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Thinkpad shuts down when external HDD connected to USB port??

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by PC, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. PC

    PC Guest

    G'day experts,

    I've got an older Thinkpad 600X with a 12g drive that I'm trying to
    upgrade to 30g.

    Simple I thought, purchase cheap 2.5" external case and plug it into
    the USB port on the Thinkpad and clone the existing drive.

    BUT as soon as I plug the external case into the USB port the computer
    shuts down instantly like its been shorted out.

    Major panic but after taking the battery out, all is well and the
    laptop fires up again as normal.

    The external case says it works fine on any "normal USB port with a
    0.5A output".

    Fair enough but I can't find anything that tells me how much power the
    USB port on the Thinkpad puts out. Does anybody know?? Neither the
    manual nor the specs on IBMs website say anything about this issue.

    Is a lack of power from the USB port even likely to be the problem?
    If it is, will an externally powered USB hub fix the problem??

    All ideas gratefully accepted.

    Cheers,

    PC
     
    PC, Apr 8, 2005
    #1
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  2. PC

    Paul Rubin Guest

    It's worth a try. Some of those USB enclosures have an auxiliary
    power input so you don't have to use USB power. You could try that too.
     
    Paul Rubin, Apr 8, 2005
    #2
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  3. PC

    Benny Guest

    Have you also bought a USB 2 bus card for the PCMCIA port? This increases
    your speed.
    Does your external drive cable have a second USB plug for power only, or an
    external power supply?
    Have you thought about using your existing drive as your O/S and the
    external drive for your data? This makes your data completely mobile, you
    can plug it into any other computer to work on it, like a giant flash drive.
     
    Benny, Apr 8, 2005
    #3
  4. PC

    Woody Guest

    If you go to the usb hub properties in device manager you can find the power
    available to the port.
     
    Woody, Apr 9, 2005
    #4
  5. PC

    caseyp_l Guest

    Thanks Woody,

    Power shows as 500ma so that should be OK.

    I did notice that the power management option allowed the computer to
    switch off the power to the root hub so maybe connecting the device was
    too much of an instant power drain....maybe.....

    It might also be that the USB external case is faulty. Unfortunately
    difficult to know.

    There is no external power capacity to the case but I will try tne
    powered hub idea.

    Cheers,
     
    caseyp_l, Apr 10, 2005
    #5
  6. First off, ThinkPads do have a "power off" feature if they detect a
    short on the USB bus. I had a similar situation as yours recently,
    but I quickly learned that mine was caused by accidentally shifting
    the drive a pair of pins when I plugged it into the enclosure. This
    meant that my drive was trying to draw power from a pin in the
    enclosure that the enclosure/bus didn't expect such a high current
    draw on. It happened no matter where I connected the drive on teh
    ThinkPad.

    As for USB power, the USB2 spec says that the bus will provide up to
    500 mA (0.50 A) per port. I know that I have a drive that requires
    1.0 A on spin-up and with some short cables, or very high quality
    cables, I can run the drive powered from a single port on my ThinkPad
    R50p. I don't like to do that with this drive, but I will run my
    other drive (requires 2.7W or about 515mA) to spin-up. It works more
    reliably when powered from my USB port.
     
    Jerry Bloomfield, Apr 10, 2005
    #6
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