I bought a USB external hard drive for my Dell 8400 PC. It didn’t work. It acted like it was working, but when I tried to save data to it it would just hang there. I was getting error messages like “Delayed write failed: Windows was unable to save all the data for the file…” and a few others I wished I’d written down but didn’t.
I finally figured out the problem (or at least the fix). My monitor has a USB hub built in to it. It was connected, even though I wasn’t using it. When I unplugged the hub, the drive started working properly.
It looks like my Dell 8400 is very finicky about what’s plugged into the USB ports. I’ve since tried a couple of USB devices, and those have caused problems with the external drive when I’ve tried to use them both at the same time.
Now that I’ve figured out the problem, the drive, a Western Digital My Book, has been working perfectly. It also looks cool sitting on my desk. The only niggle I have with it is that it occasionally clicks itself off after a period of sitting idle, presumable to save power or extend the drive life. When I want to access the drive again I have to wait for it to spin up. A minor annoyance, and I am otherwise very satisfied with this drive.