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USB disc drive issue - motherboard, power supply or neither?

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  • USB disc drive issue - motherboard, power supply or neither?

    I have a bit of a unique issue that I havent seen anyone mention before. I have two USB powered slot load disc drives that I have been trying to get to work with my carputer, but to no avail. Sometimes they work, but most of the time they dont and when they do work its pretty much a fluke and I cant always duplicate. They work flawlessly with my two home PC's so I know its not the drives themselves that is the problem. Here are the basic specs of my carputer:

    M4-ATX Power supply 250W
    Zotac GeForceŽ 9300-ITX-WiFi
    Asus Xonar D2X
    Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93Ghz
    OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB)
    OCZ Vertex 30GB SSD


    Here are links to both of the USB disc drives I am using:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827151180
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+8x+...oad&cp=1&lp=10


    There are a bunch of other USB devices connected as well, but even when I disconnect every single USB device except for the mouse and one disc drive either one still wont work. Windows registers that a drive was connected but I cant access anything on the disc whether its data or audio. When attempting to play a audio disc you can hear it spinning up and then stopping, spinning up and stopping again over and over. Sounds like its trying to start up but just not getting enough power or something.

    I wondered if it was the 5V rail not having enough juice but seeing that there is 12A's available on the 5V rail I seriously doubt it. Unless for some reason the power supply is failing on that rail and that rail only but I figured I would have seen other more serious issues if it was the power supply.

    The only other thing I can think of would be the motherboard is not giving me enough power on any of the USB ports, but I am not sure about that because I also tested the drives on my USB Hub that I have and that is powered off the 5V rail on the M4-ATX directly. So either using the USB hub or connecting directly to the motherboard gives me the same results. I am at my witts end and could use some help troubleshooting this so thats where you guys come in Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

  • #2
    i have that same board, and had a similar issue in the first couple months of using it:

    i use the 9300 wi-fi edition, pentium dual core, dsatx power supply, and a the dvd r/w drive that the mp3car used to sell(i think it's a panasonic) with a atapi to ide adapter--getting power from dc-dc, not over usb lines-- and then i adapt the ide to usb(long story short, i was originally planning on mounting the pc in-dash, so i wanted ide, then needed a usb adapter when it didn't pan out..)


    when i first started using the 9300, i used 7200 rpm 2.5" drives. the dvd drive worked at first, but later didn't always work. after i upgraded to a ocz vertex ssd, the drive started working, and now works whenever i try it..

    so i am lead to believe that i am at the power limit of the dsatx (because i never have checked power calculators to see what my power draw really is..).


    is there any way you could try to unplug the zonar? i just wonder if it is drawing too much power and preventing either dvd drive from starting up.. otherwise, it could be that the board doesn't want to provide enough power..

    another option might mean figuring out how to power the drives off the m4, instead of keeping the motherboard as a middleman..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided

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    • #3
      Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
      is there any way you could try to unplug the zonar? i just wonder if it is drawing too much power and preventing either dvd drive from starting up.. otherwise, it could be that the board doesn't want to provide enough power..

      My next step was to try that, unplug the xonar card and/or unplug the secondary 1tb 3.5" drive I have in there and see if I get different results, but the PC is a bit of a pain to get out so I wanted to rule everything out before I take the PC out and start messing with the internals.

      Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
      another option might mean figuring out how to power the drives off the m4, instead of keeping the motherboard as a middleman..
      I was thinking about that too but if I am reaching the limits on the 5V rail then it wouldnt matter if I tapped directly off the M4 for any of the components right? But then again maybe its the board itself thats limiting me so in that case it would work.

      Thanks for the help, gonna try those options as soon as I can. I really hope it will work tapping directly off the M4 and its not that I am hitting the limit on the PS... I have a spare 80W power supply that I could probably use but would have retro fit it in my case and wire it up which would be a major PITA. The joys of carputing

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      • #4
        just to add some more..

        you must've forgotten to mention that you have a external 3.5" Tb-- 3.5's are real power suckers compared to ssd's, so i would say that it would be more of a power draw then the audio card-- try unplugging that first..


        my own madness i found out today:
        i recently got a new hitachi-brand, external drive, and it didn't want to power up off my carpc's powered hub, or board, but works fine off my laptop...(comp-usa sale-- $20 for a 250gb drive..)

        after getting some food, i will be heading back out to the car to try some other externals i have to try to double check this issue..

        i have 2 hitachi externals, and a WD drive in a external case i need to try-- the WD used to work fine, but these hitachi drives haven't been used in-car yet.

        just fyi, in case it is the connection method that is preventing power-up: both hitachi drives have twin usb plugs(2 different models of this one), and the external case that the WD is in is this one...
        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


        next project? subaru brz
        carpc undecided

        Comment


        • #5
          ok, so i did a brief test-- i was out in the car for less then 15min-- all of these drives were tested after the pc had booted, and rr, and associated screens were exited, so the pc was idle(which might have had a effect on the dsatx's load)

          the WD drive, a 320, 7200 rpm drive worked fine, but it required both usb cables-- one cable is the usb-A--to--usb-B, and the other is usb-A--to--power plug.. it would not power up with just the usb cable. i tried this one on both my powered hub(powered off 5v rail of dsatx), and off some extra ports on the board..

          the first hitachi drive-- a red one, part no. 0S0209, would not power up using it's supplied cable(twin usb connections), but, after using both cables from the external case for the WD, it powered up(this drive has a small power port on it as well as the usb port). i only tested this one on the mainboard ports, didn't try it on the powered hub..

          the second hitachi drive, part no. 0S02528 would power up with the supplied cable(twin usb connection). i forgot what happened, so i had to run back out to the car and try it again-- the first time, it took about 15 seconds, and then powered up, and any tries after that, it powered up, though requiring both usb plugs without a problem..

          outta time for now, will update it if you more details..
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
            just to add some more..

            you must've forgotten to mention that you have a external 3.5" Tb-- 3.5's are real power suckers compared to ssd's, so i would say that it would be more of a power draw then the audio card-- try unplugging that first..
            Yeah, the one I have pulls 1.2A max at 5V and 2.0A at 12V so its a hogger, but it sits idle most of the time, just for storage of movies and such, music is on the SSD. But who knows what pulls more at idle, the HDD or the sound card, I will mess with it when I get some time maybe tomorrow or this week.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
              ok, so i did a brief test-- i was out in the car for less then 15min-- all of these drives were tested after the pc had booted, and rr, and associated screens were exited, so the pc was idle(which might have had a effect on the dsatx's load)

              the WD drive, a 320, 7200 rpm drive worked fine, but it required both usb cables-- one cable is the usb-A--to--usb-B, and the other is usb-A--to--power plug.. it would not power up with just the usb cable. i tried this one on both my powered hub(powered off 5v rail of dsatx), and off some extra ports on the board..

              the first hitachi drive-- a red one, part no. 0S0209, would not power up using it's supplied cable(twin usb connections), but, after using both cables from the external case for the WD, it powered up(this drive has a small power port on it as well as the usb port). i only tested this one on the mainboard ports, didn't try it on the powered hub..

              the second hitachi drive, part no. 0S02528 would power up with the supplied cable(twin usb connection). i forgot what happened, so i had to run back out to the car and try it again-- the first time, it took about 15 seconds, and then powered up, and any tries after that, it powered up, though requiring both usb plugs without a problem..

              outta time for now, will update it if you more details..
              On the second hitachi drive were you able to access all the data without any hiccups? For example, I could list the files on any audio/data disc but as far as reading them, copying them I couldnt do anything and I have the twin usb cable for each drive, only one connector on the drive itself and then it split to two USB's. It did not have two seperate connections on the drive itself.

              Comment


              • #8
                that was the exact same problem i had with my dvd drive while running 7200rpm platter drives. it would sometimes show things, but any extended time needed to perform read/write's would always fail..


                in my tests, i did access some of the files with no problems, but i didn't attempt to copy anything.


                i do have about 2 gb of music that i recently ripped, so later on i will transfer that over i will be sure to try it with both hitachi drives just to make sure,
                but it might be a little while..
                My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                next project? subaru brz
                carpc undecided

                Comment

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