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Solved USB 3.0 Front Panel ports "kind of" work, need help solving

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TrantaLocked

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Jun 13, 2018
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#1
I'm using the Vantec HDA-502H dual USB 3.0 5.25" front panel drive bay unit. I'll give a quick rundown, then more details. Basically, the USB 3.0 ports don't right with my external WD 1TB passport hard drive. The right USB port disconnects and connects without allowing access to the drive, while the left takes a while to connect but eventually allows access. Other USB devices work. Details:

The WD external drive didn't always have these issues, and I've read in certain places that the amount of data on the hard drive could have something to do with it. My other USB devices work as expected in both ports, thus making the WD the only device that has issues, and for whatever reason it's having different issues depending on the port. Both ports are conjoined to a single cable going to the USB 20-pin header, so why they aren't working the same with the WD drive confuses me. Maybe one port has just a slight more amount of power going through it than the other? I can't even access files on the right port even though it works with my other devices. Also, USBview is showing that the left port runs the drive at High speed, while the right port attempts to run at Super Speed but fails and cycles through connects and disconnects. My USB 3.0 thumb drives do work at Super Speed though.

Could this have something to do with signal integrity or power? Could the cables not be fit for the external drive? Maybe I should get a dual-end USB cable for additional power? And another thing, why is USB 3.0 so unreliable like this? There doesn't seem to be a good simple 3rd party USB 3.0 front panel out there that's truly reliable and hasn't given people similar issues. it just seems like under developed tech, while USB 2.0 was properly designed.

edit: I believe this is possibly a contact issue with the cable. I messed with the USB micro-B to B cable a bit and now it works more often in both ports. Maybe a combination of issues with both the cable and the ports.

edit 2: Upon further inspection it appears the USB 3.0 specific pins inside of the cable have been bent to the point of not being able to make good contact with certain USB 3.0 ports. So maybe it's those floating 5 pins that are the reason USB 3.0 is regarded as unreliable? Either way, time for a new cable.
 
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vger

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Jul 21, 2016
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#2
Hello

What kind of setup do you have with your external drive ..? If i am reading this correctly it is a 5.25 hdd,most of those takes 12 volts to run them correctly. Either the usb 2 or usb 5 only supplies 5 volts.

@Evan Omo @Bruce
 

TrantaLocked

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jun 13, 2018
14
2
#3
Hello

What kind of setup do you have with your external drive ..? If i am reading this correctly it is a 5.25 hdd,most of those takes 12 volts to run them correctly. Either the usb 2 or usb 5 only supplies 5 volts.

@Evan Omo @Bruce
It's the WD (2.5" internal) 1TB my passport ultra external drive (WDBGPU0010BBK-NESN). It has a USB 3.0 Micro-B output. The USB 3.0 ports on my Vantec front panel unit are assigned to ports 11 and 12 for 2.0 regular speed, and ports 20 and 21 for 3.0 superspeed in Windows. The front panel unit is just a 5.25" bay enclosure with a USB 3.0 Y cable going directly to the motherboard's 20-pin input. No hub circuit board, just a simple Y split header cable. By the way, the little plastic shield that slides over the 3.0 header pins comes off easily when removing the cable, but the pins themselves seem fine and connected properly to the motherboard. Could be an issue though, not sure.

I'm pretty sure it's the 3.0 dedicated pins in my cable, which is why I'm asking WD for a replacement under the warranty. I tried bending up those pins so they wouldn't make contact and now the drive gets recognized swiftly at 2.0 speeds in both front panel ports and all other ports.
 
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Bruce

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Oct 8, 2017
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Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
#4
sort of got lost a bit I must confess, with all the ports and drives and cables...

does the mobo have USB3 ports natively on the back panel?
if yes, using those will prove if it's the Vantec assembly itself at fault.
sounds like you are having other devices not working correctly in its right port.
and as you say, it's just a simple cables straight into the mobo header, so it could be the header (or mobo) at fault.
plugging that WD drive into another USB3 port on another PC will eliminate that avenue.
 
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