USB Devices Randomly Connect and Disconnect on Dell XPS 8500


Desktop computer Hardware and Software discussion

USB Devices Randomly Connect and Disconnect on Dell XPS 8500

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Earlier this month I had a 3TB Seagate GoFlex external drive die during a backup.  I was unable to recover any of the data on the drive.  However, I was able to restore data from a 3 week old backup onto a 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Desktop external drive.  However, the brand new 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Desktop external drive is randomly disconnecting and reconnecting itself to the computer.

The drive will work fine at first but then after around 30 minutes to 2 hours I hear a sound as if a new USB device is being connected.  I see this in the taskbar at the bottom also.  Anything I was viewing that runs off of the external hard drive such as a video will stop and the drive will come back on as recognized.  I don't think I'll be able to complete a backup because it usually takes at least 5 hours and if it gets interrupted like that, the backup will fail.

I have tried connecting the external drive to multiple USB 3.0 ports and they all result in the random disconnect/reconnect issue.  I also multiple USB 3.0 cords and different AC adapters to no avail.  I also tried a new 3 TB Seagate Backup Plus drive.  I managed to copy all of the data from the 4TB drive onto a brand new 3TB drive and thought that things would be fine.  In less than a day later, the new 3TB is experiencing the random disconnect/reconnect issue as well.

I have tried troubleshooting with Seagate Dashboard and SeaTools for Windows.  They report that the external drives are both in working condition.  I do not know what to do at this point.  I'm not sure if it's an issue with my Dell XPS 8500 or what.  I just never had this issue until my previous 3TB external drive died (it worked for over 6 months without any issues) during a backup.  I cannot have hard drives randomly disconnecting and reconnecting because I will not be able to do a full backup.  Please let me know what to do to resolve this issue.

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  • I have exactly the same problem on an XPS One 2710 Touch with Windows 8 Pro. Tech support has been of no help-their answer was to re install the operating system. That didn't help and neither did upgrading to Windows 8.1 Pro. I have tried updating USB drivers but nothing seems to work. I did find that if I use Device Manager to disable the device and the related USB controller, relocate the cable to a different USB port  and then enable the controller--the drive will come back on-line. Is there a fix for this problem?

  • Have you checked the Power Management tab for the USB root hubs to make sure the box "Allow PC to turn off this device..." is NOT checked?

    Disconnect all USB devices, except mouse and keyboard. Then open Device Manager and expand list under USB. Double-click a root hub and then click its Power Management tab. Uncheck that box, click OK back to main Device Manager screen and repeat for all root hubs, and then reboot. See if that solves the problem.

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  


    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • I have the same problem with Windows 8.1  External Seagate drive.  The Intel 3.0 ports are using a Microsoft driver.  There were no USB 3.0 bus drivers for Windows 8 released by Intel.  I unchecked the power management box in device manager.  I made sure there were no power options that could also cause this.  My external drive still randomly reconnects after 20 minutes to 2 hours.  I only have a problem on the front 3.0 USB ports.  I have to resort to plugging it in to my USB 2.0 rear ports. 


    I think the problem is with the Microsoft 3.0 USB driver.  I have uninstalled and reinstalled the driver already as well as instructed by Seagate.

  • I too am having this issue with my new (this month) Dell One 2330 (all-in-one). My Seagate expansion drive will be usable when I boot up, but after a while it loses the connection. If I unplug-replug, I get a message saying the USB device cannot be recognized or has malfunctioned. It works fine at the next boot though.

    I thought it might be a sleep/power issue. I unchecked the option "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power", for each USB Root Hub in Device Manager. I also one one power-related option in BIOS setup, which I also disabled. HOWEVER, I've set the system to never sleep when idle (only dim the display), and the problem still happens.

    The other devices I have plugged into USB 3.0 ports (scanner, printer, mouse/keyboard) do not exhibit this problem. The scanner is only powered up when needed, but the printer and mouse/keyboard are always on.

    As far as I can tell, I have the most recent drivers for the Seagate drive and USB ports. Running Windows 8.1 now, but had the same behavior with 8.0.

    Any advice appreciated!

  • I'm having the exact same problems described above with my xps 8500 usb 3.0 ports and my seagate backup plus 4TB external drive. Looking for advice...

  • This is not the easiest thing to do but it's not the hardest and it works (for me).

    The instructions are pretty straight-forward.  I followed the steps and edited the registry as directed.  I no longer have spinning down drives.

    I hope it works for everyone on here too!


    BTW: All of those posts that talk about checking Power Management settings did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Basically any option you come across anywhere that LOOKS like it would either control or affect this behavior: IT DOESN'T.  Well, at least not in anything that I tried to do. Smile

  • Sorry for the delay in responding, life got in the way. Anyhow, this resolved my problem. Yesterday I did a Dell update to the chip set and my external drive dropped off-line today. I went back and check and one of the hubs had been reset to "Allow PC to turn..." I made the change and the problem has been solved one again.

    Many thanks,