Usb external drive doesn't work with asus laptop

My ASUS laptop doesn't recognise my USB external drive despite trying it on all 3 USB port available. It used to work properly but recently it just doesn't work anymore only occasionally when i plugged it in it seems to detect it but very fast it loses again...sorry, i'm not really IT literate so i might need to be guide step by!!!!

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  1. Usual questions. Please try
    1) Some other USB device, like a thumb drive, in the ports to see if the ports are working.
    2) The USB external drive connected to some other computer.

    This will tell us what has failed. Then we go from there. Best of luck.
  2. I have a similar problem with my Asus X71Vn laptop that has two hard drive bays. Until recently everything worked fine with two hard drives or with USB drives. Now, however, if I have two drives installed (be it internal SATA or USB), the AMI Bios boots twice and one of the drives disappears. The machine boots normally with one drive in any of the SATA bays but if I install two drives there is a double booting and one of the drives disappears (this happens both under Windows 7 and Linux). My BIOS version is 207.
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