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Solved Having trouble connecting my external HD to my SP3

aba987

New Member
Hello everyone.

I am having trouble connecting my WD My Passport 500GB external hard drive to my Surface Pro 3. It has Windows 8.1 Pro installed on it.

I have tried the following:
1) Directly connecting the external HD to the SP3.

2) Using a mini-USB Y-cable and an adapter (since my external HD has a micro-USB) and connecting it to the SP3 and the battery of the SP3.

3) The same as #2 but instead of connecting it to the battery of the SP3, I connected it to my laptop.

I know the problem is not with my external HD as it does work on my laptop.

If anyone can provide any solutions or suggestions, that would be great.

Thanks!
 

leeshor

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum

Your other thread, a duplicate of this one, has been removed.

My guess is that it isn't getting enough power.
 

Telstar1948

Active Member
I have both a full-sized WD external USB drive and a slim, very compact WD USB3 external drive. I've used both before with Mac's I had at the time, but neither will register with my SP3 using the SP3's USB3 port or my SP3's MS Dock's USB3 port. They will both be listed under the Safely Remove Hardware icons on the far right of the Task Bar, but they're not there in File Explorer. I had thought to reformat them and use them with my SP3, but so far I'm not having any luck.
 
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aba987

New Member
Alright I think I have it figured out. So I went into the Hardware & Sound under Control Panel and checked the devices and my SP3 actually did recognize my external HD (by using the Y-cable and using the SP3 battery connection) but it just doesn't show up under Devices & Drives when I open up File Explorer. I troubleshooted it and it said that my external HD only works with USB 2.0 and not USB 3.0. Now I know that USB 3.0 is backwards compatible meaning that it works with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices. What do I need for my external HD to work on my SP3?
 

Telstar1948

Active Member
This isn't of any specific help, but I know that some USB2 devices simply will not work with a USB3 port...backwards compatibility and all that, but USB3 ports do not always connect or function with some USB2 devices.
 
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aba987

New Member
Ok so the problem was that my external HD only works on a Mac as that was my previous laptop. I tried it on my friend's PC's and it didn't work but it worked on another friend's Macbook.
 

malberttoo

Well-Known Member
Ok so the problem was that my external HD only works on a Mac as that was my previous laptop. I tried it on my friend's PC's and it didn't work but it worked on another friend's Macbook.

Ok that's not a problem then, as it's only a formatting issue. Do you want to use it on Mac only, or PC only, or both?
 
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aba987

New Member
I want to use it on both but I think I would need FAT32 or something like that, correct? Also, if I format my external HD, all my stuff will be erased. So I first need to backup my external HD to another external HD.
 

malberttoo

Well-Known Member
I want to use it on both but I think I would need FAT32 or something like that, correct? Also, if I format my external HD, all my stuff will be erased. So I first need to backup my external HD to another external HD.

Yes that's absolutely right. First back up/copy your stuff somewhere else, and then reformat the disk to something that both OS's can use.

Here's a decent-looking guide, from the Mac side...

http://osxdaily.com/2012/04/22/format-drive-mac-pc-compatible/

From Windows side also...

http://www.wikihow.com/Format-FAT32
 

xbliss

Member
I have both a full-sized WD external USB drive and a slim, very compact WD USB3 external drive. I've used both before with Mac's I had at the time, but neither will register with my SP3 using the SP3's USB3 port or my SP3's MS Dock's USB3 port. They will both be listed under the Safely Remove Hardware icons on the far right of the Task Bar, but they're not there in File Explorer. I had thought to reformat them and use them with my SP3, but so far I'm not having any luck.
My X61T (7 years old) can support an external HD that I have but SP3 wont. And then people tell me that this should be standard.

I think we should get MS to address these HARDWARE issues as they have not been in the business for too long.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
My X61T (7 years old) can support an external HD that I have but SP3 wont. And then people tell me that this should be standard.

I think we should get MS to address these HARDWARE issues as they have not been in the business for too long.

What hardware issues? The surface line meets the requirements for the usb 3.0 specification. Just because other devices supply more power than the minimum required by the spec does not mean that the surface has hardware issues.
 

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