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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I received a new Dell Studio XPS 9000 about a week ago with 64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium, and attached a new Seagate USB external hard disk drive for backups. When I shutdown or put the computer in sleep mode, the USB lights flash continuously. Dell replaced the motherboard but that didn't solve the problem. The only way to stop the flashing lights is to unplug the computer's power cable from my battery backup. In addition I can't eject the drive as I get a message stating that a program is in use but I have closed all programs. I know it's not the drive because I have the identical one attached to an Dell XPS 410 and it works just fine - no flashing lights on shutdown or sleep. I even attached the one for my new XPS to the older Dell with no problems whatsoever. I'm new to this site so I hope I have posted this in the correct spot.........probably not as it must be a Dell problem and not a Windows 7 problem?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    You may be able to work out what file is in use using Procmon that you can download as part of the Sysinternals Suite.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wilson View Post
    ... the USB lights flash continuously.
    I wonder if it's a power question. Does this USB drive have its own power supply or is it drawing power from the USB port on the computer?

    I'm still new enough to Windows 7 that I haven't looked yet in the Win 7 Device Manager, but you might want to see if Windows is allowed to put the drive to "sleep."

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    You shut down your computer but the external drive still has lights flashing like there is disk activity? That is strange. Sleep mode I don't know what could be going on, but in a shutdown mode activity stops. What happens if you unplug the usb cable to the external device when the system is shutdown? (I would not do this in sleep mode) Will the lights ever stop flashing (after a shutdown)? Have you plugged any other usb devices, like a flash drive, in and been able to remove them normally from this system? It cannot be real disk activity with the system shutdown IMO, perhaps an in-depth internal disk check because it feels it was dismounted improperly. This is a completely built external drive right, not one that you put the case and a disk together yourself? I have a number of the latter and just tested one with a Seagate drive and it acted normally. Cheapo case too.

    IMO, it sounds like the external drive is the problem point. Have you checked with Seagate for updated firmware for Windows 7 for the external device? The inability to eject or stop the usb device when the system is on would seem to indicate this also especially if other usb devices mount and eject normally from your Dell.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wilson View Post
    I even attached the one for my new XPS to the older Dell with no problems whatsoever.
    Have you tried the external drive from the old Dell with the new Dell and get the same results? Do you have the properties for the external drive set for quick eject (not delayed write)?
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    There is a issue with some Seagate USB drives, they will hang a system when the system is restarted with the drives plugged in and on. This also happens when a shut down is down and then a start up is done. I have seen it happen when coming out of hibernation and sleep. I see this hang about when the computer leaves the BIOS area of the startup and finds these USB drives and does not know what to do.

    The thing to do is turn OFF the USB drive, then startup the computer, once it is started turn on the drive, and you and your drive will be happy campers. If you are rebooting , turn it off safely before selecting the reboot option.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigaldoc View Post
    I wonder if it's a power question. Does this USB drive have its own power supply or is it drawing power from the USB port on the computer?

    I'm still new enough to Windows 7 that I haven't looked yet in the Win 7 Device Manager, but you might want to see if Windows is allowed to put the drive to "sleep."
    Thanks for your help. The USB drive is connected to the computer only via one USB cable. Windows 7 puts this same drive to sleep on my other Dell XPS 410 so it must be something else causing it not to shutdown properly even when the computer is shutdown.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    There is a issue with some Seagate USB drives, they will hang a system when the system is restarted with the drives plugged in and on. This also happens when a shut down is down and then a start up is done. I have seen it happen when coming out of hibernation and sleep. I see this hang about when the computer leaves the BIOS area of the startup and finds these USB drives and does not know what to do.

    The thing to do is turn OFF the USB drive, then startup the computer, once it is started turn on the drive, and you and your drive will be happy campers. If you are rebooting , turn it off safely before selecting the reboot option.
    I appreciate your input, but there is no way to turn off the USB drive as it is powered only via one USB cable. The only to turn it off is to unplug the USB cable but I can't eject it safely as a pop up window says a program is in use. Can't find any program that is running that would be used by the USB drive. Still waiting for another reply from Dell this afternoon.

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wilson View Post
    Thanks for your help. The USB drive is connected to the computer only via one USB cable. Windows 7 puts this same drive to sleep on my other Dell XPS 410 so it must be something else causing it not to shutdown properly even when the computer is shutdown.
    Did you check the drive's properties as others here have suggested?

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wilson View Post
    I received a new Dell Studio XPS 9000 about a week ago with 64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium, and attached a new Seagate USB external hard disk drive for backups. When I shutdown or put the computer in sleep mode, the USB lights flash continuously. Dell replaced the motherboard but that didn't solve the problem. The only way to stop the flashing lights is to unplug the computer's power cable from my battery backup. In addition I can't eject the drive as I get a message stating that a program is in use but I have closed all programs. I know it's not the drive because I have the identical one attached to an Dell XPS 410 and it works just fine - no flashing lights on shutdown or sleep. I even attached the one for my new XPS to the older Dell with no problems whatsoever. I'm new to this site so I hope I have posted this in the correct spot.........probably not as it must be a Dell problem and not a Windows 7 problem?
    UPDATE: Dell has tried valiantly to fix the problem but has now agreed to my returning the Dell Studio XPS 9000. Thanks for all your help and suggestions.

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