SP2 not recognizing USB 3.0 external HDD

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Help' started by skywalker, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. skywalker

    skywalker New Member

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    Hi folks,

    First post here.

    I have a problem here whereby my Western Digital Passport is not recognized. It worked occasionally at the beginning but now it refuses to even recognize the device. I checked the windows updates and there was an update installed in February related to the drive but this cannot be uninstalled.

    I reinstalled the drivers I downloaded from the WD website and also updated the firmware. The weird thing is that the device is recognized on a USB 3.0 port of my other laptop.

    Both are running Windows 8.1

    I've contacted Surface support and they have suggested some steps but it hasn't helped so far, awaiting their reply since my last feedback to them. At this stage I'm thinking it's a HW issue...

    Any suggestions on what to do next? I might bring it back to the store tomorrow and test on another SP2 there.

    Thanks
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum

    Do you see anything that stands out in device manager?
     
  3. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    skywalker,

    If you have verified that your cable is not the culprit, I would guess that your drive is not getting enough power to sync up to 'ready' in time for Windows 8.1 on your SP2 to recognize it. I have several old drives lying around, and one of these, a Western Digital Passport 1TB) does this, not due to the cable. I attribute this to the drive itself, slow to spin up, or taking too much power to spin up.

    Here is how I get around the problem:

    OPTION 1:
    - Don't use the drive. Put it back in the computer junk drawer. :p

    OPTION 2:
    - Specify the drive with a letter like 'M' or 'P' rather than 'D' or 'E'. Specific letter designations take longer. If you can get the drive to connect (by booting up cold with the drive connected, and mains power also connected to your SP2), then you can change the drive letter in Control Panel, Computer Management by following these instructions.

    OPTION 3:
    Trade in or sell that drive. Might work just fine with a different PC or Mac of yours, or that of a friend.

    Another way to get that drive to spin up is to put it in the freezer for about 90 seconds, lowering the temperature a bit. Then try to use it right away, which might get it to spin up enough to allow you to reassign the drive letter, extract data, etc. The lower temperature gives more clearance to the motor parts and disc bearings, and uses a fraction less power due to better efficiency. Might just be enoug. Don't let it get too cold, because as it warms, moisture will condense within the drive. Not good.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  4. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    I have another possible option, assuming the device manager doesn't have an issue. Try the drive while your Surface is being charged.
     

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