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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

External Hard Drive won't work through USB hub

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Member Since: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 37
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varney is offline
Hi Folks,

I have a 250gb Maxtor external hard drive which works fine on my Macbook. Unfortunately the drive needs to use two usb ports so I bought a little USB adaptor to remedy the problem. When I plugged the hard drive in via the adapter it began to make a beeping sound and the power light flashes. Consequently the drive doesn't show up on my laptop.

Thinking it might be the adapter I bought a Silvercrest 4 port slim hub. Again the same thing happens.

I've looked about on the net and the only thing I can find is that the hard drive may not be getting enough power if the hub is 'unpowered'. The hub I bought has a green power light which illuminates when it plugs in, but I'm unsure if this means it's 'powered'....

Can anyone offer any ideas on the above? Is there anything I can do to remedy the situation or do I need to go out and buy a powered hub?

Many thanks,
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If the hub has no power lead itself, it is just bus powered and this may well be the problem. You need a fully independently powered hub.
Out of interest, why does the Maxtor need 2 ports?

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Member Since: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 37
varney is on a distinguished road

varney is offline
Thanks Kevriano,

I think you may be right regarding the fully independent power needed. I'm going to investigate the situation further before doing anything and will contact Maxtor themselves. I'd hate to buy a third hub connection and find that even the powered version doesn't work!!

Your question about why the Maxtor uses two USBs promted me to try just plugging one in again - guess what - it worked! There's one thickish cable coming off the drive with a usb connector on the end, then off this is another thinner cable with another usb. If I plug in the latter by itself it doesn't show up on my laptop, and I guess this is what I initially did when I first plugged it in. This caused me to presume I needed to connect the two...

Now I find if I plug the other usb in by itself it works fine. Not sure what the idea of the second usb is, unless to hook up to a second machine....

Anyway, thanks for all your help..

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