1

I have Transcend HDD CASE which works perfectly fine when directly connected to PC. But when i use my USB 3 extension cable then HDD doesn't show up in explorer or it connects/disconnects continuously or it just try to load HDD(it show local disk and and address bar try to fill green & stuck here forvever)

Now i have checked my USB3 extension cable its ok i used same hdd & extension cable with my laptop and it works fine. And my system usb ports are also fine as i directly connect hdd it works fine.

I have Gigabyte GA-H81M-S1 motherboard and i checked for usb3 drivers & they are not listed for windows 10.

USB logs (when connected through extension cable)

---> Welcome to EventGhost <---
Autostart
   Plugin: X10: Generic X10
      Error starting plugin: X10 Remote
      No X10 receiver found!
   Plugin: Zoom Player
   Plugin: Winamp
   Plugin: Task Create/Switch Events
   Enable exclusive: Keyboard Emulation
Winamp.Status.Changed.Off
Main.OnInit
Task.Activated.chrome
Task.Deactivated.chrome
Task.Activated.EventGhost
Task.Deactivated.EventGhost
Task.Activated.Desktop
Task.NewWindow.explorer
Task.Deactivated.Desktop
Task.Activated.explorer
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
Task.Created.DsmUserTask
Task.NewWindow.DsmUserTask
Task.Deactivated.explorer
Task.Activated.DsmUserTask
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
Task.Deactivated.DsmUserTask
Task.ClosedWindow.DsmUserTask
Task.Destroyed.DsmUserTask
Task.Activated.EventGhost
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
Task.Deactivated.EventGhost
Task.Activated.explorer
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
Task.Deactivated.explorer
Task.Activated.EventGhost
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\SCSI#Disk&Ven_StoreJet&Prod_Transcend#000000#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}']
System.DeviceRemoved [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
System.DeviceAttached [u'\\\\?\\USB#VID_174C&PID_5106#MSFT30________WX21A16P6SRV#{a5dcbf10-6530-11d2-901f-00c04fb951ed}']
Task.Deactivated.EventGhost
Task.Activated.explorer
Task.Deactivated.explorer
Task.Activated.EventGhost
Autostart
Main.OnInit

UPDATE

I have total 6 USB ports 2 USB2 front and 4 USB(2 x USB2 & 2 x USB3) back. I was using extension cable with USB3. Now i tried using it with back USB2 and it worked perfectly fine with extension cable. Then i tried it with front USB2 and 1 port didn't even powered HDD(though that port does work and i use it for USB Wifi) and another port had same issue as with USB3 port

  • Most likely your USB3 extension cable is not able to carry sufficient power thru the end of the cable. Does your HDD case come with data + power USB plugs? Are you connecting your extension cable to back or front USB ports? Generally it's observed that back USB ports have slightly more power capacity that the front ones. – patkim Feb 18 '17 at 0:25
  • @pat2015 i am using USB3 port at back of my PC. HDD case has single port which handles both data and power with single usb cable. – Akash Kumar Feb 19 '17 at 19:50
  • try plugging into a powered USB hub instead of direct to the PC. what other USB devices are you using on the PC? try removing them (and/or moving to front ports). – quixotic Feb 19 '17 at 21:37
  • If it isn't a power issue, perhaps open Disk Management or Device Manager and see if there's an entry in there. I do not believe it's a power issue if the drive is detected by the PC when you first connect the device. Some Event Log output would be helpful in this situation. This question may assist in composing a log to post here. – Dooley_labs Feb 20 '17 at 16:42
  • @Dooley_labs it shows HDD in Device Manager but in Disk Management it shows only once as Unknown/Not initialized and i have added logs in the question – Akash Kumar Feb 20 '17 at 17:13
5
+25

Despite your test, I suspect that your cable may be flaky.

First, you did not tell us if your laptop (where you have tested the cable) had a USB3 port. If you have tested your cable with a USB2 port, then your test is inappropriate. A cable which works with USB2 does not necessarily work with USB3.

The data rates with USB3 are significantly higher than with USB2 (that's the reason why you use it, isn't it)? That means that USB3 extension cables must closely obey the respective specifications and must be of good quality (we are talking about 5 GHz signals here which are passed over cheap copper).

For that reason, the USB3 standard does not specify / define passive extension cables, but only active ones. If your cable is a passive one (i.e. it is just a cable with connectors, but without active electronics), it violates the USB3 specification by definition and never won't work reliably with USB3 speed in all combinations of hosts and devices. Even if you find that it works with most of your devices, that would be purely accidental.

I suspect that your cable is passive, so I suggest going out and buying an active one. Even then, don't choose the cheapest. Actually, dealers or manufacturers should clearly mark if a cable is active or passive, but some don't. You can easily recognize active cables, though: They contain additional electronics at least on one end, and these of course take some room. In most cases, the electronics will be merged into one of the connectors which then will be significantly bigger than the connectors of passive (usual USB2) cables.

If your cable is already an active one, I think that it may be a power issue (as some comments to your question already have suggested). It is a well known fact that many USB ports do not deliver currents as specified, and more often, that USBx devices, notably external HDDs (but also other sorts), consume currents higher than the specification allows.

In that case, it would be best to connect the drive to an active USB3 hub which has a strong power supply on its own. But even then: If you still need an extension cable between your PC and the hub or between the hub and your HDD, use an active one.

  • 1
    It's worth adding traditional hard drives are pretty power hungry and just cause a wifi dongle works dosen't mean an external hard drive case would – Journeyman Geek Feb 23 '17 at 7:00
1

This is most likely a problem of power lost over the extension cable. The HDD you mentioned appears to have no external power and therefore is powered entirely by the USB port. USB power can vary depending on manufacturer but for computer-based ports, usually falls within the range of 0.5A - 1A (see What is the power output of a USB port?)

Because not all cables are made of the same materials, power lost over any given cable will be different but generally the longer the cable, the more transmission loss will occur due to resistance.

As for your test results, the power output from your laptop's USB ports could be higher than the power output of your PC's USB ports, causing the confusion as to whether it is the cable or another system at fault.

To know for sure, you can test the power output of your USB ports with a multimeter or use a software based solution such as the few described here How do you check how much power a USB port can deliver?

0

Your description of the issue strongly indicates that you have marginal power delivery over the cable extender from this particular host PC.

First, you said that you have HDD enclosure, but didn't say what kind of HDD did you put in. If it is a SSD, then it could be fine, SSDs have very reasonable power consumption. But if it is some SATA 2.5" HDD from old laptop surplus, they can suck a spike of 1.5-1.8 A from VBUS when spinning up. The USB-SATA electronics is pretty sensitive to power deficiencies, and, even if connected and enumerated, it may not read all drive capabilities and tables, and the device won't appear as a valid system device. In many cases the HDD cycles up and down for some time.

When you connect the HDD enclosure directly to a host with a shorter cable, the voltage drop is likely small, and the HDD powers up OK. But when you connect it through a long extender, the overall voltage goes through additional pair of connectors and through the cable itself, so the resulting voltage under the load is insufficient to spin your drive. However, if some other host happens to have a bit more VBUS voltage (can be up to 5.5V in recent standards), the long extender might work again.

In addition, front USB ports are coming via ADDITIONAL cable dongle, which adds more impedance on the VBUS line, and front-facing ports are always less reliable for marginal devices as your HDD.

Solution to your problem is to use a POWERED hub on a long cable. So called "active cables" will likely not work, since they take the power from the same port, and likely will load it even more. Alternatively you might be able to find a different extender cable, the thicker round one, which might have higher current carrying capability, so your HDD might work better. However, this will still remain as marginal solution, and I would not recommend this. For example, plugging another high-powered USB device in the PC will sink the current from the (usually) common VBUS net, voltage will drop slightly, and your HDD might again become unstable or corrupted.

Also you might want to check if your PC has a good PSU, specifically the +5VSB (standby) voltage. If it is on low side (under +5V), you may want to find a better PSU. The other proposition would be to open-up the PSU, reverse engineer its standby section, and beef it up to 5.5V. This should solve your problem, but it is risky and requires some EE skills and tools.

  • Please excuse the harsh wording, but the middle part of your answer is just plain wrong. It is strongly recommended that USB3 extension cables are active. The USB3 standard even does not specify passive ones at all. The power an active cable will take for itself is negligible if it's not one of the cheap crap cables. – Binarus Feb 26 '17 at 17:04
  • 1
    @Binarus, you are excused. Do you actually know what the "active extender" is? It is the same USB 3.0 hub (typically VIA VL811) in one-port configuration, and an external power adapter is usually included. As such, it is not different from any self-powered hub with long captive cable. If the "active cable" does not come with AC-DC adapter, then it will make things worse, because all indications are that this failure is not limited by quality of data signals, but rather by power delivery to HDD. Although it could be both. – Ale..chenski Feb 26 '17 at 18:02
  • First, +1 for your explanation what active USB3 cables are - it will help a lot of people. Having said this: Even if the active cable would make the power situation worse, that should never be taken as a reason to encourage the use of passive extension cables. There is a reason why USB3 doesn't specify them. So why not recommend him buying an active cable with AD-DC adapter? – Binarus Feb 27 '17 at 8:02
  • By the way, I have looked for the power consumption of active USB3 cables, but to no avail. But looking into datasheets of USB3 hub chips, the power consumption of those chips is negligible (< 0.1 the USB3 power worst case (i.e. theoretical - will be by far less under normal operating conditions)). If the power consumption of the OP's HDD is so critical that (let's say) 0.2 W (of 4.5W UBS3 can deliver) matter, then his HDD won't work reliably anyway. – Binarus Feb 27 '17 at 8:02
  • @Binarus, one active cable product lists the self-consumption consumption at 350 mA at 5V, startech.com/Cables/USB-3.0/… . Texas Instrument hubs use about 0.8 A at 1.2 V, therefore ~250 mA at 5. Problems with passive USB interconnect are outlined here, superuser.com/a/1183030/620011 – Ale..chenski Feb 27 '17 at 16:53

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