230 Tower Workstation

Board: Hewlett-Packard 1905
Serial Number: 2UA602269J
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
UEFI: Hewlett-Packard L51 v01.52 07/20/2015

3.60 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4790
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
8192 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Hyper-threaded (8 total)

Thanks a big heap for any advice.

Les
 
if they dont get recognized together, it might be power limit issue, u can solve that with external power supply
based on your usb specs, single external drive powered from USB port should work (up to 1.5A power draw), for 2 or more u will need external USB power supply, which would be powered usb hub (5V 2A minimum)
sata to usb drives shouldnt have issues as they have external power supply
 
Jun 16, 2021
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I was thinking along those lines. Since the drives worked together for several years, I worry that something may have gone wrong with the hub power. I have no idea if it has a fuse of any kind that might have blown, or any software regulation. I've been trying to look into that, so far without success. I will continue. Thank you for your time.
 

Paperdoc

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Wait! Your first post talks about 2 drives plugged into USB3 ports on the front of the box. Then you reply says. "I worry that something may have gone wrong with the hub power." Do you mean that these two drives are connected to a powered HUB, and that Hub then is plugged into a single USB3 port on the computer? That would make more sense, because what you describe is VERY much like inadequate power to those drives. And that most certainly would happen if the power supply to the Hub has failed in some manner. The power supply module may have failed, or the contacts on the power cable to the Hub have a problem, or there's a broken-off wire somewhere, etc.
 
Jun 16, 2021
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Wait! Your first post talks about 2 drives plugged into USB3 ports on the front of the box. Then you reply says. "I worry that something may have gone wrong with the hub power." Do you mean that these two drives are connected to a powered HUB, and that Hub then is plugged into a single USB3 port on the computer? That would make more sense, because what you describe is VERY much like inadequate power to those drives. And that most certainly would happen if the power supply to the Hub has failed in some manner. The power supply module may have failed, or the contacts on the power cable to the Hub have a problem, or there's a broken-off wire somewhere, etc.
No, no. Sorry. I meant the internal hub, I would have been able to diagnose a failed external hub quickly. I think that power has been lost or partly lost to the ports on the machine. It really is weird. If I can find my multimeter, I really need to check voltages on the mobo. I think also that a powered external hub might solve the problem. I first will check the board for any loose connections. Gotta find a schematic for the machine.
 

Paperdoc

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OK. much clearer. I suspect you say "internal Hub" when you mean the USB3 mobo HEADER, OR the mobo facilities that actually are connected directly to externally-accessed USB3 ports on the rear panel. If that's what you mean, then yes, EACH of the ports provided by such systems should be able to supply the standard 5 VDC power at up to 0.9 A, and that WAS sufficient earlier, just not now. So that does sound like their power supply was cut off somehow, maybe by a poor connection. IF you are talking about ports (e.g., on the front panel) fed by a CABLE from a mobo header, then try just unplugging and re-connecting that cable at the mobo header several times. SOMETIMES such a connector develops oxidation on contact surfaces that interferes, and thus can be "scrubbed" off by that action.
 
Jun 16, 2021
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OK. much clearer. I suspect you say "internal Hub" when you mean the USB3 mobo HEADER, OR the mobo facilities that actually are connected directly to externally-accessed USB3 ports on the rear panel. If that's what you mean, then yes, EACH of the ports provided by such systems should be able to supply the standard 5 VDC power at up to 0.9 A, and that WAS sufficient earlier, just not now. So that does sound like their power supply was cut off somehow, maybe by a poor connection. IF you are talking about ports (e.g., on the front panel) fed by a CABLE from a mobo header, then try just unplugging and re-connecting that cable at the mobo header several times. SOMETIMES such a connector develops oxidation on contact surfaces that interferes, and thus can be "scrubbed" off by that action.
I decided to do just that. Now my WD drive works on a USB 3 port, but my two Toshibas still do not. They do work on USB 2, so there's nothing wrong with the drives (SNAP shows healthy, for what that's worth). I ordered a powered USB 3 hub, which should take care of the problem for good. No use constantly fussing.

Thank you and everyone for responding.

Les
 
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