01-20-2010 02:50 AM
It is obvious to anyone that has done a Google search or Microsoft Knowledge Base search that there is a problem with a lot (if not all?) Satellite A-Series laptops (maybe non-A-series as well) and their complete inability to recognize USB Mass Storage Devices... and if they do recognize them (which can change each time you plug them in), they aren't able to read them. I've spent the past week looking into this problem and don't want the typical "You're probably an idiot so lets start with the obvious" answers. The device works in other computers, I've updated bios, I tried updating the USBSTOR.SYS driver, I've tried tricks with copying the USBSTOR.INF file to different folders (If these names aren't exactly right it is because I don't feel like looking them up again... but I should have them memorized by now), I checked the MSKB for fixes... but I now realize it is a Toshiba problem, not a Vista problem. This problem occurred prior to and after a complete Vista re-install.
For the record, I am using a Toshiba Satellite A135-S2246. But if you search Google, the problem occurs in a lot of Satellite models. I am trying to connect an Archos 5 Personal Media Player, which uses the generic USB Mass Storage Device driver. I plug it in and it says not recognized. I unplug it, plug it back in and it says Mass Storage Device but with a problem. Sometimes I plug it in and it says Mass Storage Device without a problem but the drive that shows up in Explorer isn't called ARCHOS like it should be and trying to open it does nothing but freeze Explorer.
This problem though seems to occur with all sorts of mass storage devices, if not all of them. Someone mentioned the USB ports may not be supplying enough current because battery life is more important than functionality. I just want the computer to work like it is supposed to. I've read plenty of posts where people with this problem have bought PCMCIA USB Cards and it has worked so it is the 4 useless built-in ports. I should not have to buy a card to connect mass storage devices. What kind of engineering is this? Mass storage devices have been around for quite some time now. Please give me the answer to this question, or at least several new things to try, which I'm sure I've tried already anyway, to give me a glimmer of hope. Thank you in advance.
01-21-2010 10:37 PM
I feel your pain! I managed to wear out a HP Pavillion ZD 8000 but was able to back the hard drive before it I had it "put to sleep". I replaced it with a Satellite-A505-S6960 and there is no way the Satellite will recognize the external hard drive. I hope you get a repsonse soon.....
01-24-2010 09:47 PM - last edited on 01-24-2010 09:49 PM by Trina
Thanks. If I do find out a way to resolve this problem I will post it here because there have been over 100 views in the past 3-4 days, and only about 20 of those can be attributed to my online stalker. I may get to the point where I open it up and go all "Tim Allen" on it and just add MORE POWER!!! arr Arr ARRRRR!
Until then I will continue to pray that someone from Toshiba actually reads the post and replies with a solution like "Oh yeah... you just gotta press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Spacebar+7+X+A-Z to turn the boy USB ports into MAN USB ports!", but I have a feeling it would be more like "Crap! Another USB-Mass-Storage-Device post! Just close the browser Steve... ignore it and they will all just go away..."
01-24-2010 10:56 PM
First off, Toshiba doesn't have any Support Personel posting in the forums, it's just other users offering what help they can.
A lot of laptops use USB ports that don't provide enough power to power up an external hard drive to conserve battery power. The easiest fix is to use a dual usb cable to utilize two usb ports to obtain enough power. Something like this one is what I'm referring to, although you would need to make sure that it has the correct plug for your hard drive.
If you don't post your COMPLETE model number it's very difficult to assist you. Please try to post in complete sentences with punctuation, capitals, and correct spelling. Toshiba does NOT provide any direct support in these forums. All support is User to User in their spare time.
01-25-2010 12:11 AM
Thanks for the reply. First off, I realize that it is unlikely Toshiba Support Personnel will read my post. I could barely get them to pay attention when I was on the phone with them. I just wrote that because they would probably be the only people able to give me a solution (if one existed) that didn't involve me buying something to make their laptop work as it should. As I mentioned in the original post, buying a PCMCIA card with USB ports seems to offer a workaround... but to me, USB ports (specifically the "U" for Universal) would imply that they are... well... universal... universally the same... similar... like they offer the same functionality no matter what computer I'm on. I also mentioned in the original post about it possibly being a power problem... but the problem occurs when I plug in a USB thumb (flash) drive, or when I plug in a self-powered Archos 5 Portable Media Player, which does have an actual hard drive in it (which is irrelevant being that it's self-powered and on when connecting.) Now I should point out that I am able to connect devices such as wireless optical mouses to all four less-than-Universal-SB ports, so no, the ports are not just completely broken. Also, both mass storage devices connect to any other computer I've tried (btw none of which were Toshiba). It just amazes me that this would even be a problem given how long USB mass storage devices have been around, such as USB thumb (flash) drives.
So I'm just trying to spread the word... let others know that they are not alone. And if enough people read my story maybe it will get back to Toshiba Support Personnel where they'll hopefully correct the problem and allow my childrens' children to one day buy Toshiba laptops and USB mass storage devices in harmony and without fear. (I attempt to add a little hint of humor sometimes because as I told Trina, otherwise, I'd cry.)
But thanks for the information on the dual-USB cable. That may solve the problem for at least some devices, and I hope it does since its a less-expensive option compared to the PCMCIA card... but since Toshiba will leave it to us to guess what is causing the problem I guess its a gamble with any option you try. Maybe a good idea for a post would be to list laptop models, devices, and what method you used to allow them to connect.
Godspeed, Satellite users.