External USB Hard Drive problems

A new, Hitachi 2TB Neso USB Drive (Vista Hoe latest SP) is giving problems :

1. I'm not convinced it's reliable - not worked consistently since I had it in August

2. it can takes ages (hours) just to be seen in disk management - often crashes file explorer

3. I'm not sure Vista has installed the right driver (yellow exclamation mark in device manager sometimes) - Windows WPD volume etc

4. When it does appear as a drive it's as "removeable media" and I can do nothing with it (I want to reformat & error check)

5. Suspect internal Realtek multi-card reader might be in conflict. Tried to disable via software - keeps re-enabling

6. Anyone know of a basic utility to access this and sort it out - even to get factory default setup?


The drive first messed up on big backups. I do wonder if real capacity is less than stated ie I've been duped. I've since found a claim by another customer that they had been sold "hacked media" with false capacity.


Supplier won't respond.

Help please
22 answers Last reply
More about external hard drive problems
  1. Try a comprehensive SMART diagnostic. Look for reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors.

    HD Sentinel (DOS / Windows / Linux):
    http://www.hdsentinel.com/

    HDDScan for Windows:
    http://hddscan.com/

    See this article for SMART info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.
  2. Thank you so much. I'll try and get back. Could take a while !!!
  3. Interim report: Sentinel could see the drive but not recognise it.
  4. It's difficult to tell where the problem lies, whether it's the USB-SATA bridge board inside the enclosure, or the HDD itself.

    The bridge board should show up as a USB Mass Storage Device in Device Manager, while the HDD should appear as a physical disk in Disk Management.

    AIUI, HD Sentinel tries to communicate with the HDD, but if it cannot, it reverts to reporting the identity information for the bridge board. What complicates the issue is that some bridges don't identify themselves at all if the HDD doesn't come ready, so it's difficult to confirm the bridge as the culprit.

    One reason that the drive could be taking so long to come ready is that it may have a bad head which prevents it from accessing the firmware in the hidden System Area on the platters. The drive needs to load this firmware into its SDRAM immediately after it spins up.

    AISI, the only way to narrow down the fault would be to crack open the case and attach the drive directly to a SATA port on your computer's motherboard, but that would void your warranty.
  5. Thanks. I'll have to persist and be very patient I think. Eventually, I might get the right combination: ie drive seen and then (perhaps) I can do something with it?
  6. Google turns up lots of sellers assuring buyers that their Nesos are not fakes. That's a bit of a worry.

    You might like to check your drive's warranty status:
    http://www.hgst.com/portal/site/en/support/warranty/

    Hopefully you didn't get something like this:
    http://www.neowin.net/images/uploaded/00f63d6s.jpg
  7. I'm not surewhat to make of all this but thank you greatly.

    The device is small and appears beautifully made. Only one numerical marking exists. Using that and the first link I got:

    "Expiry date YYYY-MM-DD and Invalid serial"


    Perhaps it's just as well the 2nd link doesn't work for me. (I think it may need a login)? #:o(
  8. This is a slow, tedious process bt now the drive reports as:

    "Basic MBR Hard Disk 1 (Generic Flash Disk USB Device - Removable) This disk already contains four primary partitions. Basic hard disks can contain only four primary partitions, including extended one."

    Meanwhile, Hard Dive Sentinel reports as "? ..... Generic Flash Disk ....No Disk in Drive"

    Any more ideas please?
  9. The neowin URL worked for me, but here is a similar photo:
    http://fixitwizkid.com/attachments/fake-ssd-drive-jpg.566/

    How does Microsoft's UVCView utility see the external drive?
    http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/USB_IDs/UVCView.x86.exe
  10. The photo looks like a heap of junk to my untrained eye...... is it?

    I was hoping to attach a screen grab from UCV but can see no way to do it.

    Essentially I think it reports as :

    Intel (R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller 293A, Hub Root Hub, Port 1: USB Mass Storage Device

    Windows Computer Management and Paragon Backup can only see it as removable media so can do nothing with it.

    I have a USB mouse which also reports as on port 1 and a Realtek USB2.0 internal card reader reported on port 5.

    If there is a conflict with the card reader, I'd happily disable it. I've tried via device manager but the setting keeps returning to installed. ie I can't make it permanent.
  11. Update on last post:

    In Windows computer management, where it is seen as removable media, I clicked eject to see what would happen. Sure enough, the drive still shows, the partitions vanished from view and "no media" is reported. Am I being stupid or is this drive being confused for something else?

    I tried the driver update but windows reports that it already has the latest driver.
  12. In UVCView, highlight the appropriate port, R-click the right hand pane and choose Select_All. Then r-click the RH pane again and select Copy, or just type Ctrl-C.

    Then paste the contents of the clipboard into your next post using Ctrl-V.

    The photo is showing a fake SSD or HDD. The internals have been replaced with a cheap flash drive whose firmware has been hacked to make it identify itself as an SSD or HDD. The nuts have been added to provide the illusion of weight. Hopefully you don't have something like that.
  13. Here it is:

    ---===>Device Information<===---
    English product name: "Mass Storage"

    ConnectionStatus:
    Current Config Value: 0x01 -> Device Bus Speed: High
    Device Address: 0x01
    Open Pipes: 2

    ===>Endpoint Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x07
    bDescriptorType: 0x05
    bEndpointAddress: 0x01 -> Direction: OUT - EndpointID: 1
    bmAttributes: 0x02 -> Bulk Transfer Type
    wMaxPacketSize: 0x0200 = 0x200 max bytes
    bInterval: 0x00

    ===>Endpoint Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x07
    bDescriptorType: 0x05
    bEndpointAddress: 0x82 -> Direction: IN - EndpointID: 2
    bmAttributes: 0x02 -> Bulk Transfer Type
    wMaxPacketSize: 0x0200 = 0x200 max bytes
    bInterval: 0x00

    ===>Device Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x12
    bDescriptorType: 0x01
    bcdUSB: 0x0200
    bDeviceClass: 0x00 -> This is an Interface Class Defined Device
    bDeviceSubClass: 0x00
    bDeviceProtocol: 0x00
    bMaxPacketSize0: 0x40 = (64) Bytes
    idVendor: 0x0011idProduct: 0x7788
    bcdDevice: 0x0103
    iManufacturer: 0x01
    English (United States) "Generic"
    iProduct: 0x02
    English (United States) "Mass Storage"
    iSerialNumber: 0x03
    English (United States) "99102FAF"
    bNumConfigurations: 0x01

    ===>Configuration Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x09
    bDescriptorType: 0x02
    wTotalLength: 0x0020 -> Validated
    bNumInterfaces: 0x01
    bConfigurationValue: 0x01
    iConfiguration: 0x00
    bmAttributes: 0x80 -> Bus Powered
    MaxPower: 0x32 = 100 mA

    ===>Interface Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x09
    bDescriptorType: 0x04
    bInterfaceNumber: 0x00
    bAlternateSetting: 0x00
    bNumEndpoints: 0x02
    bInterfaceClass: 0x08 -> This is a Mass Storage USB Device Interface Class
    bInterfaceSubClass: 0x06
    bInterfaceProtocol: 0x50
    iInterface: 0x00

    ===>Endpoint Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x07
    bDescriptorType: 0x05
    bEndpointAddress: 0x01 -> Direction: OUT - EndpointID: 1
    bmAttributes: 0x02 -> Bulk Transfer Type
    wMaxPacketSize: 0x0200 = 0x200 max bytes
    bInterval: 0x00

    ===>Endpoint Descriptor<===
    bLength: 0x07
    bDescriptorType: 0x05
    bEndpointAddress: 0x82 -> Direction: IN - EndpointID: 2
    bmAttributes: 0x02 -> Bulk Transfer Type
    wMaxPacketSize: 0x0200 = 0x200 max bytes
    bInterval: 0x00
  14. It looks to me like a flash drive. I see some Google hits for Kingston pen drives using the same Product and Vendor IDs, probably fakes as well.

    idVendor: 0x0011
    idProduct: 0x7788

    bmAttributes: 0x80 -> Bus Powered
    MaxPower: 0x32 = 100 mA

    Here is a thread that shows a 320GB NESO with a Vendor ID of 0x1BCF:

    http://forums-web2.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-797051-start-0.html

    However, there are other hits which identify Sunplus Innovation Technology Inc. as the owner of the 0x1bcf Vendor ID.

    Can you hear your drive spin up?
  15. There is a leaflet/user manual referencing distributor Apha Leader Hong Kong.

    I was suspicious early on but am hearing impaired so cannot say. It seems silent and vibration free to me.
  16. Is this drive supposed to be a 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch model? Can you give us the dimensions of the enclosure?

    Is the device powered from the USB port, or from an AC adapter?

    According to Hitachi's web site, their largest 2.5" drive has a capacity of only 1TB.

    http://www.hgst.com/internal-drives/all-travelstar

    ISTM that you are the victim of a scam. As someone else said, eBay is the root of all evil, or money is the root of all eBay. :-(
  17. it's 110mm x 75mm x 11mm. A polished white metal case marked "hard dive by Hitachi" and "NESO"
  18. Those dimensions would suit a 2.5" drive. Someone will hopefully correct me if I am wrong, but Hitachi don't appear to make a 2TB drive in a 2.5" form factor.

    Furthermore, USB powered devices would require the full 500mA current capability of a USB 2.0 port, so the UVCView output should reflect this. Instead your device is reporting a current demand of 100mA which AFAIK is what is usually reported by a generic flash drive.
  19. Thank you for your help.

    Time I perhaps involve the authorities?

    Supplier is no help, ignoring my requests. Warranty will be void if I open the case to check. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea?
  20. I don't know what remedies you have in your jurisdiction, but good luck.

    BTW, one more thing you could do would be to weigh the unit and compare it against the published specs for a 1TB 2.5" Hitachi drive.
  21. Thanks.

    UK consumer law is pretty fair.

    The dive gives every impression of being beautifully made and has been admired. Pity it's cosmetic.
  22. my seagate 1TB external hard drive was showing incorrect capacity 39.6GB. I found one thread been posted by someone with a similar problem, and following that I did "delete volume". But after that, the thread mentioned to right-click in the same place and do a format. But even after clicking nothing shows up, moreover, now in my computer I can't even see the hard drive. What shall I do?
    If someone is replying, please also send me the info at austin_louis@yahoo.com
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