How come my external hard drive turns off when I connect my USB cable?

by on September 25, 2009

Q: Okay so my external hard drive has stopped working. When I plug in the power cable in it just automatically starts. Then when I put the USB cable in it just turns it self off. What can I do to fix this and get my movies back?

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9 Responses to “How come my external hard drive turns off when I connect my USB cable?”

    You should connect your external hard drive to your computer with the USB cable before plugging in the power supply. It might even be worth trying to do this before turning your computer on.

    The fact that the external hard drive shuts off when you plug in the USB makes it seem like it starts just fine. Have you tried connecting to another computer? Have you tried to use a different USB cable?


    I have tryed another computer yes, and another usb cabel


      Each time you plug the external hard drive into the outlet first and then you plug in the USB connect? The fact that it starts up and then dies when it is connected via USB make it sound like there is a short some where in the external casing.


        well i think it might be some kinda virus, is that possible?

          Picked as best answer

          No it is not possible that a virus can turn off your hard drive. It is a hardware issue. My first assumption was that it was your computer but you are saying you have tried it on multiple computers. My next guess is that it is the USB cable but you said you used another USB cable. This means that the problem is with the external case itself. What is happening is when the USB cable is connected it is causing the external case to short out and shut off. I would suggest trying to connect to the computer before turning it on but I doubt that will help.

          It seems like your best solution is to take the case apart and try putting the hard drive in another case or in your computer directly to try to get the data off. If your hard drive spins when you plug in the external drive then there is a very good chance that the problem is not with the drive itself but is with the external case but there is no way anyone can guarantee this.


            I inserted the ext harddisc into the computer, AND IT WORKED!!!! HURRAAAAY! ty for the help man! much appreciated <33 LOVE YOU!! ^^


            You are welcome! Glad I could help out.


    Additionally, you should contact the manufacturer as this might be a known issue with their hardware, and it may still be under warranty.


      You make a great point Mark! I didn’t think about that because the drive had been working for a while but it certainly would not hurt to contact the manufacturer directly to ask them esp since it might still be under warranty.