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Do I have a dud Surface? External USB drives keep disconnecting & reconnecting

hazymat

New Member
Hi all

I whinged-off a little on another thread about my Surface Pro 2 woes, but this thread is specifically about my issue with using external USB drives on my new Surface Pro 2.

I recently tweeted about how awful I thought the design of the USB port was, as it seems the tapered angle of the edge means you can't properly insert a USB cable securely into the Surface. Had a response from a friend who says his works perfectly well and didn't think the tapered angle caused connection problems. So here's my problem:

I have a number of external USB drives which I use with my old laptop and desktop PC which both run Win7. The drives have *never* given me any problems, I always eject them by "Safely Removing Hardware" before physically unplugging, and as such never see the "This drive needs scanning" message appear...

That was, until the Surface came into my life.

Every time I plug *any* drive into my Surface Pro 2 (tried many cables), after a few minutes the drive disconnects (little USB disconnection noise plus Windows explorer win disappears if it's open).

Then it reconnects. Then it disconnects about 15 seconds later. Then it reconnects, and if I happen to be using a file when it subsequently disconnects, the next reconnect says "your disk requires scanning and fixing errors".

Tonight I tested this with a brand new Samsung external hard drive with its own power supply, and a brand new USB cable which came with that drive: same thing.

Can't use the drive in the Surface for more than a minute or two.

Connect that same drive into my old laptop, run a huge file copy for 4-5 hours, no problems whatsoever.

Is this a design fault of the Surface's port? In my experience as 1st and 2nd line IT Tech Support, I would think about re-installing the USB drivers (already done), or investigating possible issues with USB power management in the bios.

Please help!
 
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godson594

Active Member
I noticed when trying to backup a bunch of files from an iPhone that my Surface would stop 10 minutes into a 30min transfer. I forgot to even add this to my list of problems.

How long have you had the Surface? I would say its safe to say its not your drives if they work on other devices.
 
OP
H

hazymat

New Member
Glad to know it's not just me! I've had the Surface Pro 2 since its release (end of November 2013)...
 

mennogreg

Active Member
I do some video transcoding on location at shoots, and brought my Surface along to see if I could replace my older, bigger laptop. I too have experienced a similar problem as you when transferring large files over 10GB; my card reader connected to my USB 3.0 hub occasionally loses connectivity. Smaller file sizes have had no issues, so I'm assuming (without any technical knowledge) that there's some timeout issue going on. I chalked it up to the faulty December firmware, but will keep my eye on how this develops. I haven't tried altering any of the USB Suspend options in the advanced power menu yet.
 
Are you using a hub? also, can you try turning off USB Selective suspend in the power options its enabled by default for battery and plugged in even in the high performance profiles
 

Edistobob

New Member
If you are using a hub, is it powered externally or just through the Surface's USB port? I had a very similar problem with a phone connected to a hub to the Surface and discovered that my hub's external power had been disconnected. With external power, I've had no disconnection issues at all.
 

demandarin

Active Member
You not alone. I posted similar issue with my surface pro 1. But my issue only occurs when using my mobile external USB 3.0 1.5tb Toshiba canvio Hargrove plugged into a USB 3 hub(nonpowered). It'll work with no issue plugged directly to the pro. But I need to use the hub because I have a good amount of steam games installed on the mobile drive. So I need the hub to be able to use the external hard drive and my Xbox 360 controller.

I had same issues of it mounting and discounting randomly. I think it is the connection point that's doing it. But when plugged directly into the surface, I've never noticed that issue. I think something else may be causing the issues but I haven't pinpointed it yet.
 

drolem

Active Member
Certain external drives (i.e. some WDs) don't work too well with the SP2.

Things to try:
a) plug directly into the USB3 port (no hub in between)
b) if the above doesn't help, try various USB hubs -- for some reason some work better than others.
 

Nuspieds

Active Member
When it has happened to me, it has always been when using an AC-powered hub. I've never experienced the problem when I'm travelling and using my 4-port USB-powered hub.

On the other hand, when I was "docked" at home with my AC-powered 10-port hub, it would happen. I cycled through a couple different brands of hubs before I finally settled on the one I'm current using and it hasn't given me any problems.

Interestingly enough, from what I could determine with the previous brand I was using, it seemed that its AC plug did not fit snugly into it. As a result, it would get somewhat loose and--I presume--not have enough power, so my USB drive would then disconnect.
 

jamojamo

New Member
When it has happened to me, it has always been when using an AC-powered hub. I've never experienced the problem when I'm travelling and using my 4-port USB-powered hub.

On the other hand, when I was "docked" at home with my AC-powered 10-port hub, it would happen. I cycled through a couple different brands of hubs before I finally settled on the one I'm current using and it hasn't given me any problems.

Interestingly enough, from what I could determine with the previous brand I was using, it seemed that its AC plug did not fit snugly into it. As a result, it would get somewhat loose and--I presume--not have enough power, so my USB drive would then disconnect.
Would you please let us know what brand/model hub you are using since it is working well? I am looking for a hub and would love to avoid the trial and errors
 

MickeyLittle

Active Member
When it has happened to me, it has always been when using an AC-powered hub. I've never experienced the problem when I'm travelling and using my 4-port USB-powered hub.

On the other hand, when I was "docked" at home with my AC-powered 10-port hub, it would happen. I cycled through a couple different brands of hubs before I finally settled on the one I'm current using and it hasn't given me any problems.

Interestingly enough, from what I could determine with the previous brand I was using, it seemed that its AC plug did not fit snugly into it. As a result, it would get somewhat loose and--I presume--not have enough power, so my USB drive would then disconnect.
Leave us all hanging.....


Would you please let us know what brand/model hub you are using since it is working well? I am looking for a hub and would love to avoid the trial and errors
Question of the hour for sure!
 

Nuspieds

Active Member
Would you please let us know what brand/model hub you are using since it is working well? I am looking for a hub and would love to avoid the trial and errors 
Leave us all hanging.....
Sorry, sorry, sorry! Sheesh! :D

The reason I didn't mention the brand is because I think I am in the exception who need a 10-port hub; most people I've encountered (even just by reading posts) require far fewer that that. Anyway, enough of the suspense, the model I am currently using is Amazon.com : Cable Matters 10-Port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hub : Usb Network Adapters : Computers & Accessories

Let me know if you have any questions about it.
 
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