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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I recently bought a Toshiba model PH3100U-1EXB USB external hard drive. The package description specified it was okay for Windows Vista desktops. I first hooked it up to my HP laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit. The drive initiated just fine. The problems arose when the computer was idle for awhile. Clicking on the drive's icon in Windows Explorer results in the drive icon disappearing, then Explorer closing. When I power the drive off, then on, it is then available till the next period of inactivity.

    I connected the drive to my wife's HP desktop running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Same behavior. In attempting to deal with the problem, I have reformatted the drive, looked for hidden system files on the drive that might be the source of the issue. No luck.

    I have sent two emails to Toshiba describing the problem. The Toshiba site promises a tech support reaponse within 24 hours. It lied. After a week, still no response.

    Surely, the drive should work on Windows 7. Its drivers are included in the Windows installation.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Lu Powell

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    It's possible the drive is just bad and it's a heat related problem. Did you try the drive on Vista or XP just to make sure? It could be the drive or the USB ports are going to sleep, but on two systems this isn't too likely. Factor in that the drive might have a manufacturing flaw and maybe it's overheating and failing after a certain amount of time. It might not be that the drive is bad, but don't leave that out of the equation.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Trying a different PC is an excellent suggestion that I also recommend.

    I recently found that the front USB ports on an HTPC that I built from scratch would only sporadically work with an external hard drive used with the Phatnoise car audio system USB 2 docking cradle, while the rear USB ports work reliably all the time. The difference is that the front ports are connected via a wire that connects the front panel USB to an Intel style header on the motherboard, while the rear USB ports are connected directly to the motherboard which no doubt has higher signal integrity than the front ports. Moral of the story - not all USB ports are equal.

    Cheers - Mark

  4. #4
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    Typically, USB drives power down after a period of inactivity. This is programmed in their firmware. You'd have to check with Toshiba support to find out if it is changeable.

    In Win7 when the OS loses connectivity to an external device and you are using Windows Explorer with device Windows Explorer will close. I don't know why that happens.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the quick and excellent replies. I guess it pays to read and follow label directions, though I'm still puzzled by the drive's bad behavior under Windows 7. Toshiba still has not responded to my requests for technical support.

    I connected the external drive to my brother's laptop running Vista. It performed as advertised. Issue resolved.

    Ask me if I will buy another Toshiba product that specifies Vista and try to run it on Windows 7. Ask me if I am impressed with Toshiba's no-customer service.

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