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SimpleTech 250Gb external drive woes

Ok I have been having a boatload of issues with my external hard drive (running windows xp sp3 on a dell inspiron laptop, External HDD formatted to PAL to function with my xbox). Whenever I turn on the hard drive 1 of 2 things happens. The first, I get a popup saying the device could perform faster if connected to a usb 2.0 port (all I have are usb 2.0 ports). The blue activity LED on the drive stays continuously lit when this happens. Or second, it will begin to scan the folders on the drive for the autorun, hanging up a bit on my Music folder (large amount of files in it). Eventually it will finish like normal, however when I browse to the drive in windows explorer, all of the folders are there, yet no files. I will also get a "delayed write failed" message. The drive still shows as having ~25 gigs of info on it yet I can't open/see/save to the drive, nor can I run any disk error checking on it.

This happened a few months ago and then miraculously cleared up as quickly as it started... any insight?

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