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External USB Drives - WinXP SP3

by lemaech56 / March 30, 2010 10:56 PM PDT

My desktop (Abit IP35 Pro MB, Core2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, WinXP Pro SP3) has two external USB drives: a) Seagate FreeAgent 500 GB; b) Maxtor oneTouch4 Plus 750 GB. Problem: On occasion after boot up either one or the other of these drives aren't visible in My Computer or in Disk Management. When either or both drives are visible, they function correctly, i.e., the contents are accessible. I'm stomped as to what the root cause of this problem could be. All OS patches and virus/malware software are up to date. Thanks for your support.

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Just ideas.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 30, 2010 11:15 PM PDT

1. Use the rear motherboard mounted USB ports. USB ports on the front or via those wire cables often have issues.

2. Look for the Intel's latest motherboard chipset driver package (at intel.com)

3. Consider the age of the machine. Power supplies get electrically noisy and we hope for a total failure since explaining this to customers is nothing short of a lesson in electronics when they just want it fixed but don't want to replace power supplies, motherboards, etc.

Good luck,
Bob

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Re: Just ideas.
by lemaech56 / March 30, 2010 11:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Just ideas.

Bob wrote:
------
.
.
3. Consider the age of the machine. Power supplies get electrically noisy and we hope for a total failure since explaining this to customers is nothing short of a lesson in electronics when they just want it fixed but don't want to replace power supplies, motherboards, etc.
-----
My system was built with new parts and put into service in 6/2009. The PSU is an Antec Trio 650 watts, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be failing. Being in the computer business for 40+ years has allowed me to witness many puzzling failures that often were determined to be power supplies.

I shall follow all of your recommendations. Thanks as always for your exceptional advice.

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Let's get a link to that motherboard chipset driver.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2010 12:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Just ideas.
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Re: Let's get a link to that motherboard chipset driver
by lemaech56 / April 4, 2010 12:07 AM PDT

Bob,

I installed the Intel chipset driver Ver: 9.1.1.1025 dated 12/22/2009, rebooted, and all external USD hard drives were visible and accessible in My Computer. Since this state would occur prior to the chipset driver change on some reboots, I checked Install Status and Version values in registry key listed in driver install documentation, and they indicated "success" and "9.1.1.1025" respectively. Thanks, again for your exceptional advice. You are batting 100%. This buys me some time to plan and execute migration to Windows 7 Pro.

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Let it be known
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2010 12:18 AM PDT

That even in Windows 7 I'm going driver hunting. If there is a problem with Windows this is it. Why do we expect today's owners to know about drivers? Look at the one I noted and you see that most won't find that.
Bob

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