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[Solved]Problems with External Drive - Unable to update BIOS

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#1
I have recently bought a Seagate 9SD2A4-500 (500GB External Hard Drive). It works like an absolute charm on every computer in my house (One version of XP and another Win 7). However, it does not work on my own computer.
It seems that this hard drive using USB 2.0 Cannot be read. When placed into my PC, (Win 7), it does recognise a device has been added, driver updates occur but it believes it is a "Initio Default Controller" I am unable to access it, reformat it or in any way change it. I have took advice from other sites and forums, for example I already have:
  1. Used Seagate tools, but it doesn't work as the device is not recognised as it is an Initio default controller.
  2. I have uninstalled content, reinstalled without allowing updates to happen, but a device is not recognised.
  3. Used different USB cables, for example USB-B --> two USB A's so it can have more power, but it makes extremely loud noises and does not recognise it, and I think it is more damaging than helpful.
I have already determined that it is not the USB cable (USB-B to A) as it works on other computers. Similarly, it is not my own USB ports, as other devices work perfectly. It does have warranty, but bearing in mind that it works on other computers, I don't believe it is the hard drive's problem. It is most likely to do with some settings that I haven't considered so far.

The most likely cause of the issue is my BIOS is out of date, and I need to update it... but I've hit a snag with that. I've spent two hours trying to find ways to update my BIOS and it seems to no avail. I have ASUS Motherboard P5N-E SLI, Version 1006. Newest update is 1406. From downloading the manual, I have four ways to update the BIOS, but each for each way, I am unable to.

(From the manual):
  1. ASUS BIOS Flash Utility (Using bootable floppy disk) - I don't have one in my computer or in my house.
  2. ASUS Crash Free BIOS 2 (Updates using bootable floppy or Motherboard support CD) - Again, I don't have either, so I can't use this method.
  3. ASUS EZ Flash 2. This. I could use, however, I am unable to access this area on my BIOS. It says that I should be able to according to the specs for my motherboard. There are two ways to access it, either ALT+F2 post boot - but when pressed, it only boots up BIOS page, not the exact EZFlash2 utility. The other option is to go from my BIOS page, over to 'tools' menu then access EZ Flash utility from there. As you see from the picture attached, I don't even have a 'TOOLS' section, so this is impossible. I also checked other areas to see if it might have it, but no luck there.
  4. ASUS Update (Updates bios in windows environment - Needs Motherboard CD) Don't have CD in this case, so I am unable to.
I must be able to update my BIOS some other way, but I don't know where to proceed.


Thanks in advance for some help,

lum200



 

Armageddon

FPCH Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
616
Location
Castleford, United Kingdom
PC Experience
Pc Guru
#2
I have recently bought a Seagate 9SD2A4-500 (500GB External Hard Drive). It works like an absolute charm on every computer in my house (One version of XP and another Win 7). However, it does not work on my own computer.
It seems that this hard drive using USB 2.0 Cannot be read. When placed into my PC, (Win 7), it does recognise a device has been added, driver updates occur but it believes it is a "Initio Default Controller" I am unable to access it, reformat it or in any way change it. I have took advice from other sites and forums, for example I already have:
  1. Used Seagate tools, but it doesn't work as the device is not recognised as it is an Initio default controller.
  2. I have uninstalled content, reinstalled without allowing updates to happen, but a device is not recognised.
  3. Used different USB cables, for example USB-B --> two USB A's so it can have more power, but it makes extremely loud noises and does not recognise it, and I think it is more damaging than helpful.
I have already determined that it is not the USB cable (USB-B to A) as it works on other computers. Similarly, it is not my own USB ports, as other devices work perfectly. It does have warranty, but bearing in mind that it works on other computers, I don't believe it is the hard drive's problem. It is most likely to do with some settings that I haven't considered so far.

The most likely cause of the issue is my BIOS is out of date, and I need to update it... but I've hit a snag with that. I've spent two hours trying to find ways to update my BIOS and it seems to no avail. I have ASUS Motherboard P5N-E SLI, Version 1006. Newest update is 1406. From downloading the manual, I have four ways to update the BIOS, but each for each way, I am unable to.

(From the manual):
  1. ASUS BIOS Flash Utility (Using bootable floppy disk) - I don't have one in my computer or in my house.
  2. ASUS Crash Free BIOS 2 (Updates using bootable floppy or Motherboard support CD) - Again, I don't have either, so I can't use this method.
  3. ASUS EZ Flash 2. This. I could use, however, I am unable to access this area on my BIOS. It says that I should be able to according to the specs for my motherboard. There are two ways to access it, either ALT+F2 post boot - but when pressed, it only boots up BIOS page, not the exact EZFlash2 utility. The other option is to go from my BIOS page, over to 'tools' menu then access EZ Flash utility from there. As you see from the picture attached, I don't even have a 'TOOLS' section, so this is impossible. I also checked other areas to see if it might have it, but no luck there.
  4. ASUS Update (Updates bios in windows environment - Needs Motherboard CD) Don't have CD in this case, so I am unable to.
I must be able to update my BIOS some other way, but I don't know where to proceed.


Thanks in advance for some help,

lum200

See: http://tinypic.com/r/15wexq0/5
Hi the following is a link to download the Asus update utility to update your BIOS http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/System-Tweak/ASUS-Update-Utility.shtml hope this helps

Dave
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#3
Hi,

I have adapted your link so that the pic is visible in the post. :)

I assume that you have tried uninstalling the "Initio Default Controller" from Device Manager and re-booting with the external drive in place ?

How is this powered?
If there are 2 USB connections - are you using both ?

Try this FixIt from here:
click here
 

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#4
Hi the following is a link to download the Asus update utility to update your BIOS http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/S...-Utility.shtml hope this helps

Dave
Hi, when I download and run that program, I get an error message:
asus bios.jpg and once clicked "OK" I get... asus bios 1.jpg ,
That's not good, bearing in mind I more than definately have a ASUS Motherboard...
When checking the feedback from Softpedia, it seems like I'm not the only one with this issue.

Hi,

I have adapted your link so that the pic is visible in the post. :)

I assume that you have tried uninstalling the "Initio Default Controller" from Device Manager and re-booting with the external drive in place ?

How is this powered?
If there are 2 USB connections - are you using both ?

Try this FixIt from here:
click here
When using FixIt, it says that my External HDD has no drivers, so it installs drivers, but turns it to an Initio Default controller once more.
Your assumption is correct :), I have uninstalled and then rebooted in its place, but the same thing happens again, drivers are installed to turn it to an Initio Default Controller, not an external HDD.

It's powered using One USB (B) to USB (A), both are fine. I have used a different cable :
Used different USB cables, for example USB-B --> two USB A's so it can have more power, but it makes extremely loud noises and does not recognise it, and I think it is more damaging than helpful.
But, that doesn't help either :(

Any more suggestions?
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#5
From what I have read ...........

The external Seagate drive has an Initio logic board.

I have also read many posts that suggest that it is a power issue - where the USB port is not supplying enough power to the drive.

If you are getting abnormal noises when using 2 USB connections then there is a problem with the drive.
My external drive uses 2 power connections with no issues.
 

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#6
I double checked on 3 other computers and just one USB B --> A suffices for power and is recognised as an external HDD. On this computer, it does recognise the hard drive with the same cable, but only as an Initio default controller.

When I tried with the cable one USB B --> 2 A's with all the other computers, it whirrs and clicks and does not recognise the drive.

I suppose I can assume that the problem lies with the computer I currently am using?
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#7
I suppose I can assume that the problem lies with the computer I currently am using?
Not necessarily - but it certainly could be.

I would be inclined to take the drive out of the enclosure and put it in a different one.
See here

This would eliminate the enclosure as the problem.

Seagate have an external drive troubleshooter.
click here
 

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#8
I would be inclined to take the drive out of the enclosure and put it in a different one.
Unfortunately, I can't take it out as it is fixed (no screws or openings), nor does it have any SATA/PATA/SCSI/SAS connectors. If I did want to take it out, I would more than definately not be able to put it back together again.

Seagate have an external drive troubleshooter. click here
Every time I go through their flowchart I end up with the solution:
"For more assistance regarding this issue, it is suggested to contact the manufacturer of the OS"
"Resolutions for these types of issues are beyond the scope of support offered for Seagate external drives"
:(

Ack! Where do I go from here?
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#9
Where do I go from here?
I am out of suggestions.

The drive works on other machines.

You have tried other cables.

You have tried a cable with 2 USB connections.
This is what concerns me.
Just because there are 2 connections this does not mean that there will be 1 Amp ( 2 x 500mA ) flowing through the drive.
It will draw what current it needs.
You say, however, that with this set-up the drive makes extremely loud noises.
This is not normal.
It does sound like there could be a problem with the enclosure - but the fact that it functions on other systems is puzzling.

I suggest that you contact Seagate direct and ask them if they have any suggestions.
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
5,442
Location
Lancashire
#10
It would be interesting also to try a different drive, preferably one with an external mains powered adapter, and see if that is recognised. If so, it is definitely down to the computer not being able to provide enough power via USB I would think.

Nev.
 

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#11
Plastic Nev
It would be interesting also to try a different drive, preferably one with an external mains powered adapter, and see if that is recognised. If so, it is definitely down to the computer not being able to provide enough power via USB I would think.

Nev.


I tried another drive (unfortunately it doesn't have an external main adapter) and surprisingly, that is not recognised either. This one uses one USB B --> Two A's, and is not detected at all unlike my current Seagate one. I think I can presume that it is something to do with the USB ports not providing enough power. But, there are other peripherals attached to my PC that use the USB ports and work like a charm (e.g. FAT32 USBs, USB extender [gives more ports], USB Wireless adapter). I don't have another AC powered External HDD to fully prove this is the case, but it does seem like it.

Just writing this also made me realise that this may also be linked to my iTouch not charging properly. When I connect my iTouch, it often reconnect and disconnects itself or it just doesn't charge at all. I suppose I can presume that it is something to do with the fact my computer is not providing enough output voltage.

Are there any sound ways of increasing output without causing damage? Googling this issue seems to provide issues such as BSODs, damage to USB ports and many others. I've seen some suggestions of using ASUS Ai Charger programme, which may help, should I attempt this?

Thanks again,

lum200
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#12
I tried another drive (unfortunately it doesn't have an external main adapter) and surprisingly, that is not recognised either.
I think we have located your problem.
The USB ports are providing some power - but obviously not the 500mA that they should be.

other peripherals attached to my PC that use the USB ports and work like a charm
This may be so - but they will not have the same high current requirement that an external drive needs.

my iTouch not charging properly
Again pointing to lack of power from the USB port.

something to do with the fact my computer is not providing enough output voltage.
Possibly. It is possible that the voltage is correct ( 5v ) but the output current is not enough. This should be 500mA.
If both of these are correct the port should supply 2.5 Watts - obviously it isn't.

You could take a look at something like this:
click here

This is a USB expansion card.
It plugs into a PCIe slot on your motherboard ( assuming you have PCIe slots ....modern boards do )
It would give you 2 USB slots that are independent of the rest.

The advantage of this adapter is it will provide you with USB 3.0 speed if you plug in a molex power connector from the PSU.

It will be positioned at the back of your machine.
You can get a USB extension cable quite cheaply if you wish.
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
5,442
Location
Lancashire
#13
Further to all that has been said and investigated, perhaps the power supply itself may be going faulty.
That could do with further investigation by borrowing a power supply if possible and doing a swap.

Nev.
 

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#15
Unfortunately I don't have a spare PSU to test if my current one is faulty, but I have some more information which might help,
using AIDA 64 Extreme edition:

Voltage Values
CPU Core -------- 1.136 V
+3.3 V ------------ 3.232 V
+5 V -------------- 4.865 V
+12 V ------------ 12.096 V
+5 V Standby --- 4.220 V
VBAT Battery ---- 3.120 V
GPU Vcc ---------- 3.210 V

I'm not sure if that helps (I'm not even sure what it means), but i just want to make sure before I buy the USB expansion card it's not a new PSU I need.

Thanks again,

lum200
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#16
There is no substitute for using a multi-meter or voltmeter but there is nothing there that is a cause for concern. :)

The 5v Standby voltage seems to be down.
This in itself is not a problem because this is not linked with the USB sockets at all.
It is a constant supply voltage to the motherboard which allows wake from sleep mode etc.
 

lum200

FPCH Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
7
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows 7- Home Premium
#17
Hi again,

I bought the "Super Speed USB 3.0 PCI-Express Card" off Amazon, I did buy the one with two ports, but they sent me the one with four ports, but I'm not complaining, more for my money :eek:

Had a bit of trouble placing it in, only due to the fact my video card is pretty bulky and took up a fair amount of room.

After placing, installing, I'm pleased to say it has solved the issue!

Thanks a bunch! I have to say I'm obliged to help out others,

lum200
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
8,982
Location
Wirral UK
#18
I'm pleased to say it has solved the issue!
That is good news. :)
Thanks for getting back to us.

Your USB Ports must be down a bit on voltage or current as we suggested earlier.