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USB Mass Storage Device not "fully" connecting

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USB Mass Storage Device not "fully" connecting

Old 11-01-07, 03:59 PM
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USB Mass Storage Device not "fully" connecting

I have an external storage device (in this case, a Sony HDR-SR5 Handycam) that I'm attempting to connect to my PC so I can download my videos and burn DVDs. I've done this successfully since buying the HDR-SR5 in July, but cannot now. Here is a summry of what has happened/is happening...

I first saw this problem a few days ago when trying to connect the Handycam to the PC via the docking station (which had never been disconnected from the PC). When I attempted to start the Handycam SW, I got a message indicating that no camera was visible and asking me to check my connections and try again.

I disconnected the Handycam (via "Safely remove hardware"), and noticed when I did this that there was no drive letter associated with the Handycam. But I removed it, disconnected it, cycled power on the PC, reconnected the Handycam USB line, heard the PC chime like it does when it senses a new device being connected, and proceeded to experience the same symptoms.

When I open "My Computer", the Handycam hard drive does not appear.

I uninstalled the Handycam SW, and when I attempt to reinstall, it reaches the point where it needs to have the Handycam connected, but cannot see it, so it won't proceed any further. However, I have gone through the install process on a different PC (with no DVD burner) without a single hitch to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the Handycam itself.

So it appears that the connection is somehow incomplete, in that no drive letter is being assigned to the device and I am unable to access it. oh, I also opened a Computer Management window and selected Disk Management. It shows the device connected as drive "M:" (which does NOT appear under "My Computer" with a status of "Healthy". In Device Manager, it appears as expected (Sony Camcorder USB Device) and when I populate the Volumes tab, it shows it being on drive M:, Online, with a reasonable number for the Capacity.

Any thoughts/ideas?
Old 11-01-07, 04:41 PM
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Maybe a dumb question but have you tried a different USB port?
Old 11-01-07, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
Maybe a dumb question but have you tried a different USB port?
No, if you knew me, you'd know that isn't a dumb question! However, in this case, yes, I have tried a different USB port. I've also disconnected all other USB devices.

BUT... I have an update! After posting the original post, I was poking around some more, trying to figure out why the Device manager could see it as drive M: but the Handycam SW (as well as My Computer) couldn't seem to "see" it. So, in the Computer management window, I right-clicked on the drive (as I'd already done to view the Properties), and saw that one of the options was "Change Drive Letter and Paths...". I selected that, just for shits and grins, and changed the drive letter to "L:". Went back to My Computer, refreshed, and saw drive L:! Opened that drive,and saw the folders I expected to see for the Handycam. So I restarted the installation, and it is past the failure point from before, I suspect it is going to work fine.

This still doesn't explain why I was having this problem, and I suspect I'll have it again, but at least now I know of a way to workaround the issue until I can find a more permanent fix. I highly doubt that it was merely the drive letter that was the problem, there is most likely something done behind the scenes when you change drive letters that fixed whatever the problem was (at least for the time being).
Old 11-02-07, 03:47 AM
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Do you have any mapped drives on the system?
Old 11-02-07, 10:47 AM
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Good question, yes, I do, they are rarely used, but they are mapped. I just checked them, both are currently inaccessible, and one is mapped to the M: drive. Looks like I should figure out why they can't be reached, fix that, and retry connecting the camcorder. Do you think that the fact that the M: drive was mapped but inaccessible somehow caused Windows to think that the M: drive was available, try to assign it to the camcorder, but then fail due to a conflict somewhere along the way (but apparently beyond the point where it would acknowledge failure)?
Old 11-02-07, 12:06 PM
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If both the network drive and the cam were trying to use drive M: that would be your problem.
Old 11-02-07, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MrPink
If both the network drive and the cam were trying to use drive M: that would be your problem.
Oh, I agree! The question is... WHY did the cam try to use M:? I haven't checked what drive it has used in the past, but I would certainly expect it to be smart enough to find the first available drive (not require that M: be available for it to use). And I don't believe this is a cam issue, but a Windows issue. So if M: was already in use, but that network drive was unavailable, then why did Windows try to reuse it before I disconnected the existing (albeit inaccessible) mapping?
Old 11-02-07, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoveler
Oh, I agree! The question is... WHY did the cam try to use M:? I haven't checked what drive it has used in the past, but I would certainly expect it to be smart enough to find the first available drive (not require that M: be available for it to use). And I don't believe this is a cam issue, but a Windows issue. So if M: was already in use, but that network drive was unavailable, then why did Windows try to reuse it before I disconnected the existing (albeit inaccessible) mapping?
There's yer problem. I've seen this numerous times with flash drive trying to connect to mapped drives. You would think Windows would be smart enough to avoid this problem. But apparantly it isn't.
Old 11-02-07, 04:49 PM
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BTW, thanks to all who provided input and asked the right questions (to point me in the right direction), I feel like I have a better handle on the problem now.

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