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Solved: USB powered HDD - Low power ?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by JennyJackson01, Apr 6, 2011.

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  1. JennyJackson01

    JennyJackson01 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Hiya Guys.

    Something strange has been happening to the USB section of my computer and I wondered if anyone could shed some light on it for me.

    I bought a USB powered 1TB external hard drive (ie: the one USB lead gives it power and data transfer). I connected it directly to a computer (XP Pro - SP3) and it found it, installed it and I was up and running but when I connected it to a 1 metre USB extension lead in the same port on the computer, it failed to install and the drive started clicking which we all know is a bad sign.

    After re-connecting it directly without the extension lead, it went straight into it and worked like a dream until out of interest, I connected it via the extension lead and again, it failed. I don`t think the drive is at fault as it works every time when it`s a direct connection and fails every time it`s through the extension.

    In case you`re wondering, all ports are USB 2.0 rather than 1.1 and as I have access to a few other machines, I`ve tried the `test` on those with various leads and directly, ending up with the same results.

    My question is ... Can a USB extension lead take just enough power that it tips the balance and not give the drive enough to initialize itself?

    Regards Jenny
     
  2. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I'd guess it's probably possible ..
    But I doubt that a longer cable would attenuate the 5V DC power enough to cause a problem.

    I'd try another extension.
    Then you might need a 2 to 1 USB adapter ... Like this one ... To double the CD power available to the peripheral.
     
  3. JennyJackson01

    JennyJackson01 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the reply Noyb. I`ve tried various extension cables and all give the same results but that adaptor would certainly solve or eliminate lack of power as the problem.

    Jenny
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    There was another topic here about the length of a USB cable extension causing problems with a powered External HDD .
    But it was signal loss and not a power problem.
    How long is the extension(s) that you're using ??

    It doesn't really sound like a 5V power problem ??????? .. But it's possible I guess.
    Have you also changed the Other USB cable ??
    I'm wondering about the Connectors .. A poor connection ???
     
  5. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    I'm not sure what it is but the USB-powered drive are definitely designed (or limited) to be kept on a short leash.

    As an experiment at least to see if it worked, you could try one of those two-headed USB cables and see if that allowed for a longer extension.
     
  6. JennyJackson01

    JennyJackson01 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. Bit of an update on this although it only serves to makes matters more mysterious, even though it`s not really a problem any more.

    I`ve found a couple of USB extension leads that work fine and with one at 3 metre and one at 2 metre, it`s certainly not the length that`s relevant. All cables tested, either working or not, are 28AWG with a few stating they`re `shielded` while the others don`t mention it at all.

    The hard drive was new a week or so ago and the connections seem as firm as they supposed to for a new gadget so I eliminated that as a potential problem almost straight away.

    Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions and it seems like trial and error won the day eventually.

    Jenny
     
  7. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    For an earlier post about USB length problems ... I was looking thru the Newegg Collection.
    Notice that some of them specify High Speed Data transfer .. Others don't as you have noticed
    This will apply to the USB Data transfer .. And not the power .. Since the 5v power loss should not be a problem.
    This is only effected by the wire resistance and the connection resistance.. (ohms)

    Did you see the repeater cable ???
    Here again, this is only talking about the data transfer signal loss and not the 5v Power.
    I would expect this repeater cable to have a power transfer problem .. (Loss)
    Since it's also using the 5V power for the amps to boost the Data to compensate for the signal loss.
     
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