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Solved Wi-Fi connection lost when connecting USB3.0 HDD


Posts
3
#1
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro

caperjack

Just the Janitor
VIP Member
Guru
Posts
2,627
#2
if it were me, I would make sure that the latest [from makers website]motherboard chipset drivers are installed
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win8.1.1 enterprise
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Hinze57
    CPU
    AMD FX 6100 6core 3.30gHz
    Motherboard
    gigibyte ga-78lmy-s2p
    Memory
    4gig ddr3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radon hd5000 Series
    Sound Card
    onboard realtek hd
    Monitor(s) Displays
    19" viewsonic/ 22"Samsung
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050
    Hard Drives
    128gig ssd Kingston
    80gig WD 10000 rpm spinner
    Case
    micro
    Keyboard
    microsoft curve 200
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless M215
    Internet Speed
    high speed 20
    Browser
    ie 11
    Antivirus
    windows defender
    Other Info
    updated enterprise apr 2/14

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
#3
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2
Posts
3
#4
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
Posts
1,883
#5
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Self-built Intel based
    CPU
    Pentium D 925 3.0 GHz socket 775, Presler @ ~ 3.2 GHz
    Motherboard
    Intel DQ965MT
    Memory
    Hyundai 2 GB DDR2 @ 333 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS DirectCU II HD7790-DC2OC-2GD5 Radeon HD 7790 2GB 128-Bit GDDR5
    Sound Card
    MOTU Traveler firewire interface
    Hard Drives
    1 Seagate Barracuda SATA II system/boot drive 80 GB, 2 Western Digital hdds - 1 is SATA II Caviar Black 1 TB attached to card (assorted media, page, temp), other is SATA I 420 GB (games, media, downloads)
    PSU
    Thermaltake 450W
    Cooling
    stock Gateway cooling, extra large fan in rear of case
    Keyboard
    Alienware/Microsoft Internet kb
    Mouse
    Logitech M510
    Internet Speed
    Optimum Online, fast for US
    Browser
    Pale Moon
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky integrated into ZoneAlarm+Antivirus

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
#6
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2
Posts
3
#7
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro

servalan

New Member
Posts
1
#8
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    win 8.1

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