Question about Western Digital Passport 160GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive - Black

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Western Digital Passport 160 GB external HD won't load.

I plug it in the USB port but get the message: Power surge on Hub Port
a USB Hub Port has exceeded the power limits of its hub port.

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  • mcbillings May 22, 2009

    I have the exact same issue...

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WinXP SP2 blocks the use of the drive because it thinks it draws too much power. But there is a simple procedure to override this (from WD site):

"Problem:
Under Windows XP, an error message of "Power Surge on Hub Port" or "USB device has exceeded the power limits of it's hub port" is displayed when connecting a USB device to a USB port on a computer or Hub.

Cause:
Under some computers, USB devices are only allowed to draw a maximum of 500 milliamps (mA) per connection from the USB port on the computer system or from a USB hub. Under the Windows XP Operating System, with the release of Service Pack 2, if a device attempts to draw more than this (500 milliamps), a USB port balloon message is displayed to indicate this over current condition. When connecting a USB device that draws power from the USB bus, a very brief over current condition is sometimes detected by the OS, and the warning message is displayed.

Resolution:
This message has no affect on the functionality of the USB port. The USB hard drive should still function correctly on the USB port regardless of the error message. To prevent the USB Power Surge Alert message from displaying, please complete the following steps:
Click on Start.

Click on Control Panel.

Double-click on the System Icon.

Click on the Hardware Tab.

Click on the Device Manager button.

Click on the + next to Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the selection.

Right-click and select Properties on any listing that displays USB UNIVERSAL HOST CONTROLLER.

Click on the Advanced Tab.

Check the box that says: Don't tell me about USB errors."

This works fine, and the drive works fine afterwards. I suspect it actually draws less power than they say. Maybe it has a brief power draw spike on startup, but it's running power seems less. In any case, it works fine without the Y cable. I do think it is tacky that WD doesn't give the cable for free, since my $7 Sabrent 2.5" Hard drive enclosure came with a y cable.

But most likely the drive will work fine for you. It is a lovely quiet drive, and takes up no space at all.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

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