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USB cable connection fails...
on September 28, 2012
Purchased HGST Touro Desk Pro 2 TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive (HTOLDNB20001BBB) from J&R via Amazon. Plugged in provided AC power and USB 3.0 cords and Windows Home Server (v1.0) recognized and "installed" the drive with no problems. I reformatted the drive from within WHS, installed it in WHS as a backup drive, and transferred about 500 GB of files to it over the next 2 days. Then the drive appeared to have failed, and WHS would no longer recognize the drive's existance, or occaissionly would see the drive but state it had failed.
While searching for answers on the net I found (1) this was an Advanced Format Drive (can have issues with older OSs),and (2) there have been quite a few reports of USB cable connection failures. Problem #1 didn't apppear to be the issue, since it did work for a while on WHS v1 (a Windows Server 2003 variant). After the drive "failed", I also tried the drive on Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 SP1 (32- and 64-bit) machines. It was on my Windows 7 32-bit laptop that the drive was finally recognized, "installed", and displayed all my files in Windows Explorer. Great! But as soon as I nudged the laptop to a more convenient angle, I heard the "drive disconnected" sound and then the files "disappeared". I checked the connections at both ends of the drive's USB3 cable, and heard the "drive connect" after disconnecting and reconnecting the cable at the drive. But as soon as I let go of the cable the drive disconnected. Finally, I was able to keep the connection steady by inserting the cable on the drive end by firmly pushing the cable in while maintaining a firm upward pressure, and then let go of the cable very carefully and then make sure I absolutely did not cause the drive or cable to move even slightly. This got me the most important step - allowed me to wipe the drive (which contained backups of highly confidential business & personal files) so I could return it. For a while I thought I was going to have to eat the approx. $130 price, since there was no way I could return the drive with those files still on it.
Three side-notes: (1) Amazon and J&R made the return process nearly painless, with J&R promptly offering a refund option and even prepaying for the return shipping. (2) I had disconnected/reconnected the drive about 3 times before it failed. I was quite gentle on the cable and drive, as I love my electronic gizmos and handle them with care. (3) Hitachi/HGST normally makes excellent drives, and I have 6 similar Hitachi 2 TB internal drives in my server that have been operating flawlessly for 1 to 3 years. From my experience and what info I found on the web, this appears to be a connection issue on the drive's enclosure, not the drive inside.