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Win2K and WinXP blind to ext. hard drive

By ybnormal42 ·
- we have always backed up our 3 systems with a 250G Western Digital hard drive in an enclosure (Metal Gear Box) connected to a USB 1.1 port ..... we just carry it to each machine, plug it in, and record a disk image via Powerquest DriveImage V7 -
- yesterday after backing up one Win 2K SP4 system (#1) , we moved the enclosed drive to the next Win 2K SP4 system (#2) and suddenly it's invisible, that is ; MS Explorer cannot see it, 'Computer Management' cannot see it , it receives power but doesn't seem to be spinning , yet when unplugged, Windows gives the usual warning about "Unsafe Removal of Device' [USB Storage Adapter AT2 (TPP)] -
- we get the same reaction when connecting it to the third Win XP SP2 system (#3)-
- when we return it to #1 it functions correctly and is visible to MS Explorer on that machine only -
- this has never happened before (approx. a year's worth of backups) and we are totally baffled ........ what could have happened to make the drive visible to one system (#1) but not to the other two ? -

- oh, i neglected to mention that we have another similar hard drive enclosure with a smaller capacity drive so we connected that one .... and all 3 systems can see and access that one just fine -
- so we switched the problem drive to the new enclosure and tested, but it behaved the same as mentioned above ..... thus we have eliminated the enclosure's electronics from suspicion -
- again, the problem drive continues to function fine on the Win 2K SP4 system (#1) where it last did a backup operation but has somehow become corrupted ? to where this Win 2K SP4 system (#2) and our Win XP SP2 system (#3) can no longer see it ???? !! -

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by BFilmFan In reply to Win2K and WinXP blind to ...

I have seen this issue in the past and almost always tracked it back to the driver or firmware for the device.

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by ybnormal42 In reply to

- the device here is a WD2500JB-00FUA0 hard drive ..... works fine but has suddenly become invisible to 2 different operating sytems simultaneously, one of which successfully uses a WD drive internally -
- have tried reinstalling from "WD Data Lifeguard Tools" disk, but it sees nothing but the hard drives installed internally ..... that is, the external USB connected drive is still invisible to the Win 2K SP4 system (#2) and our Win XP SP2 system (#3) -

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by glyall In reply to Win2K and WinXP blind to ...

how you check the USB cable?
It might be your problems.
work fine then it does not.
you might have a short in the cable
try a new cable.

also can you check the connection inside?
make sure the connections are setted

good luck

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by ybnormal42 In reply to

- we have checked the USB cables for integrity (all 3 of them) and find nothing inconsistent with them as noted :

.... that we have another similar hard drive enclosure with a smaller capacity drive so we connected that one .... and all 3 systems can see and access that one just fine -
- so we switched the problem drive to the new enclosure and tested, but it behaved the same as mentioned above ........ thus we have eliminated the enclosure's electronics from suspicion -)

- since there are several USB ports on each machine, we have tried switching cords around to other ports, but to no avail -

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by OTL In reply to Win2K and WinXP blind to ...

Sounds like the 2K system is not closing out the backup, so other systems see it has exclusive rights to the HD via file system lock while writing to the HD. Try connecting to the problem machine and do a manual backup, make sure it completes then try the HD on another machine. If it works fine then there is a problem with the auto-backup closing out the session. Fix is ???

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by ybnormal42 In reply to

- well we clearly can't 'connect' (connected yet still invisible) to the problem machine (#2 AND #3) but your message got me thinking and we tried another separate complete backup on #1, made sure it completed, then returned our external drive to #2 .... but it is still invisible .... only difference is the system now won't even recognise that a USB drive is connected -
- we really don't want to have to re-install Windows again on both #2 (Win 2K) and #3 (Win XP) ............... ? -

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by OTL In reply to Win2K and WinXP blind to ...

May want to reload the drivers for the USB on System # 1, seems like they may have gotten corrupted and are not closing the backup. Just another thought, I love to lie to operating systems to get them to do what I want them to do rather than what they want to do.

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by OTL In reply to

Sorry for the delay, do not check e-mail regularly and was actually out of town, since the 9th.

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by ybnormal42 In reply to

- this seems to be the most probable explanation so far, but after many attempts with various software to repair corrupt files and/or replace missing drivers, we're left with the realization that we are without an effective test to see if system #1 USB driver corruption was in fact the problem, and if so, have we fixed it? -
- we backing up system #1 , and we will test #2 and #3 again, but meanwhile is there some way we can confirm that USB drivers are NOT corrupted ? -

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