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For a number of months now, one of my Windows 7 desktop systems running on a ASUS P8Z77-V motherboard has lost the ability to properly interact with USB hard disks. Either they go completely undetected, or get detected as not initialized in Disk Manager - any attempt to initialize will end in "I/O error", even when in reality they already have a formatted volume within. Some times Windows System log will report errors

Log Name:      System
Source:        Disk
Date:          3/12/2013 23:34:19
Event ID:      11
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      diablo
Description:
The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk9\DR14.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Disk" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="49156">11</EventID>
    <Level>2</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-12-03T15:34:19.279940000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>3072900</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>diablo</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>\Device\Harddisk9\DR14</Data>
    <Binary>0F01800001000000000000000B0004C00101000000000000000000000000000000000000000000006843000000000000FFFFFFFF020000005800008402000000FF200A124C012000000000003C000000D0FFEC1180F8FFFF2827171280FAFFFF00000000000000006077B81180FAFFFF0000ED1180F8FFFF000000000000000025000000000000000000000000000000700004000000000A00000000308D00000000000000000000</Binary>
  </EventData>
</Event>

Log Name:      System
Source:        Disk
Date:          3/12/2013 23:38:59
Event ID:      51
Task Category: None
Level:         Warning
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      diablo
Description:
An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk9\DR15 during a paging operation.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Disk" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="32772">51</EventID>
    <Level>3</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-12-03T15:38:59.621974600Z" />
    <EventRecordID>3072943</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>diablo</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>\Device\Harddisk9\DR15</Data>
    <Binary>030080000100000000000000330004802D0100000E0000C0000000000000000000000000000000009A89000000000000FFFFFFFF01000000580000080000000000200A1240032040000000003C0000000000000000000000A8F6D91280FAFFFF000000000000000050EB9A1380FAFFFF5058F31280FAFFFFD8670300000000002800000367D800000800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000</Binary>
  </EventData>
</Event>

The disks are all perfectly usable with my other computers. However, this desktop will gladly take in USB flash drives and other removable card readers.

I have attempted suggestions to uninstall the disk or USB storage drivers that may be related to those disks but upon re-installation the problem still remain.

What unique properties of external magnetic disks make them a different USB mass storage device from USB flash drives/cards? And what type of problem in Windows is contributing to this phenomenon?

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