Subscriber David Wiesner wrote recently about a problem he was having…(External Hard Drives Don’t Work With Computer).
He wrote back with some new wrinkles to the problem:
The problem that I described before regarding the computer shutting down with the addition of USB drives has some new wrinkles.
On occasion it shuts down for no particular reason after a long period of usage. And one way I can be sure to make it shut down is o run Microsoft Security Essentials’ full scan option. I do this when I go out so I do not know how long it takes.
I wonder if the power supply is starting to fail. The shutdown problem cropped up in the last few months but before then I could load up the USB ports with two hard drives and a camera chip and a thumb drive in addition to the scanner, printer, wireless mouse and keyboard.
Another question I have is, what is happening that the computer shuts down but the power stays on, and the only way I can restart is to unplug the power cord until the power light goes off?
Been there, done that, but I could trigger the crash by scans using VIPRE and using Malwarebytes. The problem was that one of my internal hard drives was catastrophically failing. The only sure way to trigger it was a full scan.
His drive may be going to sleep — but it seems to me that the C: drive is the one failing, and it won’t spin-up when he tries to wake the computer.
Thanks for getting back to me. However the problem is just another feature of the original problem you responded to. When I plug in any USB hard drive it causes the computer to instantly shut down. I purchased a new USB hard drive because I thought the other drive was bad but it had the same problems.
To recap, the first time I saw a problem was, when I plugged in the USB hard drive, it would click or beep repeatedly and I would see its drive letter appearing briefly in Windows Explorer and then disappearing.
Then eventually the letter stopped appearing entirely but the beeping continued.
I got a new drive and the same thing happened.
Then the new drive stopped beeping. When I checked USB devices when it was plugged in I could see that there was a Toshiba mass storage device but Windows Explorer still did not give me a drive letter.
Then when I plugged in the drive it immediately shut down the computer.
The latest problem is what I told you about, which is when I run a full scan but (not a quick scan) the computer does the same thing. I do not know how long it runs before this because I am out when the scan is running. It also happens infrequently when nothing much is happening but the computer has been on a long time.
I hope this helps you to guess at the source of the problem.
I answered Dave to say that I still think his problem is his internal hard drive, specifically — his drive that has Windows installed on it.
I suggested that he make his backup of the drive and get his recovery disks ready. If he can’t make a good backup (after all, the drive appears to be failing), then he should at least back up his data so he can have it after he installs a new drive and reinstalls Windows or builds the system from his recovery disks.
I can see all the described symptoms happening if it’s the Windows drive.