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USB External storage device not working properly

I have a Seagate 2.5" serial ATA USB 2.0 40 GB ("Plug and Play", "Hot Swappable") which I purchased to backup my files. When I first plug it in (it has a split USB with 2 plugs for power), Windows "finds" it, but then I get "One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it." When I click on the error message, it brings up the "USB Device Not Recognized" box and it show the USB hub listings with one hub shown as "Unknown Device". The device does not show up on my bar at the bottom right, so I don't even have the option of "safely remove device", (which I guess I don't need to anyway since it never recognizes it in the first place).
I know the device itself works, because a friend of mine hooked it up to his laptop and it recognized it just fine.

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Please update the USB Drivers and if that Doesnot Work then Update the BIOS of you Computer from the Manufacturers Web site

Posted on Nov 01, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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An external storage-device has four major components:

* the USB cable

* the power-adapter

* the disk-drive inside the enclosure

* the USB-to-disk-drive adapter inside the enclosure.

One of these components has failed.

Try a different USB cable.

Try connecting to a different USB port on your computer.

Try connecting to a USB port on a different computer.

Take a "multi-meter" and measure both the voltage and amperage output from the AC adapter, and compare with the specifications on the label on the adapter.

Open the enclosure, and remove the disk-drive, and then connect it as a "slave" disk-drive in a desktop computer, to see if it works at all.

Purchase a new, compatible, disk-drive, and install it in the enclosure, to "revive" your external storage device.

Get the part-number and serial-number from the label on your disk-drive, and access the manufacturer's web-site, and use "check warranty status", to see if they will replace the device, at minimal cost to you.

There exist commercial "data recovery" services that can try to repair your device, just long-enough to rescue and copy your files. For example, see: https://services.seagate.com/index.aspx?lng=en-US for a "no data - no charge" guarantee.

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My seagate momentus 5400.2 external hard disk can't be detected by any computer. doesnt show up in the device manager, or anything. the light is on, for some reason, sometimes it blinks red/green,...


An external storage-device has four major components:

* the USB cable

* the power-adapter

* the disk-drive inside the enclosure

* the USB-to-disk-drive adapter inside the enclosure.

One of these components has failed.

Try a different USB cable.

Try connecting to a different USB port on your computer.

Try connecting to a USB port on a different computer.

Take a "multi-meter" and measure both the voltage and amperage output from the AC adapter, and compare with the specifications on the label on the adapter.

Open the enclosure, and remove the disk-drive, and then connect it as a "slave" disk-drive in a desktop computer, to see if it works at all.

Purchase a new, compatible, disk-drive, and install it in the enclosure, to "revive" your external storage device.

Get the part-number and serial-number from the label on your disk-drive, and access the manufacturer's web-site, and use "check warranty status", to see if they will replace the device, at minimal cost to you.


There exist commercial "data recovery" services that can try to repair your device, just long-enough to rescue and copy your files. For example, see: https://services.seagate.com/index.aspx?lng=en-US for a "no data - no charge" guarantee.

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An external storage-device has four major components:

* the USB cable

* the power-adapter

* the disk-drive inside the enclosure

* the USB-to-disk-drive adapter inside the enclosure.

One of these components has failed.

Try a different USB cable.

Try connecting to a different USB port on your computer.

Try connecting to a USB port on a different computer.

Take a "multi-meter" and measure both the voltage and amperage output from the AC adapter, and compare with the specifications on the label on the adapter.

Open the enclosure, and remove the disk-drive, and then connect it as a "slave" disk-drive in a desktop computer, to see if it works at all.

Purchase a new, compatible, disk-drive, and install it in the enclosure, to "revive" your external storage device.

Get the part-number and serial-number from the label on your disk-drive, and access the manufacturer's web-site, and use "check warranty status", to see if they will replace the device, at minimal cost to you.

There exist commercial "data recovery" services that can try to repair your device, just long-enough to rescue and copy your files. For example, see: https://services.seagate.com/index.aspx?lng=en-US for a "no data - no charge" guarantee.

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* the USB cable

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One of these components has failed.

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Try connecting to a different USB port on your computer.

Try connecting to a USB port on a different computer.

Take a "multi-meter" and measure both the voltage and amperage output from the AC adapter, and compare with the specifications on the label on the adapter.

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Seagate and Maxtor-brand External Hard Drives
External drives contain a standard computer hard drive in an enclosure that makes it possible to connect it to in of your computers external data ports (USB, FireWire or eSATA). This makes it easy to add a drive for backup or data storage to any computer with a compatible external data port.', OFFSETY, -50, FONTCOLOR, '#C1C1C1', WIDTH, 225, BORDERWIDTH, 0, JUMPVERT, true, SHADOW, false, FADEIN, 100, FADEOUT, 100, STICKY, 1, DURATION, -300, CLOSEBTN, false, CLICKCLOSE, true, BGCOLOR, '#232323')" onmouseout="UnTip()" href="http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/knowledge_base/industry_terms_glossary/" target="_blank">external hard drives
do not require additional drivers to function in Windows Vista
Microsoft Vista is the successor to Windows XP operating system. ', OFFSETY, -50, FONTCOLOR, '#C1C1C1', WIDTH, 225, BORDERWIDTH, 0, JUMPVERT, true, SHADOW, false, FADEIN, 100, FADEOUT, 100, STICKY, 1, DURATION, -300, CLOSEBTN, false, CLICKCLOSE, true, BGCOLOR, '#232323')" onmouseout="UnTip()" href="http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/knowledge_base/industry_terms_glossary/" target="_blank">Windows Vista
, Windows XP
Microsoft Windows XP is the successor to Windows 2000. ', OFFSETY, -50, FONTCOLOR, '#C1C1C1', WIDTH, 225, BORDERWIDTH, 0, JUMPVERT, true, SHADOW, false, FADEIN, 100, FADEOUT, 100, STICKY, 1, DURATION, -300, CLOSEBTN, false, CLICKCLOSE, true, BGCOLOR, '#232323')" onmouseout="UnTip()" href="http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/knowledge_base/industry_terms_glossary/" target="_blank">Windows XP
, Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows 2000 is the successor to Windows Me.', OFFSETY, -50, FONTCOLOR, '#C1C1C1', WIDTH, 225, BORDERWIDTH, 0, JUMPVERT, true, SHADOW, false, FADEIN, 100, FADEOUT, 100, STICKY, 1, DURATION, -300, CLOSEBTN, false, CLICKCLOSE, true, BGCOLOR, '#232323')" onmouseout="UnTip()" href="http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/knowledge_base/industry_terms_glossary/" target="_blank">Windows 2000
, or Mac OS X
Mac OS X is the operating system that is produced by and comes standard on Apple computers.', OFFSETY, -50, FONTCOLOR, '#C1C1C1', WIDTH, 225, BORDERWIDTH, 0, JUMPVERT, true, SHADOW, false, FADEIN, 100, FADEOUT, 100, STICKY, 1, DURATION, -300, CLOSEBTN, false, CLICKCLOSE, true, BGCOLOR, '#232323')" onmouseout="UnTip()" href="http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/knowledge_base/industry_terms_glossary/" target="_blank">Mac OS X
. These external drives are supported by the standard device drivers that are already included in these operating systems out of the box. Installing Serial ATA drives requires the installation of drivers from the Serial ATA motherboard. Click here for more information on this subject.

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=201413&NewLang=en

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2 Answers

Difference between HDD and SATA


Buying a new SATA hard drive is confusing if you don't understand the differences between the various drive types. Which hard drive should you buy?

SATA Hard Drives (Serial ATA) are the most popular drives being sold today. Alongside them in the store however you will also find boxes labeled Parallel ATA or SCSI. So what are the differences between these hard drives and which one should you purchase? Your decision is dictated by what your computer can accept. Check with your computer's manufacturer to see which drive style you can use. Most newer computers purchased within the last two years accept SATA connections. If your computer cannot accept one of the newer SATA hard drives you can purchase SATA adaptor cards that plug into an empty expansion slot on your computer's motherboard. You can purchase SCSI adaptors as well, so follow these tips to guide your decision.

SATA vs PATA: Serial ATA vs. Parallel ATA Drives SATA hard drives have many benefits over their older cousin, the Parallel ATA drive. Chief among these differences are:
  • SATA hard drives are faster and perform much better than traditional ATA drives and are better for high bandwidth applications such as video editing and multiplayer gaming.
  • SATA drives use a smaller, cheaper cable to connect to the computer's motherboard. These cables can also be up to three feet in length compared to eighteen inches with Parallel ATA cables.
  • SATA hard drives can be hot swappable, meaning that they can be disconnected and reconnected without powering down the computer. There are limits to this of course. You should never disconnect your boot drive while the computer is operating.
  • SATA cables are easier to plug in without damaging the delicate connecting pins on the drive.
  • SATA hard drives are significantly faster than external USB hard drives.
SCSI Hard Drives SCSI hard drives are the elders of the storage world. SCSI is one of the oldest specifications but it is also the fastest and thus has been widely used in network servers and other high speed, high bandwidth applications. Unfortunately this high speed storage has also meant much higher costs. SCSI drives were once standard in all Macintosh computers but have since been replaced by the cheaper SATA based hard drives.
  • SCSI drives are also hot swappable, similar to the SATA drives.
  • Some varieties of SCSI can be used with SATA
  • SCSI drives are often set up in a mirroring arrangment to allow for instant, continuous backups of the hard drives.
  • SCSI drives are still the most expensive drives on the consumer market.
Your basic rule of thumb should be to purchase a drive that is designed to work with your computer's motherboard. Try to avoid using SCSI adaptors or SATA adaptors unless absolutely necessary as the whole point of using a specific kind of hard drive is to get the most speed and storage for the money.

Thanks alot,
Sanjeev Kumar

Jan 22, 2009 | Tablets & eReaders

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