Author Topic: light slowly flashing on external hard drive  (Read 1299 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« on: July 18, 2020, 09:18:23 am »
A new WD Elements portable hard drive has been plugged into a USB 3 port on a Linux desktop.

The hard drive does not appear on an fdisk -l
listing. The small light on the drive is slowly flashing.

What is happening ? Why doesn't the drive appear in the fdisk listing ?

Is the system trying to automatically mount the hard drive ?

Is the USB port underpowered ?

I hesitate to unplug the hard drive while the light is flashing in case this corrupts the filesystem
on the hard drive.

Offline Keith

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Karma: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Linux Novice
  • Awards Contributor Of The Month
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2020, 12:27:59 pm »
Try
Code: [Select]
sudo fdisk -l
The sudo is necessary on my Ubuntu 16 PC. 
If the hard drive is new you should have a manual for it which will tell you the power requirements.  Sometimes one has to power these things from two USB sockets using a special cable.  If you don't have the manual then a web search will find the information. 

I wouldn't worry too much about the filesystem - as it's new, with none of your files on it, it can be reformatted later. 

Would you tell us which Linux version you are using, the make/model of your PC and the model of your hard drive?  This info will help people experienced in these things to provide advice. 

Keith
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 12:32:21 pm by Keith »

Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2020, 02:54:38 pm »
The command fdisk -l has already been tried. Also lsusb has been run. In neither case was the hard drive listed,
so the system doesn't see it.

There have been previous problems with the particular USB port, whereby it seemed that another, older hard drive
was suffering hardware problems. Hence the switch to a new hard drive.

The operating system is Debian Jessie (yes, I know it is outdated - a desktop with Buster is to be set up shortly).

The hard drive needs to be used to backup the current system so that relevant files can be transferred to the
new system.

The new hard drive is a WD Elements portable hard drive.

I am beginning to wonder whether the slowly flashing light means the hard drive has been put into standby mode.
This suggests to me that this particular USB port may be low on power and thus cannot power the hard drive properly.

Other USB ports seem to work okay.


The new drive is a portable drive so the USB port should be able to power it.


Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 02:59:42 pm »
The desktop is a custom build with a gigabyte motherboard.

I'm not sure offhand which particular board.

Offline Keith

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Karma: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Linux Novice
  • Awards Contributor Of The Month
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 04:33:14 pm »
If lsusb doesn't list it then it's not being recognised, but the fdisk command ought to have been "sudo fdisk -l" anyway. 

You mention that you've been having problems with that particular USB port but don't mention whether you've tried the HDD on the other ports - I presume you have and that it failed to work on those, too - please confirm that. 
Do USB sticks work OK in all the ports?  If so, then the problem resides with the new HDD.  Perhaps you could consider returning it, although Western Digital has a good reputation. 

Keith

Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 11:30:28 am »
The command fdisk  -l was run as root.

Please see the thread 'problem with USB 3 port' also in Hardware Compatibility' forum.

Other ports (which are all USB 2) cannot be tried at the moment as they are otherwise occupied.


Offline DavidMcCann

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 2
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2020, 03:28:16 pm »
This seems to be a common problem. Sometimes it can be cured by just shutting everything down, including the mains power supply to the computer, waiting for a minute, and then starting up again! You say that the other USB ports are in use, but could you not free one up just to see if the drive runs off it? That would show if the problem is the port.

Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2020, 04:29:51 pm »
I have now seen a number of cases where USB devices are not detected.

It seems that the xhci_hcd driver needs to be replaced/reinitialised.

Some of the posts recommend that the computer is completely powered down (I.e. all external devices are unmounted,
the computer is switched off and unplugged from the mains). After a wait of, say, up to 30 minutes, the computer is rebooted. The xhci_hcd driver should be reinitialised by the reboot, so the USB 3 port should then work fine.

Other posts suggest that instead of a power down and reboot, the xhci_hcd driver could be disabled and then re-enabled
similar to suggestion in https://zedt.eu/tech/linux/restarting-usb-subsystem-centos/

Does anyone know which directory contains the xhci_hcd driver in Debian, please ?

Offline DavidMcCann

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 2
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2020, 04:46:17 pm »
It's a kernel module, so to check if it's there use
Code: [Select]
$ cat /proc/modules | grep xhci_hcd
xhci_hcd 135168 1 xhci_pci, Live 0x0000000000000000
usbcore 200704 12 uas,usb_storage,snd_usb_audio,snd_usbmidi_lib,hid_uclogic,xhci_pci,xhci_hcd,ehci_pci,uhci_hcd,ohci_hcd,ehci_hcd,usbhid, Live 0x0000000000000000
As you can see, I have it and it's running, and it depends on the usbcore module. It should be loaded into the kernel when Linux boots, but you can load and unload it:
https://www.tecmint.com/load-and-unload-kernel-modules-in-linux/
Obviously the exact address in /lib/modules depends on your distro.

Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2020, 08:23:16 pm »
The xhci_hcd driver is present, but I now get the following problem :-

The new flash drive was unplugged from the USB 3 port.

As root, the following command was run

dmesg* |* tail


The output was :

[3974120.938338] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 66 using xhci_hcd
[3974126.430777] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 67 using xhci_hcd
[3974131.923271] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 68 using xhci_hcd
[3974137.415713] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 69 using xhci_hcd
[3974142.908184] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 70 using xhci_hcd
[3974148.400664] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 71 using xhci_hcd
[3974153.893132] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 72 using xhci_hcd
[3974159.385762] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 73 using xhci_hcd
[3974164.878067] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 74 using xhci_hcd
[3974170.370558] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 75 using xhci_hcd


Then the new flash drive was plugged back into the USB 3 port and then, again as root,
the following command was run

dmesg | tail -50

The output was as follows :

[3973945.175272] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 34 using xhci_hcd
[3973950.667736] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 35 using xhci_hcd
[3973956.164234] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 36 using xhci_hcd
[3973961.660705] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 37 using xhci_hcd
[3973967.153175] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 38 using xhci_hcd
[3973972.645644] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 39 using xhci_hcd
[3973978.138108] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 40 using xhci_hcd
[3973983.630571] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 41 using xhci_hcd
[3973989.123038] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 42 using xhci_hcd
[3973994.615532] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 43 using xhci_hcd
[3974000.107987] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 44 using xhci_hcd
[3974005.600444] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 45 using xhci_hcd
[3974011.092914] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 46 using xhci_hcd
[3974016.586439] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 47 using xhci_hcd
[3974022.069876] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 48 using xhci_hcd
[3974027.562378] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 49 using xhci_hcd
[3974033.054785] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 50 using xhci_hcd
[3974038.547262] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 51 using xhci_hcd
[3974044.039723] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 52 using xhci_hcd
[3974049.532213] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 53 using xhci_hcd
[3974055.024682] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 54 using xhci_hcd
[3974060.517132] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 55 using xhci_hcd
[3974066.013620] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 56 using xhci_hcd
[3974071.506102] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 57 using xhci_hcd
[3974076.998569] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 58 using xhci_hcd
[3974082.491021] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 59 using xhci_hcd
[3974087.983486] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 60 using xhci_hcd
[3974093.475956] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 61 using xhci_hcd
[3974098.968439] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 62 using xhci_hcd
[3974104.460916] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 63 using xhci_hcd
[3974109.953390] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 64 using xhci_hcd
[3974115.445836] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 65 using xhci_hcd
[3974120.938338] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 66 using xhci_hcd
[3974126.430777] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 67 using xhci_hcd
[3974131.923271] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 68 using xhci_hcd
[3974137.415713] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 69 using xhci_hcd
[3974142.908184] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 70 using xhci_hcd
[3974148.400664] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 71 using xhci_hcd
[3974153.893132] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 72 using xhci_hcd
[3974159.385762] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 73 using xhci_hcd
[3974164.878067] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 74 using xhci_hcd
[3974170.370558] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 75 using xhci_hcd
[3974189.313961] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 76 using xhci_hcd
[3974194.806428] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 77 using xhci_hcd
[3974200.298916] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 78 using xhci_hcd
[3974205.791363] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 79 using xhci_hcd
[3974211.283830] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 80 using xhci_hcd
[3974216.776300] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 81 using xhci_hcd
[3974222.268794] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 82 using xhci_hcd
[3974227.761269] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 83 using xhci_hcd


Why is the above happening ?

Offline freelancehelp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Karma: 0
  • I've just joined!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2020, 08:13:26 pm »
Could the problem with the USB port possibly cause a problem if an attempt is made to reboot the system ?

Offline Keith

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Karma: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Linux Novice
  • Awards Contributor Of The Month
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2020, 08:17:51 pm »
I doubt it.  A simple reboot should close down in an orderly manner any running applications (including anything USB-related). 

Keith

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal