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Thread: annoying restart needed for laptop to detect external usb hard drive

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate minghi's Avatar
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    annoying restart needed for laptop to detect external usb hard drive

    hi

    i am using a compaq evo n400c for the carpc setup. it has a 6GB internal hdd, which has winxp and maps, driver installs and other critical stuff only. all my mp3, videos are on the external 160GB hard drive.

    the thing, is every time i start the pc with the external hdd connected, it does not detect the drive. if i restart the carpc, the drive is detected and no problems henceforth.

    its kinda annoying to wait close to 2 minutes to start listening mp3's

    any1 face similar problems before?

    just wondering

    thanks
    mk
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by minghi
    hi

    i am using a compaq evo n400c for the carpc setup. it has a 6GB internal hdd, which has winxp and maps, driver installs and other critical stuff only. all my mp3, videos are on the external 160GB hard drive.

    the thing, is every time i start the pc with the external hdd connected, it does not detect the drive. if i restart the carpc, the drive is detected and no problems henceforth.

    its kinda annoying to wait close to 2 minutes to start listening mp3's

    any1 face similar problems before?

    just wondering

    thanks
    mk
    Is the external HD enclosure have its own power or does it draw power from the USB connection? If it's drawing power from the USB port on the laptop it's possible that when your system probes the busses for connected devices the hard drive either hasn't gotten power yet or it has gotten power but there may be on-board diagnostics on the external hard drive enclosure that are still going on. This would result in the device not being detected. It sounds like this may be your issue. A couple ways to check this:

    1. once laptop is on but external HD is not detected, open the My Computer icon and hit F5. This forces a refresh (may not work with USB drives, not at home at the moment to check for sure) of drives. or;
    2. Disconnect and reconnect the drive into the USB port on the laptop after your inital boot when the drive is not being seen. If the drive pops up then it would indicate what I mentioned.

    About rebooting the laptop and magically the drive appears the second time: a reboot does not cycle the power (it's a 'soft' reset) so when the bus probe occurs for connected devices the second time around the drive has power and responds to the probe and Windows sees it.

    If this really bugs you you can possibly fix it by doing the following: Boot the laptop up and get the external drive connected and functional in Windows. Then, modify your boot.ini file in C:\ to add /FASTDETECT. i.e.

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

    Then shutdown and restart.

    Specifying FASTDETECT causes NTDETECT to skip parallel and serial device enumeration for a boot into Windows which (IIRC) will cause Windows to use the previously saved shutdown configuration in regards to connected devices so they will show up (even if not connected).
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate minghi's Avatar
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    Great. I shall try out the fastdetect option. btw, my external HDD is powered. it is a 3.5" HDD in an enclosure.
    400W Power Amplifier -$25
    P3 laptop mobo-$30ish
    128MB RAM-$10
    6GB+80GB 2.5" HDDs-$130
    GPS-$60
    7" TS Lilliput-$280
    10" pioneer 500w sub-$55
    sony xm-3020 30W amp-$10
    jensen 340W A34XP amp-$40
    mp3car.com resources and members- priceless

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate minghi's Avatar
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    well, it was a no go.

    the fastdetect option was already there when i checked the boot.ini file. Removed it n restarted the comp, still the same
    400W Power Amplifier -$25
    P3 laptop mobo-$30ish
    128MB RAM-$10
    6GB+80GB 2.5" HDDs-$130
    GPS-$60
    7" TS Lilliput-$280
    10" pioneer 500w sub-$55
    sony xm-3020 30W amp-$10
    jensen 340W A34XP amp-$40
    mp3car.com resources and members- priceless

  5. #5
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    just curious but is that an SiS USB bus in your system? If so, there's a patch to fix exactly what you're experiencing. If not, check around about your chipset as this has been issues with other chipsets as well

    http://www.usbman.com/winxpusbguide.htm#SiS

    *******************************

    SiS USB Registry Patch (Windows XP)

    This patch fixes the undetectable problem with SiS USB controller on Windows XP

    SiS USB Registry Patch - Usbdetect.exe - 54KB - 12/17/2001



    Note: After you apply the patch, you may need to refresh the USB driver stack

    Remove all USB devices (except USB keyboard and/or mouse) from the Device Manager in the following order:

    Devices
    HID and/or Composite USB
    USB Root Hub (s)
    USB Host Controller (s)
    Shutdown and reboot

  6. #6
    Newbie pat_vrs's Avatar
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    same prob with dell laptop..

    if i didn't want to reboot computer.. I was needed to go in device manager.. and "scan for hardware changes"... need to do that each time I reboot windows without the usb device plugged..

    this problem disapear when i installed SP2..

    there fews KBs about this prob.. check support.microsoft.com

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate minghi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tekmazter
    just curious but is that an SiS USB bus in your system? If so, there's a patch to fix exactly what you're experiencing. If not, check around about your chipset as this has been issues with other chipsets as well

    http://www.usbman.com/winxpusbguide.htm#SiS

    *******************************

    SiS USB Registry Patch (Windows XP)

    This patch fixes the undetectable problem with SiS USB controller on Windows XP

    SiS USB Registry Patch - Usbdetect.exe - 54KB - 12/17/2001



    Note: After you apply the patch, you may need to refresh the USB driver stack

    Remove all USB devices (except USB keyboard and/or mouse) from the Device Manager in the following order:

    Devices
    HID and/or Composite USB
    USB Root Hub (s)
    USB Host Controller (s)
    Shutdown and reboot

    hmm...how wud i know if i am using the sis chipset on the mobo. in device manager, it shows genereic usb hub, intel controller.
    400W Power Amplifier -$25
    P3 laptop mobo-$30ish
    128MB RAM-$10
    6GB+80GB 2.5" HDDs-$130
    GPS-$60
    7" TS Lilliput-$280
    10" pioneer 500w sub-$55
    sony xm-3020 30W amp-$10
    jensen 340W A34XP amp-$40
    mp3car.com resources and members- priceless

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by minghi
    well, it was a no go.

    the fastdetect option was already there when i checked the boot.ini file. Removed it n restarted the comp, still the same
    Did you try unplugging and replugging in the USB drive after Windows was booted (and it wasn't showing up)? Tek also had a good idea re; SiS chipset patch. I'm at work (and there aren't many Windows boxes available to check this at Sun and can't remember off the top of my head the method to help you check your chipset. There are 3rd party programs available out there that can give you detailed information on your system like Belarc's Advisor or MvPCinfo which you can grab from downlaod.com's system utilities section. This should help you identify the chipsets in your system etc.

    If you do have a SiS, apply that patch per his instructions.
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    Amoebacowboy

    "Do Not Taunt Happy-Fun Ball"

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate
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    I have been thinking about getting an external HDD instead of getting a larger internal hard drive for my laptop. Is anyone else experiencing this problem or is it device specific or a Windows issue?

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