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Am I crazy….

Or did all USB cables once have identical ends? And since they all used to be that way, I should have a dozen around the house now, the way I still have serial and parallel cords all neatly coiled and packed away in the basement, right?

Wrong.

In our ongoing attempts to backup data (which includes huge art files now) we got a 2TB drive that was supposed to hook right into the network…hardwired to the router. This was to be our ongoing backup for all file types with the TB drives being relegated to specific archive files (one for art, one for photos and scans, one for movies…this kind of thing. Well…I hooked it up as per instructions, and in order to use it within the network, you have to install a bunch of software…which hung up when it tried to connect to their fancy online service. Not only that, the expletive deleted thing usurped MY LAPTOP’S IP address and bumped the desktop computer’s internal DVD drive right out of Windows Explorer! This is NOT my idea of being a nice useful member of a network!

When the connection failed, the error msg said, call the help people. But there’s no phone number or any other contact information anywhere in the very scanty paperwork and nothing you can get on the DVD that came with the useless software. So…I said screw it. I just want it as a drive to copy stuff to anyway, and there’s this nice USB connection in the back of the unit. Surely you can just connect it via USB to the computer like every other external HDD, right?

This would be fine…if they’d given me a USB cable…which they didn’t. And I’ve been all over this house looking for one of the old USB cables with identical ends, and I can’t find a one. They’re all the small or mini connection on one end. I know I should have a dozen of the old standards, but I can’t find a single one!

I’m so frustrated! And angry that they didn’t include a cable with the drive. They included the network cable…but not a USB. I really object to having to buy an additional piece of equipment because their fancy software is a piece of doggie doodoo.

Sorry…had to rant. Been a frustrating day…

11 comments to Am I crazy….

  • WOL

    I’m reminded of the R.E.M. song, “Losing my religion.” (Southern American “euphemism” for a good ol’ cussing out) — Seems like nothing can get you into such a state quicker than dealing with computer equipment. When I start monkeying with the computer equipment, my kitties leave the room — they know sooner or later, mommy will speed shift from “low dudgeon” straight into “high dudgeon” and will start using those naughty words again!

  • pholy

    Not crazy — but not correct either. The original USB cable from a device (slave) to a computer (master) had a quarter inch square plug (B end) to go into the device and a half by eighth inch rectangular end (A end) to go into the computer. You can’t (usually) connect a master to another master; only recently have some things been able to switch from mastr to slave or vice versa. If your hard drive only has the rectangular socket, it is for plugging in USB memory sticks to copy to the drive. My DLink DNS-323 is like that – a fairly useless feature, in my opinion. I do have another unit that can connect by USB or network, it has the little square socket.
    For pictures of the various ends see the Wikipedia USB article under Physical Appearance.
    I know this doesn’t solve your problem, but now you know you aren’t crazy.
    What kind of storage unit do you have? Maybe someone here knows how to fix it?

    • I think I finally got it working properly in the network. It’s a Seagate At Home, something or other. It comes with a bunch of extraneous software trying to sell you online backup that you have to install in order to get to the software that makes it talk on the house network. Once I finally figured out what it was trying to do, I just wiped everything and started over and got it to work…making sure all other computers were alive and actively hanging onto their IP addresses, but the documentation sucked…big time.

      I also got a nice little USB cable with like 8 different ends you can stick onto it, so whatever I need, I should have….

      Of course the mini 5 pin doesn’t fit into the Wacom board like I hoped…sigh. The connection is right but the housing is too wide to accommodate what I call the “standard” USB male connector.

      Wheee…I’m tired. Nouns are eluding me.

  • Sounds normal. Let me see. We have about 10 Terabytes of USB drives floating around the house. We have a kid that does videos, another that is a professional photographer. I do a fair bit of audio recording. And of course there’s all the writing.

    All of this has to be backed up. Some of it is backed up off site. Whenever someone goes to visit my wife’s mother, they take along a back up drive, and bring back the one at Mom’s place (Mom lives 6 hours away by car, so using her house as a backup is pretty safe).

    But yes, USB cables are a curse.

    Glad to hear you are better.

    Wayne

  • xheralt

    pholy sounds like s/he’s on to something. Which means the network drive’s woes have to be addressed from a network standpoint.

    The local DCHP server (in this case, your home router) shouldn’t be handing the same IP address (in the range 192.168.*.* I presume?). You may need to go thru a process of turning all network devices (computers, printers, new HD) completely off, cycle power on the router (which may be your cable/dsl modem), then restart the computers, net HD, etc. one at a time. This typically straightens out mixed-up DCHP assignments. If not, you may need to find a computer tech to manually configure the IP’s being assigned.

    The HD has a manufacturer, right? Have you tried searching for the company’s web page?

    • What I did was start all over (when I had more functional brain cells) and make certain all the computers and various networked devices (printer, TV, Tivo, BluRay…) were all on and actively hanging onto their ISP addresses. I didn’t actually read the Seagate troubleshooting info (I would have had this not worked) but when I saw that all the complaints about the drive were about the network finding it and hanging onto it, I thought this might solve it. There’s something very hamhanded about the software that comes with the drive that talks to the router. Don’t know the details, but I think Seagate didn’t do themselves any favor matching themselves up with this Memeo (I think that’s the software provider.) So far, this seems to have worked. If I have any more problems, I’ll wade through their troubleshooter.

  • xheralt

    Also, with M$’s “Map Network Drive” option, you can specify which letter you want it to be known by. Most net gurus pick something in the latter half of the alphabet, say, S: or T: That should clear up contention for the DVD’s drive letter.

  • Very late, sorry! I recently wanted to copy files from a laptop to a desktop that aren’t networked. I didn’t want to copy the files to a USB drive (why should I?) so I traipsed off to OfficeDespot to find the right sort of USB cable that had the same wide connection on both ends. Even the 5-types-one didn’t include what I wanted.

    I finally found a XP-to-Vista upgrade kit. I took a chance that it would work between 2 64-bit Win7 machines. There’s some relatively unobtrusive software, and I had to re-start the software to get the correct order, but I got it working.

    • Ah…the things we do to fool these machines into behaving! Thanks…putting this into the grab bag of future options. I actually got the thing to work properly on the network, tho I admit I haven’t actually DONE anything with it yet! 😀

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