Several people have reported that their portable hard disk drives are not working. When they connect their hard drives to computer, these are not detected, or if detected, stop working after few minutes. The reason why this is happening could be that they are using USB extension cords to extend the actual cables of portable HDDs.
Now, the question is why does this happen with USB extension cable? The answer lies in the fact that attaching extension cord drops the voltage, resists the flowing current and therefore, makes the portable hard drive problematic. Extension cords are made from copper mostly. Copper is a good conductor but not a super conductor and has resistance also. Due to the resistance, direct current with low voltage does not flow long distance because much of its power is lost during the journey. The ultimate result is what people face using extension cable.
The only solution to this problem is stop using extension cable. Use the original data cable provided with portable hard drive without extending it as it is graded and especially designed to work flawlessly. I can understand the possible inconvenience caused by extremely small data cable of portable hard drive but it is the only way to secure your hard drive and your precious data stored inside it.
Another fix for the issue is that if you still have to use extension cable, then use smallest extension cable made from quality copper. This way, portable hard drive might work without making any trouble.
Portable hard drives made by Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba etc usually have small USB data cables. But I remember, Maxtor used to make portable hard drives with long data cables but those required two USB ports. In those cables, there were two sub cables. One sub cable was ‘Data cable’ and the other one was ‘Power cable’. Power cable helped to maintain the constant voltage in Data cable.