usb hard drive how? - Hardware

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  1. usb hard drive how?

    I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a cable with a
    USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer. It also
    has a USB cable.
    The hard drive has:
    HI-SPEED
    CERTIFIED USB
    USB 2.0 TM
    I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook it up and
    try to use it?

    --
    Leo in Canada:
    If Microsoft is the question, then LINUX is the answer.
    < running Linux >

  2. Re: usb hard drive how?

    Leo Bing Whiteway (leobingw@gmail.com) writes:
    > I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a cable with a
    > USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer. It also
    > has a USB cable.
    > The hard drive has:
    > HI-SPEED
    > CERTIFIED USB
    > USB 2.0 TM
    > I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    > I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    > Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook it up and
    > try to use it?
    >

    That +/- jack sounds like it's for an AC adaptor to plug into. I have
    very little experience with USB, and none with USB drives, but I would
    think a hard drive might be pushing the limit of power available over
    the USB bus. Hence perhaps it needs an AC adaptor to power it up
    before it will work, rather than getting power from the USB bus?

    SInce it was given to you, that's the sort of situation where an
    AC adaptor gets lost along the way.

    You'll have to find out, or figure out, the needed voltage and
    current. Polarity is important too, but that +/- sounds like
    it might define that point at least.

    Look for labels that might provide the information. Look closer
    just in case the jack is actually marked (I've found some of
    that sort of marking can be hard to see if the color of
    the plastic is wrong).

    I usually find such details with web or newsgroup searches. It's
    always interesting how many time someone has asked about a given
    unit's power requirements in the past, or someone selling a unit
    somehow includes the power requirements when advertising it.

    Failing that, open up the box and see if there's a clearer indication
    of the manufacturer. At the very least, one might start to make
    a guess, use an ohmmeter to see which of the jack's pins goes to
    ground, then follow the other line to see what it's connected to.
    An electrolytic capacitor is likely connected at some point to
    where the power comes in, and the voltage rating on the side
    at least sets a point where the voltage will be too high.

    Michael


  3. Re: usb hard drive how?

    Michael Black wrote:
    > Leo Bing Whiteway (leobingw@gmail.com) writes:
    >> I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a cable with a
    >> USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer. It also
    >> has a USB cable.
    >> The hard drive has:
    >> HI-SPEED
    >> CERTIFIED USB
    >> USB 2.0 TM
    >> I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    >> I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    >> Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook it up and
    >> try to use it?
    >>

    > That +/- jack sounds like it's for an AC adaptor to plug into. I have
    > very little experience with USB, and none with USB drives, but I would
    > think a hard drive might be pushing the limit of power available over
    > the USB bus. Hence perhaps it needs an AC adaptor to power it up
    > before it will work, rather than getting power from the USB bus?
    >
    > SInce it was given to you, that's the sort of situation where an
    > AC adaptor gets lost along the way.
    >
    > You'll have to find out, or figure out, the needed voltage and
    > current. Polarity is important too, but that +/- sounds like
    > it might define that point at least.
    >
    > Look for labels that might provide the information. Look closer
    > just in case the jack is actually marked (I've found some of
    > that sort of marking can be hard to see if the color of
    > the plastic is wrong).
    >
    > I usually find such details with web or newsgroup searches. It's
    > always interesting how many time someone has asked about a given
    > unit's power requirements in the past, or someone selling a unit
    > somehow includes the power requirements when advertising it.
    >
    > Failing that, open up the box and see if there's a clearer indication
    > of the manufacturer. At the very least, one might start to make
    > a guess, use an ohmmeter to see which of the jack's pins goes to
    > ground, then follow the other line to see what it's connected to.
    > An electrolytic capacitor is likely connected at some point to
    > where the power comes in, and the voltage rating on the side
    > at least sets a point where the voltage will be too high.
    >
    > Michael
    >

    Thanks Michael; That makes sense about the power needed to run the drive.
    I opened it up and the drive is a Hitachi 10.2 gig drive for a laptop.
    The face of the box it is mounted in has:CERTIFIED on it and that seems
    to me to be what I have seen as a Futureshop store brand. Futureshop is
    owned by BESTBUY so maybe I will try talking to them and see what
    happens. I know it is not worth much so if I just give up on it there
    will be little lost. It was just something to play around with and see
    if I could make use of it.


    --
    Leo in Canada:
    If Microsoft is the question, then LINUX is the answer.
    < running Linux >

  4. Re: usb hard drive how?

    In article ,
    Michael Black wrote:
    > Leo Bing Whiteway (leobingw@gmail.com) writes:
    > > I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a

    > cable with a
    > > USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer. It also
    > > has a USB cable.
    > > The hard drive has:
    > > HI-SPEED
    > > CERTIFIED USB
    > > USB 2.0 TM
    > > I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    > > I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    > > Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook

    > it up and
    > > try to use it?
    > >

    > That +/- jack sounds like it's for an AC adaptor to plug into. I have
    > very little experience with USB, and none with USB drives, but I would
    > think a hard drive might be pushing the limit of power available over
    > the USB bus. Hence perhaps it needs an AC adaptor to power it up
    > before it will work, rather than getting power from the USB bus?


    I think 3.5" drives take 12V to run the spinny-bits motor, at more
    current than it can extract from the 5V@500mA that USB provides.

    > SInce it was given to you, that's the sort of situation where an
    > AC adaptor gets lost along the way.
    >
    > You'll have to find out, or figure out, the needed voltage and
    > current. Polarity is important too, but that +/- sounds like
    > it might define that point at least.


    Try 12VDC @ 2A. Go for a switchmode power supply, not a transformer
    (they're a lot smaller). One of mine runs on a 12VDC @ 1.8(?)A
    transformer, but the other won't. Probably the one that won't is
    pickier about the no-load voltage.

    > Look for labels that might provide the information. Look closer
    > just in case the jack is actually marked (I've found some of
    > that sort of marking can be hard to see if the color of
    > the plastic is wrong).


    Also, find the model of the case, and do a web search to see what kind
    of PS it ships with.

    --
    -eben QebWenE01R@vTerYizUonI.nOetP http://royalty.mine.nu:81
    GEMINI: Your birthday party will be ruined once again by your explosive
    flatulence. Your love life will run into trouble when your fiancee hurls
    a javelin through your chest. -- Weird Al, _Your Horoscope for Today_

  5. Re: usb hard drive how?


    "Leo Bing Whiteway" wrote in message
    news:hLUQi.32996$%B2.28876@edtnps82...
    >I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a cable
    >with a USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer.
    >It also has a USB cable.
    > The hard drive has:
    > HI-SPEED
    > CERTIFIED USB
    > USB 2.0 TM
    > I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    > I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    > Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook it up
    > and try to use it?


    If I'm guessing right, the drive isn't getting enough power from the USB
    port and either doesn't spin, or spins rather erratically. Try connecting
    the +/- plug to an AC/DC converter running at 5 Volts. Make sure the
    polarity's right.

    Geo



  6. Re: usb hard drive how?

    Geo wrote:
    > "Leo Bing Whiteway" wrote in message
    > news:hLUQi.32996$%B2.28876@edtnps82...
    >> I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a cable
    >> with a USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer.
    >> It also has a USB cable.
    >> The hard drive has:
    >> HI-SPEED
    >> CERTIFIED USB
    >> USB 2.0 TM
    >> I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    >> I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    >> Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook it up
    >> and try to use it?

    >
    > If I'm guessing right, the drive isn't getting enough power from the USB
    > port and either doesn't spin, or spins rather erratically. Try connecting
    > the +/- plug to an AC/DC converter running at 5 Volts. Make sure the
    > polarity's right.
    >
    > Geo
    >
    >

    I found a USB site:

    http://www.everythingusb.com/
    I will be reading some of the info there and see if I can figure it out.
    Thanks for all your help.

    --
    Leo in Canada:
    If Microsoft is the question, then LINUX is the answer.
    < running Linux >

  7. Re: usb hard drive how?

    Hactar (ebenZEROONE@verizon.net) writes:
    > In article ,
    > Michael Black wrote:
    >> Leo Bing Whiteway (leobingw@gmail.com) writes:
    >> > I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a

    >> cable with a
    >> > USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the computer. It also
    >> > has a USB cable.
    >> > The hard drive has:
    >> > HI-SPEED
    >> > CERTIFIED USB
    >> > USB 2.0 TM
    >> > I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    >> > I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    >> > Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook

    >> it up and
    >> > try to use it?
    >> >

    >> That +/- jack sounds like it's for an AC adaptor to plug into. I have
    >> very little experience with USB, and none with USB drives, but I would
    >> think a hard drive might be pushing the limit of power available over
    >> the USB bus. Hence perhaps it needs an AC adaptor to power it up
    >> before it will work, rather than getting power from the USB bus?

    >
    > I think 3.5" drives take 12V to run the spinny-bits motor, at more
    > current than it can extract from the 5V@500mA that USB provides.
    >

    You're right, drives do generally need 12v in addition to 5v. But,
    they will never get that needed 12v out of the USB bus, since the
    USB bus doesn't provide anything but 5v.

    I would be quite hesitant to start with 12v, for the simple reason
    that if the drive is expecting less voltage, you risk doing damage.

    We don't know what's inside the unit other than, obviously, the
    hard drive and a USB to whatever (presumably IDE) converter. It
    may run off 12v and then drop it internally for where it needs 5v,
    or it may start with 5v and shift it up to 12v with an inverter, or
    it may start with some completely different voltage.

    As I said, I have no experience with USB drives. But I barely have
    any devices that use AC adaptors that use the same voltage or even
    connector. Even that parallel Zip drive I bought last year doesn't
    use the same adaptor as the USB Zip drive I bought this year.

    Michael

  8. Re: usb hard drive how?

    In article ,
    Michael Black wrote:
    > Hactar (ebenZEROONE@verizon.net) writes:
    > > In article ,
    > > Michael Black wrote:
    > >> Leo Bing Whiteway (leobingw@gmail.com) writes:
    > >> > I was given a 10 gig USB hard drive. It has a jack marked +/- and a
    > >> cable with a
    > >> > USB plug on the end made to plug into a USB socket on the

    > computer. It also
    > >> > has a USB cable.
    > >> > The hard drive has:
    > >> > HI-SPEED
    > >> > CERTIFIED USB
    > >> > USB 2.0 TM
    > >> > I have no more info on it and can't find it with searching Google.
    > >> > I am having no luck making it work or show up in lsusb.
    > >> > Have any of you any ideas where I might look for info on how to hook
    > >> it up and
    > >> > try to use it?
    > >> >
    > >> That +/- jack sounds like it's for an AC adaptor to plug into. I have
    > >> very little experience with USB, and none with USB drives, but I would
    > >> think a hard drive might be pushing the limit of power available over
    > >> the USB bus. Hence perhaps it needs an AC adaptor to power it up
    > >> before it will work, rather than getting power from the USB bus?

    > >
    > > I think 3.5" drives take 12V to run the spinny-bits motor, at more
    > > current than it can extract from the 5V@500mA that USB provides.
    > >

    > You're right, drives do generally need 12v in addition to 5v. But,
    > they will never get that needed 12v out of the USB bus, since the
    > USB bus doesn't provide anything but 5v.


    Sure, not direcly, but there are ways to raise DC voltage. You won't be
    able to squeeze enough power from USB to run the whole thing though.

    > I would be quite hesitant to start with 12v, for the simple reason
    > that if the drive is expecting less voltage, you risk doing damage.
    >
    > We don't know what's inside the unit other than, obviously, the
    > hard drive and a USB to whatever (presumably IDE) converter. It
    > may run off 12v and then drop it internally for where it needs 5v,
    > or it may start with 5v and shift it up to 12v with an inverter, or
    > it may start with some completely different voltage.


    The first method is a lot easier. If I were designing the case I
    would probably specify 12V power, and then convert down if USB doesn't
    supply enough 5V power.

    > As I said, I have no experience with USB drives.


    Both the 3.5" USB HDs I have (different brands, bought a few years
    apart in different countries) use 12VDC, 2A, same connector.

    --
    The powers in charge keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic
    fervor with the cry of national emergency. Always there has been some
    terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not furnish the sums demanded.
    Yet these disasters seem never to have been quite real. -- D. MacArthur

  9. Re: usb hard drive how?

    Hactar (ebenZEROONE@verizon.net) writes:

    > The first method is a lot easier. If I were designing the case I
    > would probably specify 12V power, and then convert down if USB doesn't
    > supply enough 5V power.
    >

    But my argument is that the damage that can be done sets things up
    to be cautious. I've seen lots of posts elsewhere over the years of
    people connecting the wrong AC adaptor to a unit and doing damage. They
    lack the means of doing any sort of checking in the first place, and of
    course they completely lack the means of doing any repair of the damage.

    I'm not arguing about what is likely in there, I'm arguing that being
    careful should be formost. One can always try a 5v supply of proper
    polarity and current, and if that doesn't work, then try something
    higher in voltage.

    Witness someone suggesting the drives themselves may not need 12v, which
    I can imagine happening though there I also don't have experience with
    the latest hardware. There's hardly a point to a 12v supply if the
    drive itself doesn't need it.

    Design is often more complicated than the obvious. It's a tradeoff between
    function and cost, and sometimes what seems to be a bad choice turns out
    to be the better choice, when you look at the overall picture.

    If I was stuck with such a situation, a piece of equipment with a missing
    adaptor and no information, I'd be doing searches (the original poster
    said he did), and even then I'd likely try to trace things out to
    verify the information.

    (INdeed I did face such a situation, an older Mac Powerbook with no
    adaptor, no markings on the case. I did a search, found something, but
    didn't try it out until I at least checked to make sure the polarity
    mentioned was the same.)

    It's easier to be cautious in the first place than to assume something
    and learn you assumed wrong.

    Michael

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