USB Storage drive not loading, crashes laptop

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James464

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
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1
Hi.

I have an external USB storage/backup drive filled with images and videos mainly.
It suddenly won't work on any laptop. I plug it in and the drive shows as 'removable disc', which it shouldn't, and when I try clicking on it or interacting with it in any way it crashes windows explorer, or any other program trying to interact with it (such as recovery programs).
Also, if the usb is plugged in when booting up the laptop or logging in, it just won't load up. It gets stuck loading until I remove the usb, at which point the laptop loads up as normal.
I've concluded the usb drive has corrupted or something, but recovery programs aren't working because they either can't locate the drive or just crash when I try interacting with it.
Any help would be great as I don't want to lose the contents of the drive.
Thank you!
 

cwwozniak

Chuck
Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
70,539
Hi, James464, and welcome to TSG.

I may not be able to offer a solution, but it might help someone here to help you if we knew the brand and exact model number of the USB drive.
 

plodr

Liz
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
25,208
I have one old Western Digital portable hard drive that show up as removable disk because of something called SmartWare. It acts as a virtual CD. It can't be removed so I ignore it. Newer models, I can remove all the extras WD put on the portable drives. The removable disk is not unusual.
Also, don't plug the portable drive in before you boot up. Some computers, as you've discovered will not boot up with it plugged in; that is not unusual.

The best place to start would be to try a different cable between the external portable hd and the computer.
If it is a WD digital drive, mine have 2 types of ports on the drive itself. Micro USB 2 on my oldest drive and Micro USB 3 on the six newer drives.
Like this https://www.amazon.com/ITANDA-Charger-Compatible-Passport-Elements/dp/B00IE6VA0G

Since I have android tablets that use micro USB 2, I have spare cables. And with 6 portable hard drives having the same connector, I can swap a cable between one drive to another to see if the cable is the problem.
 
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