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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    A Magic Forest in Deepest, Darkest Kent
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    New External HD?

    Naaah not for me <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I was having one of those frustrating problems that had been annoying me for about 4 months and it was that the USB ports were playing up on my Dell Tower. Only one would actually work with my USB2 external hard drive, the others just giving it power. Some days the USB port would work other days it would not and it chopped and changed. I was assuming that the HD was going belly up and was looking around at alternatives........ until, whilst looking through a cupboard at work I found a retractable USB cable, quite smart, gold connectors etc. I asked the boss if I could use it and was granted use as it was not being used. Now my HD works in EVERY port on my PC and on my laptop.

    Moral of this tale......don't throw out your external HD or get new ports on your PC until you have tried the cheapest and easiest test ....the USB cable..I thought i would share.

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  3. #2
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: New External HD?

    similar tale ...

    Had a non powered USB hub on an older machine, so USB ports on the back only. Had an 'extender cable' to bring it to somewhere sensible for the user to plug stick into.

    USB hub went on holidays and hasn't come back ... (no-one is owning up)

    New hub wouldn't work. Took the extender out of the equation and all is well again. (Luckily the new hub has a long extension cable of its own)

  4. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Essex, England
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: New External HD?

    On a similar note, we have occasions at work when USB devices don't work on our laptops. Mice, Keyboards, external CD/DVD-Roms etc. as well as thumb drives, Blackberries and (unofficially), the odd MP3 player are all plugged and unplugged and eventually, the machine gets a headache anbd refuses to recognise anything. We've found that, if we delete the CATROOT2 folder in C:WindowsSystem32 then resatart the machine, it usually re-finds the USB devices as new objects and loads their drivers cleanly, allowing for normal operation.

    Obviously this can be difficult if it's the mouse and keyboard that are the USB devices that are refusing to work. In this situation, we usually either remove them and use their integral equivalents to get into the laptop or, if it's a desktop without integral alternatives, we get the machine to a login prompt then remove the folder remotely, using our network to connect to the stricken machine from another workstation.

    There are two similarly names folders in the System32folder - CATROOT and CATROOT2. As I understand it, the former is a bit like the DLLCache folder. It contains drivers etc. for all of the USB devices that could (in Micro$oft's view), conceivably be attached to the machine. CATROOT2 is where the drivers for the devices actually encountered are copied as a kind of working directory. Deleting CATROOT2 and rebooting the machine will cause Windows to automatically recreate the folder and populate it with clean copies of the drivers for the USB Devices you have from the library in the CATROOT folder.

    Of course, this won't help you if, as in your case, the extender cable is flawed, but it's a useful troubleshooting option nonetheless. Just don't delete CATROOT!!


    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

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