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Windows 2000 Server and external USB HDs

Zapp.Brannigan

Active Member
Hi All, thought I might pick your brains here on this one.

I have a Windows 2000 Server (SP4) and I'm trying to backup to USB external hard drive. When I plug the device in Windows 2000 can't see it. I've tried a different HD (another brand) but still have the same problem. The light does come on the drive itself when it is plugged in and it does sound like it's whirring up - but nothing.

The drive is USB powered and is 120GB

If I plug in a 4GB mem stick it reads that no problem.

I'm not sure if this is driver related, power related, or just incompatible.

Any ideas?
 

Sonic67

Banned
Try a different cable. I used to have an external HDD that wouldn't work with a particular cable. Maybe it wasn't powering it enough or something.
 

def

Active Member
What's the drive and USB interface brand? As in, many little outfits repackage and sell major OEM components, so will be easy to figure out support.

But it should just appear as an external mass storage device. Does it work on another PC?
 

flipfella

Active Member
Have you checking in device manager to see it any thing is registering. Maybe its showing as a unknown device or with a error.

Also check disk manager to see if you can see it there maybe it's just not being assigned a drive letter, or a mapped drive is on the same drive letter
 

Chox1988

Distinguished Member
What the others said^. If its usb bus powered then try swapping cables, especially if you are using a single usb port connected to the hard disk- in some cases a single usb port cant provide enough power. Try using a dual usb port cable to hard disk wire (unsure of the technical term), that'll definitely get enough power into it.
 

Zapp.Brannigan

Active Member
Thanks for your replies chaps.

Sonic67 - I'll see if I can get hold of another cable to try that out

Iccz - No it's not showing in the HM. Even tried several scans for hardware changes

def - I've tries a couple. They are only cheapos but have always worked well in the past. Buffalo Mini-station (approx 10months old) and CnM Mistral 120GB -both from Dabs. They work fine on other PCs. Both are not showing as Mass Storage Devices.

flipfella - Unfortunately it's not showing up in Disk Manager either. No evidence on the server that it is plugged in. Not showing under USB section in Device Manager.

Abu - One of the HDs has a 2usb to Hd cable for extra power. Not playing ball.

The server is a Dell PowerEdge 2600 (I think) that is approx 5 years old. It only has 2 usb connectors at the rear. Both work fine with other devices. The USB controller uses std drivers from MS dated 1999! Updates suggest it's the best driver for the job and server 2000 is up to SP4.

I was thinking of installing another USB controller. Perhaps this would do the trick.

Thanks for all the suggestions though!
 

def

Active Member
Iccz - No it's not showing in the HM. Even tried several scans for hardware changes

def - I've tries a couple. They are only cheapos but have always worked well in the past. Buffalo Mini-station (approx 10months old) and CnM Mistral 120GB -both from Dabs. They work fine on other PCs. Both are not showing as Mass Storage Devices.

flipfella - Unfortunately it's not showing up in Disk Manager either. No evidence on the server that it is plugged in. Not showing under USB section in Device Manager.

That's really quite bizarre. Does the eventlog show anything when you plug the drive in? Any event at all, even if it doesn't look related?

Maybe you could try reapplying SP4...

Oh, I've just had another thought. Is there a local or group policy applied to this machine that prevents the use of external storage? That would create the behaviour you're seeing too...
 

Mikepriester

Distinguished Member
Is it only this drive that you have a problem with? Can you try a Flash drive to see if it does the same.

I was going to suggest the Drive Manager aswell

I used to manage an SBS2000 server and I had the same problem. I gave up in the end and just used the drive via the network :D
 

Zapp.Brannigan

Active Member
There's no group policy blocking these drives. I may try re-applying SP4 but I don't hold out much hope.
I may have to do this via the network I think. It's for image backups so they should be OK to run overnight.
Thanks all for the suggestions!
 

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