Connecting external HDD Kills Wifi

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by bassopt, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. bassopt

    bassopt New Member

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    Hello.
    Everytime I connect my external HDD WD Passport ultra 500gb, my wifi connection gets killed and I can't browse the internet.
    As soon as i unplug the drive, wifi comes back immediately.
    I'm using windows 10 everything up to date with november firmware installed from MS site. Did a clean install.

    Does anyone know what on earth is going on and how to fix it?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum

    That has been reported here before and if I remember correctly the drive was pulling more power than the system could properly handle. I powered USB HUB was the answer if I remember.
     
  3. Argus Tuft

    Argus Tuft Member

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    I use a Seasgate portable 2TB external (USB powered) HDD with my S3, and don't have a problem. Could be a WD problem, or as above, the drive could be sucking up more power and automatically shutting down services just to ensure it has enough power to run. I originally purchased a HP Envy X2 because at the time, it was the ONLY tablet that could run a portable external HDD.
     
  4. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    I think I remember the other poster having that problem was using a WD Passport.
     
  5. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    An idea:
    - Small external USB 3.0 hard drives are notorious for causing 2.4GHz interference from the spinning control electronics, attenuating Bluetooth and WiFi. Not all drives have this problem, but the less expensive and lighter weight drives may not be shielded properly or have the best electronic circuitry. The environment matters, also. Interference could be related to the overall electromagnetic presence at the location where you experience this problem.

    Is your drive USB 3.0?
    WiFi does not power down, but just loses connection?
    Your connection is 2.4GHz?

    If these answers are yes, try switching to 5GHz.
    Also, to diagnose, take your computer and external drive to a kiosk or café Internet service, and see if the same occurs.

    Let us know...
     
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  6. bassopt

    bassopt New Member

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    Hey!

    Thank you for your replys.
    To be honest it sounds bit strange that a 500 bucks device can't handle and external hdd ...in terms of port power I mean .
    Yes it's a usb 3.0 western digital. Actually after I posted my message I read somewhere that in fact usb 3.0 hdd can interfere with wireless cards antennas. I'm currently using 2.4ghz wifi. It's the only connection I have available where I am at the moment. I will test the 5ghz when I get home...and yeah, Wifi doesn't die it just loses connection as soon as I access the drive, if I stop , after a few seconds, or even disconnect the drive , connection comes on imidiatellly .
    I don't have another hdd to test out, but I might consider getting a new one. Any recommendations? I will stay away from WD.
    I'm pretty sure I used this hdd before and didn't had any problems, so I thought it was related to drivers or latest firmware upgrade.

    Thanks.
    J.
     
  7. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @bassopt

    Some people have success wrapping foil or thin tin around the external drive. The wrap acts as an additional radio frequency shield. Can also protect the drive casing from scratches :rolleyes:.
     
  8. lovemysurface

    lovemysurface New Member

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    Try plugging the drive in very slowly. A lot of people have reported that doing so keeps the WiFi from cutting out. No one seems to know why but, my guess would be that it gives your WiFi card a few extra milliseconds to deal with the intereference. just a WAG, though.
     

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