Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Wi-Fi connection lost when connecting USB3.0 HDD

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Wi-Fi connection lost when connecting USB3.0 HDD


    Hello guys, I have been reading the site since it started but I just registered.

    I bought Windows 8 when it was released, like most people I liked the performance upgrades and other stuff, but that was about it. Months later I installed Windows 7 again, but it just felt old and there were a few things I missed about Windows 8, anyway yesterday I decided to install Windows 8 again (8.1) but I'm having a problem since I did.

    Whenever I connected an external hard drive via USB3.0, Wi-Fi would disconnect. I searched this over to see if other people were having the same issue, there were some guys but they were using a USB based Wi-Fi adapter, I'm using the one in the laptop.

    DETAILS
    Asus U47A
    Wi-Fi adapter: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230
    External Hard Drive: Seagate Expansion Portable Drive (500GB, USB3.0)
    OS: Windows 8.1 Pro, All updates (Problem happens with or without updates, with original (Asus) or Windows supplied drivers)

    I was loosing the Wi-Fi connection and I didn't know why, it was very intermitent, it would work for 10 minutes and then not, I then downloaded new drivers, directly from Intel, Asus and then using the Windows Update, it didn't work in neither case.

    I was watching youtube and noticed the signal was good, it was working fine, and realised that the Seagate HDD was disconnected, I had just isolated the problem.

    I tried to replicate it and indeed it happened, whenever I connected the drive, signal would be lost. At first I thought it might be a hardware-based issue, but it was working fine with Windows 7, so I decided to play with it a little more. I found out that Wi-Fi connection wasn't being lost, but rather loosing power, Windows would only display the closest routers (two, out of five or six that are in range). So I enabled internet sharing in my cell phone, guess what? It worked fine, signal was strong.

    I connected the Seagate drive to a USB2.0 port, no problem. Then connected a different HDD (USB2.0) to the USB3.0 port, no problem.

    So the thing is that Wi-Fi loses power when the USB3.0 HDD is connected to the USB3.0 port.

    I just can't work like this, I must disconnect the drive in order to access internet! What would you guys suggest? Thank you in advance!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    if it were me, I would make sure that the latest [from makers website]motherboard chipset drivers are installed
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    USB ports are usually in groups of two. I've seen some laptops with two ports on one side and only one port on the other. On the side with only the one USB port, internally there was something connected to the other USB port. Usually a Bluetooth adapter, touch pad or SD card reader. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. I see it a lot on the less expensive models. If the device connected to that USB port draws a lot of current it can impact the other device on the other internal port. It's not supposed to happen but I've seen it happen. It can be even worse if you are just running on battery. The laptop may be limiting the supplied current to the port. Just something to consider. If you are running on battery plug the power pack in and see if things improve.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    if it were me, I would make sure that the latest [from makers website]motherboard chipset drivers are installed
    The drivers available in the Asus and Intel (chipset maker) sites were exactly the same, I did try both just in case, but it didn't work.

    USB ports are usually in groups of two. I've seen some laptops with two ports on one side and only one port on the other. On the side with only the one USB port, internally there was something connected to the other USB port. Usually a Bluetooth adapter, touch pad or SD card reader. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. I see it a lot on the less expensive models. If the device connected to that USB port draws a lot of current it can impact the other device on the other internal port. It's not supposed to happen but I've seen it happen. It can be even worse if you are just running on battery. The laptop may be limiting the supplied current to the port. Just something to consider. If you are running on battery plug the power pack in and see if things improve.
    That is my case, two USB3.0 ports on the left side and just one on the right side (USB2.0), but the problem happens only on the left side, no matter which of the two ports is being used. The thing is that the port on the right, the one that is 2.0, works fine.

    The computer is connected to the AC all the time, I'll ask someone for a USB3.0 hard drive and test it, it could be that the hard drive is drawing too much power.

    I'll try this also



    I'll come back in a few days with some news, thank you caperjack and alphanumeric for your help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    Update bios to newest, install latest USB 3.0 driver from laptop manufacturer or the 3.0 chipset maker, update USB 3.0 firmware if that too is available.

    The combo above should fix it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I have some USB 2 external drive enclosures that use a cable similar to what you posted only all the plugs are USB 2. One plugs into the drive and two plug into the PC. One is Data and Power and the other is Power only. USB 2 ports can supply up to 500ma per port. They Y cable gives you up to 1 amp of current for you device. This ensures the drive in the enclosure gets enough juice to run. The connector next to the red one in your posted picture looks like the USB 3 plug that plugs into my USB 3.0 drive enclosure. The other two look like standard USB 2 plugs. My guess is the red one is the power only plug and the black one is Data and Power. My USB3.0 external enclosure only has the two plugs, the one next to the red one in your picture that plugs into the enclosure and one that looks like a USB 2 plug. The end that plugs into the PC has a blue insert though to show its a USB 3 plug.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    For some reason Wi-Fi is finally working, it won't show my neighbors' routers like before (when HDD is connected), but it sure does work fine now with mine. I will still be buying the cable just in case. I remember I once connected an older external drive to my car head unit, and while the HDD required 500mA and the head unit would provide 500mA, it didn't work until I used a cable like the one mentioned above and connected the remaining end to another USB power source.

    I will mark this thread as solved, as it is now working and I'm pretty confident now with your help that this is a power requirements issue.

    Thank you caperjack, alphanumeric, MasterChief.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 1
    win 8.1


    I have had the same problem, strangely since moving my PC from one location to another. Prior to that it worked fine. The suggestions about power issues on various other sites seem on target. The USB 3.0 card is hogging/ stripping the wifi card power, at least on my ASUS desktop. I solved my problem, after a fair amount of fussing, by simply moving my PCI-X wireless card from a PCI-X mini slot to a full PCI-X slot meant for a video card. The USB 3.0 PCI-X card is in another mini PCI-X slot. The full slot seems to do the trick. No more disconnects. Good luck to all.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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