In today’s data-driven society, external hard drives (HDDs) have become indispensable for individuals and businesses, providing portable and convenient storage solutions.
However, external hard disk drive disconnection is a common source of frustration for many users. Whether transferring critical files or accessing data, an abrupt loss of connection can disrupt your productivity and result in data loss.
Understanding the root causes of this issue is essential for effective troubleshooting and solution development. In this article, We’ll look at the most common reasons portable hard drives stop working and give tips on fixing the problem and keeping your store running smoothly.
Why Does My External HDD Keep Disconnecting?
It is because of defective or loose USB cables, insufficient power supply to the HDD, outdated or incompatible drivers, specific USB port issues, misconfigured power saving settings, and misconfigured USB legacy support. Moreover, a degrading external device will also face this disconnecting issue.
Here are the reasons why your external HDD keeps disconnecting:
Defective or Loose USB Cable
Your external HDD may frequently disconnect if your USB cable is malfunctioning. Intermittent connectivity problems may occur if the cable is broken or is not placed firmly into the ports. Moreover, this issue can be solved by switching to a new USB cable or ensuring the current cable is securely connected.
Insufficient Power Supply
If your external HDD uses bus power, it must be powered by a USB port. The USB port may occasionally not supply enough power, resulting in frequent disconnections. This problem can be resolved using a powered USB hub or a different USB port with enough power to connect the hard disk.
Outdated or Incompatible USB Drivers
USB drivers are essential to establish a reliable connection between your computer and the external HDD. The USB drivers may frequently disconnect you if they are outdated or incompatible with your operating system.
This problem may be solved by updating the USB drivers to the most recent versions compatible with your system. Furthermore, these drivers will also affect the workability of your HDD.
Specific USB Port Issues
The external HDD may regularly detach due to power or compatibility issues with some USB ports on your computer. You can figure out if a specific USB port is the issue by connecting the hard disk to another port. The connection can be stabilized by switching to a different port with adequate power and greater compatibility.
Your computer’s power-saving settings may reduce power consumption by shutting off USB devices when they are not in use. Your external HDD may regularly disconnect or cease performing due to this functionality. This problem can be avoided by disabling USB power-saving options in the Control Panel or Power Options.
USB Legacy Support
The computer’s BIOS has a USB Legacy Support function, enabling compatibility with older USB devices. However, cutting off this capability may help avoid conflicts and stabilize USB connections in more recent operating systems like Windows 10, which may not need it. Furthermore, one workable approach is to access the BIOS configuration tool and disable USB Legacy Support.
How To Fix External HDD Keep Disconnecting?
You can fix it by connecting an external HDD to a different USB port, turning off USB power saving mode, preventing the PC from turning off mass storage devices, disabling USB legacy support from the BIOS, and installing the latest 3.0 controller drivers on your PC.
Here’s how you can solve the external HDD keeps disconnecting issue:
Connect To The Different USB Ports
Specific USB ports may sometimes have power or compatibility issues, so switching to another port can help resolve the problem. It is the most straightforward and prevalent solution. Connect the external hard drive to a different USB interface to see if this resolves the issue.
Linking to a different port may ensure your HDD receives the power it needs. Some USB ports might need to be fixed on some devices. Furthermore, there may be a hardware or software problem with one of your computer’s USB ports that causes it to stop sometimes. All these issues will be resolved by moving to a different USB port.
Turn Off USB Power Saving
Your computer’s USB settings might be set to save power, which could cause the portable hard drive to stop working. Launch “Control Panel” in the Start menu and select “Control Panel.” Select the “Power Options” or “Power and Sleep” option.
Click the “Change plan settings” and navigate next to the power plan that is presently selected. Click the “Change advanced power settings” link in the next window. It opens the advanced parameters for the chosen electricity plan.
Furthermore, search for “USB settings” or “USB selective suspend setting.” Expand the category. Two options will appear: “USB selective suspend setting” and “USB selective suspend idle timeout.” Set each of these options to “Disabled.” Click the “Apply” icon and then “OK” to save the modifications.
Prevent PC From Turning Off Mass Storage Device
Some computers have a feature that turns off USB devices when they are not in use. It saves power. Follow these steps to ensure your PC doesn’t turn off the mass storage device (your external HDD). Search for “Device Manager” in the Start menu, or right-click the Windows Start icon and choose “Device Manager” from the context menu.
In Device Manager, the “USB” section lists the USB controllers installed on your computer. Typically, it is designated “USB Mass Storage Device” or something comparable. Multiple USB controllers may be listed. Right-clicking the USB controller for your external HDD and choose “Properties.”
On the “Power Management” tab, you should see the option “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.” Ensure that this option is deactivated or unchecked. If it is already unchecked, no further action is required. Click “OK” or “Apply.”
Disable USB Legacy Support In Bios
Modern operating systems like Windows 10 work differently with USB devices and may not need USB legacy support. Turning this function off can help stop conflicts and stabilize USB links. You’ll need to use your computer’s BIOS setup tool to turn off USB Legacy Support in the BIOS.
Start your computer and open BIOS. Usually using keys like F2, Del, Esc, and F10 are often used. Look for a choice that has something to do with USB settings or devices. Find the choice for USB Legacy Support and click on it.
It might be called “USB Legacy Mode,” “USB Legacy Emulation,” or something similar. To turn off USB Legacy Support, change the setting to “Disabled.” Save the changes and exit BIOS.
Install The Latest USB 3.0 Controller Drivers
If your computer’s USB 3.0 controller drivers are outdated or incompatible, they may cause your portable HDD to keep getting disconnected. The USB controller drivers control how your computer and the external hard drive talk. If these drivers are outdated, it can be hard to join.
Check your computer’s device menu to determine which USB 3.0 driver you have. Open the device manager, open the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” part, and look for the USB 3.0 controller. You can automatically update the drivers from the device manager or download the latest one from the manufacturer’s website.
Once you have navigated to the drivers, right-click on them, select “Update,” and then select the “Automatic Update Option.” You should be able to resolve the connection issues by installing the most recent drivers for the USB 3.0 devices.
What Are The Signs Of External HDD Problems?
A faulty HDD shows obvious signs like overheating, strange buzzing and clicking noises, frequent system crashes, data corruption, and blue screen of death errors. In the case of these signs, the first step you have to take is to back up your data to a secure storage device and then start troubleshooting.
- Excessive Overheating
The read/write heads and platters may experience problems if your hard drive is overheating. It may result in data corruption or a total hard drive failure. Overheating also leads to component degradation; as a result, you face HDD problems.
- Strange Noises
Something is wrong if your hard drive makes noises like clicking, grinding, or buzzing. Many things can cause these noises, like broken gear or a head crash. In such a situation, it is best to back up your important data and replace your hard drive as soon as possible.
- System Crashes
If your computer frequently crashes, this could indicate a problem with the hard drive. There are numerous potential causes for system failures, but if they occur frequently, you should examine your hard drive for issues. Sometimes, you see a BSOD error indicating storage device issues. Such crashes are vital indications of critical problems.
- Corrupted Data
If you have difficulty accessing files or folders or receive error messages when attempting to save files, this could indicate a problem with your hard drive. Additionally, several factors, such as a power surge, a virus, or a malfunctioning hard drive, can cause data corruption.
- Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)
The blue screen of death is a critical error that various issues, including a problematic hard drive, can trigger. If you encounter the BSOD frequently, you should inspect the drive for problems. Furthermore, the error only appears in critical hardware situations. Therefore, monitor your hardware’s health periodically.
Can A Bad HDD Be Repaired?
If lucky, a broken HDD can be fixed or retrieved only in certain circumstances. In most cases, it is possible to fix your HDD if the problem is with the software on the drive. In most cases, especially when there is physical damage, the HDD must be replaced entirely.
You can sometimes fix some problems with an HDD, but it depends on the nature and severity of the issue. Mechanical problems can be caused by broken read/write heads, motors, or disk drives. Things like a bad printed circuit board or power supply problems can cause electronics failures.
- Software-Based Repairs
Instead of bodily damage, an HDD may sometimes have logical mistakes instead. You can use tools to fix the file system or retrieve the data in these situations. Different data recovery apps can also fix logical mistakes and recover data from a broken HDD.
- Diy Repairs
Some technical problems, like a stuck wheel or broken heads, can be fixed by people who know what they’re doing. But to fix these things, you need special tools, scientific knowledge, and a controlled setting. If you need to know what you’re doing, trying to fix an HDD yourself is risky. As a result, it could end up doing more damage.
- Replacement Of Faulty Components
Some parts of an HDD, like the PCB or the read and write heads, can be changed to get the drive working again. Moreover, you must find suitable substitute parts and install them carefully.
The USB cord breaks or becomes loose, there is insufficient power, the USB driver becomes old or mismatched, or there is a problem with the USB port or settings, causing external HDDs to stop working. Try different USB cords, ports, power-saving features, drivers, BIOS settings, and power distribution to fix the disconnecting problem.
It is essential to recognize the symptoms of HDD issues, such as overheating, unusual sounds, system failures, data corruption, and many blue screen of death (BSOD) errors. If you observe these indicators, it is imperative that you promptly back up your data and contemplate running a diagnostic tool to determine the condition of your hard drive.
Depending on the nature and severity of the issue, it may be possible to rectify specific HDD issues. Software and data recovery tools can fix logical errors, but professionals should do physical repairs. Replace defective components like the printed circuit board (PCB) or read/write heads.
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