Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Palatine, IL
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    A problem developed during a large multi-file backup between two external USB hard drives: about 20 minutes through an approx 90 minute transfer, error messages started to appear, and I could no longer see many folders and some files within a folder on the source drive. I suspect the only files I could still see were the ones that had already been copied.

    Subsequent to this, I have tried many things: rebooted, powered down, 2 external hard drives and one USB drive (all different manufacturers, and all that used to work), two different front panel ports and two different rear panel (motherboard) ports, and in all cases my drives show up in the device manager USB port list as "unknown device". I'm using a USB connected keyboard and mouse, so some USB functionality is working.

    What I'd really like to know is if it's a hardware or a software problem. If it's hardware, I'd solve it simply by purchasing a cheap PCI USB interface module and start using that. But if it's software, I have no clue where to look. Windows tools seem useless in this regard.

    Can anyone suggest any way to determine this? Any tools to use?

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,207
    Thanks
    49
    Thanked 989 Times in 919 Posts
    I don't know of any, but I suspect it's easiest to buy a USB card - they are cheap.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Palatine, IL
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I've confirmed the hardware is OK by booting a Knoppix CD - and I can read the USB drives just fine. So I doubt Windows would be able to use additional USB ports if I bought and installed them. I'm back to troubleshooting a software problem.

    I have uninstalled the USB drivers and let Windows reinstall them on reboot, which didn't help.

    I'm out of ideas as to how to proceed (short of a clean install, which I really don't want to do).

  4. #4
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    More details would help in getting answers. We don't know which version of Windows you are running, for example, which would certainly help in troubleshooting, and if the computer is under warranty I suggest you get after the manufacturer as swiftly as possible. It may even be a 'known issue' for that model of that computer.

    You also say that it is between two external USB hard drives, which suggests that the computer is the middleman in the works. Have you tried performing the operation between the external hard drives to and from the computer, which is to say, singly, with the computer as an intermediate storage device? You don't tell us what software you are using, so we might presume it to be Explorer. You may already have software without realizing it, such as LapLink or a LapLink product, although I realize that is probably not too common these days. I highly recommend GoodSync. PowerDesk will also perform sync operations.

    There is no shortage of software to help accomplish what you are trying to do, but when you try to perform it between two USB external drives without some fairly sophisticated software it strikes me as a risky venture to begin with.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Palatine, IL
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    The computer is running XP Pro SR3, fully up to date. It's an old one that has had many parts updated (no specific brand's model), but has been running flawlessly right up to this transfer & problem. The transfer isn't the issue - I did complete it on another computer - it just highlights that it was a problem that just spontaneously occurred.

    The problem is that no "mass storage device" connected through any USB ports is recognized. As soon as you connect a single drive, it shows "unknown device" against the port, and no mass storage device shows up. I even tried the port that is being used for the mouse - drive is "unknown", but mouse in any port works fine. I have done a full disk check on my system drive in case it had been going bad, but it didn't turn up anything.

    I seriously suspect I'll have to do a clean install...

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    You've confirmed that your hardware is OK
    You've confirmed that your external drives are OK
    Have you looked into the possibility that your usb/chipset drivers are not corrupt? update/Reinstal chipset drivers inf.
    Scan for malware/viruses. Recheck usb/HD settings in bios. Are you able to see one of your usb drives in Disk manager.

    "unknown"+usb drive

    If you do a clean instal let us know if it resolved this.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    A clean install is too extreme this early in the game: it should be a last resort.

    Go to Control Panel. In either view, you will find 'hardware' in various guises, including 'install' and even a hardware troubleshooting wizard. Since Windows is apparently not even recognizing your hardware, even if it did so previously (which, incidentally, happens far more often than you might imagine), then you should either try the troubleshooter or simply treat it as if it were 'new hardware' and run the installation wizard to let Windows find it again and set it up for you.

    To add to the list of sync tools, FreeCommander is another, and for your version of Windows, you can even use MS SyncToy. Both are free. I just used GoodSync for a large (8GB) transfer, and it worked superbly. It is made by the same people as RoboForm and you can sometimes get a good deal on it if you buy both, or some other combination. GoodSync2Go will go on a USB stick and can be used on any computer, and if the free space on the stick is sufficient, you can sync to that at one computer and then to another at the other. Handy if travelling, and you only have to purchase the software once for as many computers as you might have occasion to use it with (one at a time, of course).

  8. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Palatine, IL
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    SOLVED! Or at least fixed.

    I had already removed all the USB drivers and let Windows rediscover them on reboot, to no avail.

    But I did it again, and following the advice of various posts that turned up through Google searches, none of which covered exactly what my problem was, I also not only powered down the computer, but removed power from the power supply and left it for a few minutes. On reboot, Windows went through as it had done before finding and then reinstalling the drivers for the USB ports, but this time, the hard drives, thumb drives, etc are once again recognized immediately when plugged in.

    Whether I really had to remove the drivers again, or simply disconnecting the power would have fixed it, I don't know. And why the drives were recognized under Knoppix before I had disconnected the power is also a mystery to me. But I am convinced it was the total removal of power from the Mobo that fixed it, since I'd tried so many other things and had so many "soft" power downs and reboots before this that hadn't helped.

    Hopefully this will help someone else some time! Thanks to all who replied.

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I confess that I am rusty on XP, but one thing I do recall is that there can be world of difference between a warm boot and a cold boot when it comes to major problems or system changes of any sort with XP and earlier systems. I think you probably put your finger on it in that respect, and the colder the better. Shut down everything, disconnect everything, and so forth. Congratulations on solving it.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Thanks for posting your solution.
    I would have cold booted at some point, but would not have realized how it resolved.
    Freaky things
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •