Phoenix9
Topic Author
Posts: 2041
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:25 pm

Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:47 pm

Hello everyone!

There is a related thread out there...so I thought maybe some of the computer geniuses on A.net can solve my computer problem as well  

I have a P4 computer which has no other problems except that when I try to connect my portable HDD it reboots. It used to work perfectly fine...but past few days, everytime I connect the HDD the computer reboots. I tried using the HDD on my laptop and it works fine. I"m running XP on both my desktop and laptop...but its only the desktop that has a problem with this drive. Other drives (flash etc.) work fine.

Any suggestions???

[Edited 2007-12-14 08:48:32]
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
CaptainJon
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:21 am

RE: Computer Help:

Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:51 pm

The computer itself reboots? So soon as you plug the external drive in, the computer reboots without warning? Only thing I can think of right now is examine the event log. You can access it by going into the control panel, then into Administrative Tools, then Event Viewer.

Under security look for some event that has a red icon around the time this occurred. Only thing it can be is some driver issue. Who makes the external hard drive by the way?
 
Phoenix9
Topic Author
Posts: 2041
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:25 pm

RE: Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:54 pm

Quoting CaptainJon (Reply 1):
Who makes the external hard drive by the way?

The HDD is by Fujitsu. Its a portable one that gets its power from the USB port but as soon as I plug it in...the computer reboots automatically. Its plug-n-play so I didn't bother to look at any driver issues.

Thanks for your suggestion...I will look at the event log to see if I can find anything.

Anything else that might be causing this???

[Edited 2007-12-14 09:00:49]
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4033
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:04 pm

Follow these steps:

1. Right click on 'My Computer'
2. Choose 'Properties'
3. Go to the 'Advanced' tab
4. Untick 'Automatically Restart'
5. Click OK until you are back at the desktop
6. Plug in the drive
7. Note any details on the nice blue screen that pops up and google for the error

Hope that helps.
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:06 pm

XP may sometimes develop very weird problems re USB devices. These typically occur after a non-functional device has been made an attempt to connect an USB port. That particular device will them be disabled for that physical port, but the blocking appears to be able to be wrongly extended on to other future devices at that port as well, even if they're good.
It may not be generally known that XP deals with the USB devices as per port and device basis. I deal with the above problems by simply deleting the USB controller (all instances) from the Device Manager under Control Panel. After a reboot, all USB hubs and USB devices will be refound and drivers re-installed (any USB mice and kb may appear frozen for a longish time initially). NB: if you have a USB LAN stick, all (security) settings for that adapter will be lost, so you'll need to know how to reconfigure your LAN connection as well.
The easy soluton would be to try another physical USB port.
Good luck!
 
Klaus
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:52 pm



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 2):
The HDD is by Fujitsu. Its a portable one that gets its power from the USB port but as soon as I plug it in...the computer reboots automatically. Its plug-n-play so I didn't bother to look at any driver issues.

Most probably the harddisk just draws too much power from the USB port, especially when starting up. The spindle motor draws a lot of current while spinning up the platter(s), and it may exceed the amount of power available at the port.

Normally the computer should simply refuse to acknowledge the device, preferably with an appropriate message when an USB device requests more power than there is available.

But the device's power consumption declaration may be incorrect (due to the manufacturer putting a bigger and hungrier harddisk into the case than the USB bridge chip knows about), the computer may not actually provide as much power as it is supposed to do, or the motherboard or the USB interface chip may be faulty and cause a hardware reset due to the current spike when connecting the drive (resembling a shortcut to an extent).

Possible remedies:
- Use a separate power supply for the drive.
- Use a powered USB hub for the drive.

Mechanical harddisks powered over USB or even over the much stronger FireWire are always a bit of a gamble. It usually only works with the smallest and least power-hungry models, and not always reliably (temperature etc.).
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:19 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Most probably the harddisk just draws too much power from the USB port, especially when starting up.

Yes, I second Klaus here. There's probably a small 5 V DC socket for external power in your HD, but be careful with the polarity! There's a good chance the "outside" or "ring" of the plug/socket is the positive, and the "inside" or the "hole" is the negative, a reverse of what's quite often seen. The state of the affairs diagram is shown near the socket.
If this were my HD, I probably would disassemble the case and take the actual HD out first before testing the external power. I'm just paranoid about the polarity myself. If something is wrong (reversed power), a fried adapter electronics card is far cheaper to replace that the HD itself. (You could probably be signaled of the misconnection by an acrid smell, and the LED on the adapter card would not be lit.)


For starters, if you have other USB devices, such as (optical) mice, you might want to try disconnecting them as they also draw some current. And there's that mysterious USB error XP handling error that may emanate to wrong places anyway. I learned this the hard way when strobleshooting some medical research hardware that was linked by the USB.
 
CaptainJon
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:21 am

RE: Computer Help - External HDD Causes Reboot

Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:53 am

I would also recommend what Moo said. Actually it might be easier than deciphering event logs. The same information is presented, but easier to decipher when getting the BSOD. By default, rather than doing a memory dump the computer will just restart for no apparent reason, so learning what caused the blue screen can help. I would google the STOP code, the 0x0000000F set of numbers is usually helpful. Also if a driver caused it, that can be listed there as well.

Good luck!

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