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  1. #1
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    When is USB3 cable not a USB3 cable?

    My two portable USB3 hard drives each have their supplied USB3 cables. I found they are interchangeable and work seamlessly. But, both are short, 2 feet max. So, I ordered two 6ft cables to provide a little more convenience in placement. Each is standard A jack to standard micro B jack.
    Neither of these cables work on both hard drives!!! When connected, the drives are totally unrecognized. Nothing can be seen or transferred. So, what gives? Are those cables supplied by the hard drive manufacturer special wired??? Are both new cables defective???
    Michael

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    We'd need to know exactly what cables you ordered (provide link pls) and exactly what external drives you currently have (link pls).
    Some external drives have specialized cables, many others don't.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  3. #3
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    AS far as know USB 3 cables have more wires in them so they can be compatible with USB 2. But the device has to be compatible with USB 2 also. So not all USB2 cables will connect with a USB3 device even if connected to a USB3 port on your computer (Host). You can connect USB2 devices to your USB3 ports on your computer (Host).
    Hope this is as clearer than mud.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2012-09-24 at 12:17.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Most USB 3 only cables have blue plastic inserts.

    USB Cables.png

    I'm not talking the cable color, I'm talking that little plastic thing that prevents you from plugging in upside down.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  5. #5
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    The 2 drives I ordered were purchased at separate times. 1st was about year ago. It is Seagate Go Flex 1T. It is USB3/USB2 compatible. It uses a separate external 120 power module. It works fine.
    The second I purchased recently. It is Toshiba 1T. It also is USB3/USB2 compatible. This is pocket size and gets it power from the USB connector at the computer. It also works fine.
    I have transferred files Back and forth from both. Out of curiosity, I interchanged cables between Toshiba and Seagate. It makes no difference, they both work with either cable.
    My computer currently only has USB2 ports. These drives plug in to the USB2 ports on the computer. They operate at USB2 speed currently.
    I examined both the old cables and the new cables. The newer cables do in fact have the blue insert as do the older cables. Close examination with flashlight reveals all have the 9 pins required for USB3. They definitely are not USB2 cables, but they just don’t work!!! Well, at least they look like USB3 cables.

    Here is the name of the cables.
    Tripp Lite U326-006 USB 3.0 Super Speed 5Gbps A to Micro B Device Cable (6 Feet, Blue)

    And here is the link to them on Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-U32...ds=usb+3+cable

    They do physically plug in, but they don’t work!!!
    Michael

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would contact the seller (Amazon often has other resellers plying their wares) or possibly Tripp-Lite and explain the situation. They do have the blue inserts.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  7. #7
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    USB 3 has 5 more wires than USB 2, via extra contacts in the connector. Maybe your new connectors don't quite align with your computer connector and you are getting mixed signals.

    cheers, Paul

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Many of those micro device extention cables are known to be problematic, unfortunately there might not be too much you can do about it except to RMA
    the new cables and try a different maker.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  9. #9
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    Are you working with a desktop? A USB3 card is only $30 and includes 2 ports. Might cure the problem and speed things up considerably.

  10. #10
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    I think your problem may be the length of the cables. With Ethernet cables length doesn't matter (within bounds), but USB is a whole different ball game. The shorter the cable the better, and I think you may have exceeded the limit. Gold contacts help too.

    If your desktop Seagate is plugged into a stand (as mine is), you might be interested to gently unplug it and look at the bottom of the drive portion. Mine has this arrangement, and on the bottom of the drive, obviously with mating connectors on the stand, I see a standard SATA configuration, which suggests that I could use it as an internal drive, assuming I have a bay to put it in. (I do, but confess I haven't tried it.)

  11. #11
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    Sorry to disagree dogberry, but any site I see that talks about USB 3 cable length states 3 meters, or about 10 ft. before degredation of signal. Unfortunately, there are no official specifications on this. I can't imagine being limited to under 6 ft.

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    There is a lot of complaints about the length of cable that can be used with USB3.

    The specs fail to mention it but there's a lot of info about it on the web, found this one which seems to make sense: http://www.everythingusb.com/superspeed-usb.html#cables_hubs

    S
    eems we can have higher speed but only shorter distances.

    Mike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMac56 View Post
    Sorry to disagree dogberry, but any site I see that talks about USB 3 cable length states 3 meters, or about 10 ft. before degredation of signal. Unfortunately, there are no official specifications on this. I can't imagine being limited to under 6 ft.
    Remember USB Y-cables? The OP specifies that both of his drives are portable, which is to say powered via the USB cable. Y-cables were designed to supply additional power to a remote drive, admittedly to deal with USB sources that weren't able to run the drive. As another post pointed out, there are six more conductors in the works.

    I did qualify my answer by saying that the problem 'may be' and that 'I think you may have exceeded the limit'. I'll stick to that until someone comes up with a definitive answer to the contrary.

  14. #14
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    Hi Michael,
    Another option may be to buy a Standard USB 3 Male to Female cable, and just extend the original cables. You could get just one to test first.

  15. #15
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    Dogberry got me to thinking way back when USB 2 was coming out. I'd ordered in new brand name PC's for the office, plus a couple of USB 2 hard drives for drive imaging. Mine worked fine, but our programmer's would give a pop up message that his device would work faster on a USB 2 connection. All PC's had USB 2 ports, front and back.
    Even though all devices were using the same "standards" they didn't work together. I imagine there will be a number of compatibility issues. Many new computers come with a mix of USB 2 and USB 3 connections (at least they did when I bought my last one) and it's not to save money! USB 3.0 is taking a long time to roll out, likely due to issues like this one. I'd say Michael's best bet is to get USB 3 ports for his PC or laptop, and get the speed that comes with them.

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