WD Elements USB HDD Not liking USB 3.0 PCI-E Interface
February 27, 2018 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I have been trying to use three different Western Digital Elements 2TB USB disks with my new USB 3.0 PCI-E interface, but they don't like that at all, making clicking noises and frequently hanging on file transfers. However they work totally fine with a plain USB hub plugged into one of my USB 2.0 ports. The manufacturer of the Inateck KT4001 PCI-E card says it can output max 5V/900 mA to each port. I am also using a 6 ft. USB extension cable from the port on the card. What is likely to blame? Should I just switch the extension cable to my USB 2.0 hub and live with the speed reduction when using these drives? My PC's power supply is a 600 watt. Thanks!
posted by circular to Technology (5 answers total)
Is your cable usb3 rated? I have had problems in the past with cables that didn’t specify they were for usb3.
posted by pombe at 2:16 PM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

> Is your cable usb3 rated?

Yes, it is a CableMatters SuperSpeed USB 3.0 extension cable. The cable that plugs into the HDD enclosure is the USB 3.0 cable that was included with the product.

Also I tried plugging two of the Elements drives into two separate USB 2.0 ports. They both let out a chirp at about the same time (like 1 second apart) and auto-unmounted themselves on my Linux system. So I'm wondering if my system bus (??) is getting the power it needs from the power supply? Or if that's just too much to expect from a computer. I have another USB Sata interface which I thought was broken, because it has a drive plugged in but the drive won't mount on my PC. Maybe that's power-related.
posted by circular at 2:24 PM on February 27, 2018

Did you get a short usb3 cable with the drive that Amazon says should be included? I would try that if possible.

Try looking in the manual to see if it lists the power draw for the drive, it's possible 900ma isn't enough.

Last thought, does the usb3 card have an internal connector for a power cable directly from the PSU? It might need more power than it can get just from pcie, there used to be USB cards that needed that, and video cards usually do.
posted by TheAdamist at 3:41 PM on February 27, 2018

The kt4001 does require a sata power connection internally to power external devices, the pcie won't cut it alone. Open the case and see if there's a power cable plugged in.

The card will likely function for low/devices that don't need power without it which is why you may have partial functionality.
posted by TheAdamist at 3:51 PM on February 27, 2018

That was interesting information! I opened my case just to check, tried to trace the PSU connection back through the mass of colored wires, and realized it went in one side and out the other--it was only connected to the cable mass, and not to the actual PSU! So I unplugged it, plugged it into a working...SPARK


OK, so scratch one USB wifi adapter in this learning process. A $25 lesson, learned. Plus it was getting old anyway.

But the HDDs work great now, just transferred a lot of files and things seem peachy. Thanks for all the help!
posted by circular at 4:54 PM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

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