I have a Hitachi external Hard Drive, powered by 2 USB leads. On my previous (XP) computer, I only needed to plug one of these into a USB socket; however on my new (Windows 8) computer I need to plug both in, otherwise the drive 'complains' with a kind of rhythmic squeaking noise.

When the computer is powered down, the hard drive again makes this noise instead of switching off. It doesn't sound too healthy so I usually end up unplugging the hard drive until next time I boot up, although I don't always remember to do this, so it stays complaining all night.

Now the hard drive sometimes disconnects itself, so I have to unplug and reconnect it - which suggests to me that all this isn't helping.

Any advice, anyone?

  • The noise you’re hearing is your drive failing to power up because of a lack of power. – Daniel B Dec 27 '14 at 13:47

The two usb plugs will probably be to do with the power requirements of the hard drive (see the answer to this question). So you should definitely leave both plugged in.

As for the squeaking noise that probably isn't a good sign, does the squeaking noise sound like this or like any of the noises on this page?

If it does, then I would back up your data ASAP as your hard drive might be failing and they can quickly go from being a little bit dodgy to completely dead.

It might also be worth trying the drives manufacturer's drive test software as it will sometimes pick on a failing drive. (sometimes included as an installer on the external hard drive or maybe this one here). However drive self tests won't always tell you if a drive is failing so I would take any results with a pinch of salt.

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