Why usb cable is not working with hard drive?

I bought a usb cable which is not working with my 2 external drives. I believe there aren't any problems with the ports, the usb cable is working just fine with my graphic tablet. Also external drives work fine with another cable i've test them with. So i think it has to do with the cable itself. If someone knows, please explain me why my external drives won't accept it.

That's the one I bought and not working


6 Answers

  • Adrian
    Lv 7
    9 months ago
    Favourite answer

    I would suspect that the cable is made from smaller gauge wires, causing a higher voltage drop than normal. When running an external HDD, they tend to use maximum USB power, and any slight voltage drop may cause the HDD to not work. Cord will work ok for other devices that do not need full power from the USB port.

    Also, calling it a V3 cable may be another issue, as connectors inside are different (more of them) for V3 vs V2 USB cables.

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  • 9 months ago

    Most external hard drives need a Y-cable to get enough power.


    • Robert J
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      I've *never* needed a dual connector cable, over about a dozen different types of external hard drive. The only Y cable I have came with a very weird ebay usb drive adapter.

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  • 9 months ago

    Here are pictures of different types of usb cable, and their connectors

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  • 9 months ago


    So, the cords used by external devices are designed by the manufacturer to be 100% compatible with the device. When purchasing cords through an external source, like Ali Express, you cannot be guaranteed that the device cable you purchase will have the same capability and same functionality of the one that came in the box from the manufacturer.

    Also the MFG cable may contain a small chip that contains drivers for your computer to tell the computer how to communicate with the drive. Non-standard USB cables will not have this functionality.

    We would recommend reaching out the manufacturer of the external drives. In some cases (such as Western Digital for example) if you contact the support team, they may ship you a replacement cable (possibly free, possibly for a small fee).

    Geek Squad Agent Kate JB

    Badge 30811

    Geek Squad/ Yahoo! Answers Partnership


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  • 9 months ago

    No where in the title or specifications of the cord does it say it works with external HDD.

  • 9 months ago

    Could be a software issue on the computer you're using.

    Or the cable could be designed to use on other devices, not to power hard drives.

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