I've been beating my head against a wall with a USB problem, and I'm hoping someone with more insight and technical chops than I have will see this and throw me a life preserver.
I used to use my personal laptop for both personal and work stuff. Then I got a new laptop computer at work. Carrying two laptops in my briefcase is silly, not to mention heavy, so I've been trying to move all the stuff from my personal laptop onto MojoPac
MojoPac is a technology that transforms your iPod or USB Hard Drive or Flash drive into a portable and private PC. Just install MojoPac on any USB 2.0 compliant storage device, upload your applications and files, modify your user settings and environment preferences, and take it with you everywhere.
Every time you plug your MojoPac-enabled device into any Windows XP PC , MojoPac automatically launches your environment on the host PC. Your communications, music, games, applications, and files are all local and accessible. And when you unplug the MojoPac device, no trace is left behind – your information is not cached on the host PC.
Great! I have an old laptop hard drive, I have a small USB enclosure for it, and now (I thought) with MojoPac I can carry my personal environment around in a small box without having to lug along a whole laptop. MojoPac is free, so I tried it and it worked just as advertised! The perfect
EXCEPT... except that I can't get the USB drive to function reliably. When I plug it in, XP usually recognizes the device, but the data remains inaccessible for one of several reasons. Sometimes the Disk Managment console shows the drive's partition as unallocated. Sometimes it shows it as an extended partition composed entirely of free space. Sometimes it shows the partition but doesn't recognize it as NTFS (it says it's RAW?). And this is all subject to change based on a bizarre dance of unplugging, re-plugging, deleting entries from the device manager, warm reboots and cold reboots.
I've reformatted and repartioned this drive a couple of times already (and spent the hours it takes to copy over all the documents and settings from the laptop.) It always works great... at first. Even now, if I work at it long enough, I can almost always get the drive to come up and be recognized. But it takes a lot of time, and there's no repeatable pattern I can see that causes it to happen. If I have to spend my whole commute just trying to get the drive to come up, it kind of defeats the purpose of the whole setup. "Plug-and-play" isn't supposed to be this much work!
The thing that drives me crazy is that I can see XP is doing SOMETHING to the drive, even when it fails to come up. The boot sequence pauses while the drive light flashes irregularly. I can hear the drive working, sometimes for minutes at a time. But there's no indication of what's going on behind the scenes, nothing I can look at to give me an idea of where the problem lies. Nothing shows up in the Event log, other than an occasional "could not read the disk" message, and even that isn't consistent.
When I plug the drive directly into a desktop machine via IDE, there are no issues. I've run SMART diagnostics on it and it comes up OK. So I'm fairly sure it's not a bad drive.
If anyone knows of any tools or resources that I could use to troubleshoot this problem, I'd be very appreciative. I've tried everything I can think of based on what I could find through Google, including adding an external power adapter to the drive. Is there some way to see a log of USB activity? Does Disk Managment report out its inner workings anywhere other than the event log?
I've hit the limits of my limited expertise in these matters. This has be driving me bats for weeks, and I don't need any more gray hairs!