Question USB hard drive problem

Aug 13, 2020
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I'm having an issue and I'm curious if anyone else has run acrros the same thing. I have an older Iomega hard drive, external USB 3.0, 1TB. I've been using it with Windows computers for a long time but suddenly all of my Windows computers no longer want to read the drive. They will see it initially when I plug it into the USB port, but when I start reading files from it or writing files to it, after a few minutes Windows gives up and the drive disappears. This happens on four different computers running Windows 10. However, and this is the weird part, the drive works perfectly on an iMac running the latest OSX. I don't understand why OSX has no trouble with the drive while Windows hangs on it every time. Any suggestions? At this point I've given up using the drive on any Windows system, but I'd still love to know what is causing the problem. In order to use the drive on the iMac I reformat it to Mac format, of course, and when using it on the Windows systems it is formatted as NTFS. I've tried formatting it as exFat and Windows still has problems with it.
 
Aug 13, 2020
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Tried it on both Windows 10 2004 and 1909. Also, in both USB 3 and USB 2 ports. But the iMac, in which it works perfectly, has only USB 3 ports. It's a recent iMac 27" with Intel hardware. I've also noticed that when plugged into a Windows system, the activity light on the drive comes on and stays on almost constantly. On the iMac, the light only comes on occasionally, which seems more like normal behavior.
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
all of my Windows computers no longer want to read the drive. They will see it initially when I plug it into the USB port, but when I start reading files from it or writing files to it, after a few minutes Windows gives up and the drive disappears. This happens on four different computers running Windows
its not just 1 pc DB, its at least 4? So unless they all exactly the same inside, it looks like its windows.

curious what Ubuntu LIve USB would do... I suspect its a windows thing but running another OS on one of the PC would help confirm it. https://itsfoss.com/create-live-usb-of-ubuntu-in-windows/

I have had USB drives that stopped working on one install of win 10 but after I reinstalled win 10 on pc, it worked again.. random.

curious if any events show up in the systems when it stops working

it could be windows is loading the totally wrong driver for the hdd - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/problem-accessing-my-external-harddisk-iomega-hdd/cf42932c-b8e4-4195-96ab-424cbccc15b7?auth=1&page=1

Iomega no longer exists, there are no signed device drivers for the drives
Hi meterV, i checked up on this overnight and while this is reported widely on the forums with regards to Iomega drives, there does not seem to be a fix, I will keep looking for you . . .
Your best best is get new drives from another company that still exists. Or just use the Mac's to copy data since they still work.
 
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Aug 13, 2020
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As you stated that the USB drive is working fine when connected to the Mac system but issues persist on the Windows system then the issue might be with your Windows system or in USB while connecting to the Windows system. Here I suggest you to try the below method and check if that works:
  • Insert the USB drive into the USB port of your system.
  • Go to My Computer>Removable Disk icon.
  • Right click the Removable Disk Icon and open its Properties.
  • Click on the Tools tab.
  • Click Check Now button.
  • You will be given two check disk options “Automatically fix file system errors” and “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”.
  • Check both checkboxes.
  • Click Start. This will initiate the scanning process.
  • Click Close after the scan process is completed.
As with any attempt by Windows to access the drive, it just freezes and eventually stops seeing the drive at all. Attemting to format the drive (other than Quick Format) has the same result.

I am going to try it with an Ubuntu Live USB stick sometime this weekend to see what happens.
 
Aug 13, 2020
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its not just 1 pc DB, its at least 4? So unless they all exactly the same inside, it looks like its windows.

curious what Ubuntu LIve USB would do... I suspect its a windows thing but running another OS on one of the PC would help confirm it. https://itsfoss.com/create-live-usb-of-ubuntu-in-windows/

I have had USB drives that stopped working on one install of win 10 but after I reinstalled win 10 on pc, it worked again.. random.

curious if any events show up in the systems when it stops working

it could be windows is loading the totally wrong driver for the hdd - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/problem-accessing-my-external-harddisk-iomega-hdd/cf42932c-b8e4-4195-96ab-424cbccc15b7?auth=1&page=1

Iomega no longer exists, there are no signed device drivers for the drives


Your best best is get new drives from another company that still exists. Or just use the Mac's to copy data since they still work.
Checked out the link that you attached. It seems that you have come up with the answer - Microsoft messed up at some point in their update of Windows 10 and Iomega external drives no longer work properly because of a driver issue. Well spotted! Thanks for the info. At least now I know. Can still use the drive on non-Windows computers.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
it could be that Iomega don't exist, win 10 only uses signed drivers and since Iomega weren't around to submit the drivers, win 10 won't run them and tries to use what it has on hand.
At some stage in the last 3 years win 10 enforced driver signatures and many devices just don't work on it anymore.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
it could be that Iomega don't exist, win 10 only uses signed drivers and since Iomega weren't around to submit the drivers, win 10 won't run them and tries to use what it has on hand.
At some stage in the last 3 years win 10 enforced driver signatures and many devices just don't work on it anymore.
This.

I'd be willing to bet if you try that drive on a Windows 7 or 8.1 machine, it will work.
 
Aug 13, 2020
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I no longer have a machine running Windows XP, 7, 8, or 8.1 but I'm sure that the drive would most likely work with those older operating systems. It might even work with an older Windows 10. I might try installing Windows 10 1703 or 1709 in a VM to see what happens. I might even still have a Windows 7 Pro VM on my drive somewhere. I did try the drive NTFS formatted with an Ubuntu Live stick on one of the computers which didn't work with it using Windows 10 and it worked flawlessly in Ubuntu, so that answers that question. It's definitely a Windows 10 issue, and a recent one, at least within the last couple of years. I have primarily using that drive for watching TV shows and movies, and I've had it plugged into my LG TV quite a bit. Usually only plugged it into the computer to add videos to the drive, or delete videos from the drive. Old TV so it only handles MBR drives 2TB or less in size, formatted NTFS. But I still have a few older drives (5 or 6) around which I can use instead. And SSDs work fine as long as they're MBR. I just hate to lose the use of a drive when there's nothing wrong with it. I did complain to Microsoft about it. Not that I expect any action, but thought it was worth telling them about it anyway.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator

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