SexyFish
2 Iron

Alienware 17 R3 - Trouble accessing external USB harddrive

Alienware 17 R3 (i7-6820HK, Windows 10 Home)

I'm having trouble copying files to an external harddrive in Windows 10. Using the same external harddrive on a Windows 7 PC works fine. Ports on the laptop that is having issues are USB 3.0 and I've removed and reinstalled the driver for both the USB controller and the external HDD. These are relatively large video files around 1.5 GBs in size, and I am able to copy FROM the drive OK, but trying to copy TO (copy -> Paste in Windows Explorer) the transfer will potentially start, then slow to 0 KBs and then eventually fail with Error 0x8007045D: the request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. The external harddrive then locks up and can only be reaccessed by removing and reinserting the USB connector.

Now from advice on forums I have set the external harddrive to be accessed using the performance setting and enabled write caching on the device but still the transfers fail. Another suggestion was to use safe mode in Windows 10 which I tried and I was able to successfully complete the transfers here.

Is it fair to assume that there is some difference between the USB drivers that are being used in safe mode and those being used when it runs normally?  How do I go about getting the latest drivers that are available?  I've looked on the Intel website and there's nothing available for Windows 10 and running the driver update on the Dell site tells me that the only updates are available are Chipset |Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework and Video |Intel HD Graphics Driver, neither of which appear relevant.

TL;DR - Can write to external HDD only when running in Safe mode?

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3 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Alienware 17 R3 - Trouble accessing external USB harddrive

Interesting problem. I assume this is a retail pre-built drive and not really big or special somehow.

Win-7 machine is using different hardware, drivers, and maybe even slower USB2.0 ports.
 
No, leave Removal Policy on Quick Removal.
 

Good troubleshooting to try safe mode, and see it work. You wouldn't think safe mode USB drivers would be different. I think it's more like some (interfering) background Process or Service isn't running any more.

Still, I would:

1. Use a new (thicker) better cable. Maybe even shorter if it's pretty long.

2. Reformat drive as NTFS

3. Examine drive SMART with Crystal DiskInfo

Yes, I would install Chipset first, then USB-3.0 on top of that.

You can also try deleting all USB ports from DeviceManager. On reboot, let them re-detect and see if Windows will toss you some working drivers.


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SexyFish
2 Iron

RE: Alienware 17 R3 - Trouble accessing external USB harddrive

Yes this is a prebuilt Seagate 320GB drive. I noticed my BT Home Hub had a usb port so I thought this was the perfect workaround but although I can access the harddrive as a NAS and write to it, it is painfully slow 1-2MBs, which is apparently a limitation of the router.

(1) I don't have a different cable to use, but to reiterate this cable is fine using the drive in Safe mode or on a Windows 7 PC.

(2)  I've just formatted the drive using Windows 10 to an NTFS format (same as it already was) but still I continue to have issues accessing the drive as previously detailed.

(3)  Crystal Disk Info tells me the disk is "Good"

(4) Regarding installing the chipset and USB drivers can you please, at least for the moment, treat me like an idiot and point me directly to the drivers that I need to install since what I seen hasn't been at all intuitive.

(5) I've tried deleting the ports in the Device Manager but they are recreated on reboot and the same issue exists.

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Alienware 17 R3 - Trouble accessing external USB harddrive

Since this is Windows-10/64bit and the Device Manager is clean (free of errors) then the drivers are likely ok. I don't see any better or newer Dell drivers.

Maybe Seagate has a firmware upgrade for that drive?

Maybe you can buy a better cable?

Maybe you would like to clean-install Windows freshly? You can Image system first or use a different HDD.

Or, you can jump straight to replacing the motherboard.
 
Be sure you are testing all USB ports. Some might be on a different internal hub.
 
Might also be good to know if a high-speed Flash Drive works (or other USB HDD).

This post has been edit since initial posting.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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