Reader and subscriber Sandra Day wrote:
Hi Terry. I just read your Computer Tips article on “My USB Ports Don’t Work” and I wonder if a problem I’ve been having is related to that.
A year and a half ago I bought a LaCie backup drive for my now 5-year-old Dell Dimension 4300S; my computer consultant installed it and set it up for me. When I would go to check my backups, the drive would not show up under My Computer.
I could reboot and it would show up the first time, but then it would disappear again, and I was getting error messages in the backup folder. I took the backup drive in for a checkup and was told it was not working, so I got rid of it.
A few months ago I bought a new Western Digital backup drive and had it set up by another computer consultant, and since my 20Gb hard drive was full, I had him put in a new 200Gb drive. Everything was seemed to be working fine when it was set up, but the first time I checked the backup on my own (a couple of days later), there was no sign of the drive in My Computer.
My consultant checked everything again, but the same thing happened, and instead of backing up my files, I got error messages. In fact, if I were to leave my camera dock plugged into a USB port overnight when a backup was scheduled, it would back up on my camera card (as much as would fit).
I tried moving the backup drive to other USB ports, but it didn’t help. Other items plugged into the USB ports (camera, scanner, hub) seem to work fine, though.
After checking everything out again, my consultant said he thinks my mother board or USB ports could be bad, and has recommended replacing my computer. Do you have any other advice? Thanks for your help.
I wrote back to Sandra that her description sounds like she’s having a similar problem to the one (and the solution) reported by Ed Walker last week.
The fact that the system tries to back up onto the camera is a significant clue.
The camera has grabbed the drive letter and the external drive is trying to take the same one — unsuccessfully. But, the backup software doesn’t realize that the camera is on the port.
I’d change the drive assignment for the external drive, preferably to a high drive letter simiiar to Ed’s solution for a network drive. Drive letters range from A to Z, so you’ve got plenty of choices. She’ll also have to point the backup software to the new drive letter.