Windows Enterprise Desktop

Jan 15 2018   12:35PM GMT

Operator Error Explains 4TB Drive Mystery

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Tags:
Disk drives
Troubleshooting
Windows 10

In December, I found myself perplexed. I was unable to mount either of a pair of 4TB HGST hard disks on my production desktop. Over the weekend, I finally solved that problem, and learned to my chagrin that I’d shot myself in the foot. It turns out that these dual-drive docks I’d been using require a 12-volt 3A (3000 mA) power supply. As it happens, I’d mistakenly switched that higher-amperage brick with a 12-volt 2A (2000 mA) from a single-drive dock. Because the 4 TB drives draw more power than any of my other, smaller drives, they simply wouldn’t work when I connected a lower-power brick to any of my dual drive docks. Thus, as I entitled this post: operator error explains 4TB drive mystery!

operator error explains 4TB drive mystery

When I bought a replacement unit at Fry’s this weekend, I realized I needed a higher-amperage brick. Doh!

Recognizing That Operator Error Explains 4TB Drive Mystery

I’d convinced myself that something was wrong with the motherboard on my production PC. Primarily, that’ s where I use my high-capacity drives for extra backups, storing VMs and virtual HDs, Windows and other big software downloads, and so forth. But nothing was wrong with that machine, the drives, or the docks I was using. The only error was in not noticing that the brick for the dual drive unit is about half an inch longer than the single-drive version. Turns out that while the voltage is the same (and allows the larger unit to light up and look like it’s working), the amperage difference matters a lot.

operator error explains 4TB drive mystery

Bigger is better when it comes to running big drives! 3000 mA unit top, 2000 mA unit bottom.

It just goes to show yet again the dangers of acting quickly without really thinking about all the parts and pieces involved. Somewhere along the way, I assumed that the bricks would be interchangeable. I was wrong, and temporarily lost access to my 4TB drives until I figured things out. At least, because operator error explains 4TB drive mystery, with that mystery solved I can once again use my drives. And so it goes, here in Windowsland!

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