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USB 2.0 and hard drive woe

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by maninalift, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. maninalift

    maninalift Thread Starter

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    I have recently purchased a USB 2.0 external hard drive for my ASUS P4B533-E board and am having difficulties. In fact I have been having difficulties with my USB ports in general but it wasn't 'till I got the hard drive that I realised that htat was the problem (I think).

    Essentially it is unstable, sometimes the hard drive is there, sometimes it isn't and worst of all it disappears and reappears at will irrespective of whether I am in the middle of copying data to it. My USB wireless connection majiggey is also a little unstable but that I can cope with, but an unstable hard drive is worse than useless.

    What checks can I do to check that it is definately the connection not the drive its self or else the USB to ATA chip that is in the hard drive housing? How can I fix it? If I can't fix it should I buy a firewire housing for my hard-drive? Or perhaps install the hard drive internally? I have a hard drive and a CD/DVD drive installed. Could I keep these and still install the hard-drive internally? Or perhaps bump my DVD drive to an external housing and install the hard drive internally?
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you're having issues with the USB ports other than the drive, I'd suspect that it isn't the drive. An easy way to check is to connect the drive to a different computer and see if it functions properly.
     
  3. maninalift

    maninalift Thread Starter

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    yes, of course, I should have thought of that. I don't get near other computers much but I may be able to try that tonight.

    About installing the drive internally (that would be my preferred option even if I can get the USB problem fixed). The motherboard reveiw I linked to in my original post says the following about disk subsystem:

    • 2 channel UltraDMA/100/66/33 Bus Master IDE (supports up to 4 ATAPI-devices);
    • Additional IDE Raid controller (IC Promise PDC20276, 2 channel IDE, supports ATA33/66/100/133 & RAID 0, 1 with a support of up to 4 ATAPI-devices);
    • Support of LS-120/ZIP/ATAPI CD-ROM
    Now it looks like both slots are taken up (hard drive and DVD drive) but the above says that each supports upto 4 devices (and has two channels). I don't really know what this means. I would have thought that in these days where software and music piracy is the norm, space for two DVD drives and a hard drive would be a minimum so I expect to be able to install another drive but dont know how.
     
  4. CarlssonMB

    CarlssonMB

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    If you plan on just using it as in internal drive, I'd return the external and buy an internal to save money
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Of course, I prefer the external drive for backup. Not only is the data more secure if you disconnect the drive when you're not backing up, but you can also take your data with you conveniently. :)
     
  6. CarlssonMB

    CarlssonMB

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    I like the external for those reasons too
     
  7. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    each channel only supports 2 devices not 4. that is 4 ide devices total.
     
  8. maninalift

    maninalift Thread Starter

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    My reasons for prefering internal are:

    (1) it isn't a back up drive, it's a data drive
    (2) faster - though it might not make any difference, it is nice to know that you are using the fastest possible means
    (3) an external drive means that another of my power sockets is taken up :)
    (4) and another usb/firewire port
    (5) i think that serial port take more resorces to deal with
    (6) it just feels more secure, I'm not gonna accidentally step on it
    (7) buying a PCI card ATA slot is cheaper than buying a firewire housing - and if I can learn more about connecting 2 devices to one slot it might be cheaper still

    However your points are taken, It would be nice to have it portable so that I could take it 'round in my handbag. But realistically that would be quite a rare requirement.

    Thanks all for your comments and advice.

    How do I go about connecting a second device to one of the ATA sockets? And what are the drawbacks - is there any reason for buying a PCI card instead?
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I think this one is incorrect, USB 2.0 cases are pretty cheap nowadays.

    I'd also keep in mind that data that you don't have backed up is data you don't care about. ;)
     
  10. maninalift

    maninalift Thread Starter

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    Yes perhaps I should have a backup.

    I am a man of the computer. All of my work is on the computer. the most valuable things I occasionally back up to CD but I have no systematics way of doing so. If they were lost I would have to start my whole life again from day once :eek: . Still that is a seperate issure, for the moment I need more hard drive just for working.
     
  11. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    If you have one hard drive and two Optical drives in your computer now. You do not need to buy a separate Drive Controller card. Each of your IDE channels can support 2 drives. You can put 2 hard drives on your primary IDE channel one set as Master and the other set as Slave. If you insist that you must go internal.

    Here is a fairly simple guide to installing a drive.

    http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgrading/install-hard-drive.htm
     
  12. maninalift

    maninalift Thread Starter

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    OK cool that seems like it. Great.

    I may be a fool for installing internal but I have spent more money than I can afford on my computer recently and I have no time. I'll deal with back-up when I'm feeling richer (dangerous maybe), and I'll look into the USB problem more when I have the time. For the moment a working second hard drive is what I need to keep everything ticking over.

    Thanks all.
     
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