Question from Derick T.: Hi Rick. I had been wanting to add some USB 3.0 ports to my HP desktop PC for a while now. I finally broke down and bought a USB 3.0 expansion card (#ad) and installed it.
The new USB ports work fine with my USB mouse, keyboard and printer, but when I plug my Seagate external USB hard drive into it I can’t get the computer to recognize the drive. I know it should work because the box the drive came in said it works with USB 3.0. Am I doing something wrong?
Rick’s answer: Derick, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you forgot to connect one of the spare disk drive power cables from the PC’s power supply to the USB expansion card. Without having that external power source to draw on, the USB 3.0 port probably can’t supply enough current to operate the drive.
What you need to do is shut down the PC, remove the side panel from the chassis and find an unused power cable that mates up with the external power connector on the USB 3.0 card. Plug it in and re-install the side panel.
When the system is powered back up I’m virtually certain that your USB hard drive will work just fine when plugged into one of the new USB 3.0 ports. If not, the card is probably defective and you’ll need to return it and get a replacement. Please let me know how it turns out if you don’t mind.
Update from Derick: You were right Rick. The installation instructions say to plug in a power cable but I must have missed it. I tracked down an unused power cable and plugged it into the card and now the hard drive works fine. Thanks a lot for your help.
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