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Old 01-08-2018, 12:39 PM
5,396 posts, read 6,635,805 times
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I have an external USB HD that keeps spontaneously disconnecting from my workstation PC, and increasingly more and more frequently. Also when I check the Device Manager, there is sometimes a yellow exclamation-point icon under the USB devices section that says something about a Texas Instruments device, although I don't have Texas Instruments computer equipment. The computer is running Windows Server 2012 (not the R2 version), and has all patches up-to-date.

The drive is about 3-4 years old. Is this a possible sign that the drive may be starting to fail? (I used to have another external hard drive that exhibited very similar symptoms, before it stopped working entirely shortly thereafter.) Or is it simply a matter of needing to manually uninstall all of my USB devices from the Device Manager and then reinstall them, in case the USB slots are getting confused between the various devices being connected to them? Thanks
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:20 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,488,479 times
Reputation: 3007
If you are sure it's not just a cable or cable connection going bad, then ...

Yes, this is the symptoms I've had with several of my xHHDs (I've had many).
Buy a new one of equal or larger capacity and clone the failing one's data as soon as you can.

You could also run the SMART tests on it. Go to the xHDD's manufacturer's website. They all have downloadable free diagnostic programs.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:58 PM
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,725 posts, read 6,915,090 times
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Maybe the drive is failing, maybe there is a driver issue, maybe there is a hardware issue with the motherboard USB.

Time to start troubleshooting and eliminating possibilities, 2 things are easily done- install the external drive on a different machine and see if the issue is duplicated; re-install the motherboard USB drivers. If the issue recurs after re-installing the drivers, it may not be a driver issue (though it might be, and only reverting to older drivers might solve it).

If the issue appears when the drive is installed on a different machine, then it is probable that something to do with the drive is the problem; if the issue does not appear, then you need to look at driver issues or motherboard hardware issues.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:26 AM
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,843,546 times
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Does this external drive have a casing, the chipset/board that the drive is connected to which then connects and communicates with the computer via USB might be the culprit.

I would try to narrow down the suspects list by running aforementioned tests to see what is the real problem.

Additionally, since this is USB, it wouldn't hurt to check and disable USB selective suspend feature under power management:

Start > RUN > powercfg.cpl > OK > Change When Computer Sleeps > Change Advanced Power Settings > USB settings > USB selective suspend setting = Disabled
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:29 PM
Location: Tennessee
25,158 posts, read 18,661,858 times
Reputation: 29652
I have never had an external drive that made it more than two years or so. I’d take it as a warning sign to get an internal drive and move data over.
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