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Simultaneous USB Drive Problem

Last response: in Components
December 18, 2012 6:23:26 PM

Hi guys!

Have an odd problem with my desktop computer.

I can plug in a single USB drive, and the computer reads the contents and I can work normally. As soon as I plug in any other USB drive, the first one will disappear (it is still visible on "my computer" but its contents are empty, and you can't save to it). The second USB drive will appear just fine, until I either plug in a third USB stick, or remove and replace the first USB stick.

Thus, the computer seems to have an issue recognising any two USB drives when plugged in simultaneously.

This makes life a pain when backing up data, or when I'm working with one drive, and then need another.

Has anyone experienced this problem?

Are there any quick solutions?

Thanks in advance!
December 18, 2012 7:43:10 PM

Thanks for the link!

When I plug in my first USB Drive, the utility indicates that it is connected, safe to remove, and consuming 100mA.

As soon as I plug in my second USB stick; the first one remains connected, but is no longer safe to remove, nor is it consuming any power. And as before, it reports no data when opening the drive in "my computer".

It can't be a power problem since the second drive I just used to test it has its own external power plug.

Any help would be appreciated since the trouble with making backups has already led to loss of data since my last external USB drive gave up on me.

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December 18, 2012 8:39:45 PM

Hi :) 

Try using two MAINS POWERED drives...

All the best Brett :) 
December 18, 2012 8:47:33 PM

It sounds very much like a power problem. Most chipsets turn off the usb power, if to much is drained from the plugs. A powered usb hub may help.
December 18, 2012 8:58:31 PM

Well, what do you know; two powered USB drives work together.

Each is still taking 2mA despite being powered; so clearly the powered drives are not completely power-free.

If this is an issue with the power, can I do anything about it? I mean, a healthy computer can power at least two USB drives (even 1 non-powered, and 1 powered for sure).