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Here’s the problem. I bought a new Toshiba laptop about 2 weeks ago. I have the Goldwing service manual on CD. I edited it using Adobe Acrobat, and decided to save my changes to my external USB hard drive. My external drive is an older model from a Compaq laptop. It requires an external power supply to run. I plugged in the USB cable and then the ac adapter. I was able to see the external drive in “Explorer” and was copying files to it. After a few minutes, my laptop screen suddenly went black and all lights on the laptop went out. It would not re-boot. It was totally dead. I did not connect (in my head) that the external drive might have caused the failure. This drive still works on my work laptop, 2 work desk top units, and my desk top unit at home.

I took it back to Fry’s, and they exchanged it with an exactly same model. I was getting ready to save some files again to the external hard drive, and as soon as I plugged in the ac adapter, the new laptop went dead and will not re-boot. I connected this external drive to my work laptop again, and it works fine.

The documentation with my new laptop shows 4 USB ports, 1 on the left side, 1 on the rear, and 2 on the right side. All 4 have the little USB symbol next to them. The port that I connected my external drive to looks different than the other 3. The little black plastic piece that the 4 connector pins are mounted on has 4 holes facing out. The other 3 do not have these holes.

Before the laptop died, I had used a couple of different “Thumb” drives in it with no problem. Have any of you computer gurus out there encountered this problem or have any ideas?

I still have 14 days to return this one for an even exchange. Should I tell Fry’s about the external drive? Should I take it with me and let them check it?

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Joe
 

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First, I wolld not tell Fry's as it appears that an external device not supplied by Toshiba broke it, that may void the warranty.

I suspect that your external power supply and drive are putting too much voltage out into the USB port. Or the polarity could be reversed on the external power supply. See this URL and measure what you actually have on the external drive. http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml

The laptop may also have a poor design on it's usb ports with no isolation provided. Another possibility is a ground loop difference between the laptop and the external power supply if the laptop was plugged in when you did this.

Get it replaced and don't use the external drive.
 
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