03-19-2009 02:41 PM
My setup: I have a FreeAgent Go 500GB (black) USB portable drive. I use a Dell laptop running WinXP, and a home desktop also running WinXP. Both computers have USB 2.0 ports.
The Symptom: When I plug the FreeAgent Go drive (with the supplied USB cable) into my laptop computer, it works great. When I plug the FreeAgent Go drive (with the same supplied USB cable) into my desktop computer at home, it beeps or chirps every 10 seconds or so, and eventually it gives me a Windows error of "Write Delay Failure" and is not able to transfer files between the desktop hard drive and the FreeAgent Go drive. WinXP may also see the drive disappear.
The Cause: The desktop computer's USB port is not able to supply enough current to drive the FreeAgent Go drive, this causing the chirp or low-volume beep sound. Because of the lack of power supply current from the one USB port, it causes the FreeAgent Go drive to periodically shutdown and WinXP sees the drive disconnect from the system. The pulsating light on the FreeAgent Go drive still stays on, leading you to think that there is nothing wrong with the power supply.
The Fix: Buy the FreeAgent Go docking station for the desktop computer. The docking station is unusual in that it actually has 2 USB connectors on it. When you plug in the docking station, you use up 2 USB 2.0 ports. This allows the FreeAgent Go drive to draw more current from 2 USB ports.
My explanation/experience: I just bought my FreeAgent Go drive and plugged it into my laptop, using the FreeAgent Go drive's supplied USB cable; it worked great! But I noticed that once I plugged it into my desktop, using the same configuration, it started to chirp/beep (quietly, but noticeable) periodically. I didn't think anything of it until I tried to backup files from my desktop's hard drive. I got the "write delay failure" error from WinXP and could not figure out why it did that. I thought I had a bad drive. I reconnected it back to my laptop and again it worked great with no chirping/beeping.
After plugging it back into my desktop's USB 1.1 port (where it worked fine, but at the slow rate), and again back onto the desktop's USB 2.0 ports, I got WinXP to give me another critical error message that pointed to the problem - WinXP reported that one of my USB 2.0 ports (the same one where I plugged my FreeAgent Go drive into) had been turned off because of a current overdraw. WinXP allowed me to turn back on the USB 2.0 port. Once I saw this error message, I realized that the desktop USB 2.0 ports probably couldn't supply enough current for the FreeAgent Go drive to run its electronics, but was able to stay on.
I was fortunate in that when I bought my FreeAgent Go drive there was a promotion from Seagate that gave away the docking station and carrying case for free if you buy the FreeAgent Go black 500GB drive. I had noticed that the FreeAgent Go 500 GB drive instructions state that when you plug it into a desktop that you need the optional docking station, but that you can plug it into the laptop computer directly using the supplied USB cable. The FreeAgent Go drive docking station has 2 USB connectors that require 2 USB 2.0 ports on the desktop. This was unusual, but having 2 USB connectors does allow the drive to draw current from 2 USB ports more easily than one. As near as i can explain it, I think that laptop's USB 2.0 ports must supply enough current for the FreeAgent Go drive to operate with no issues. Desktop USB 2.0 ports must not be designed to supply the same amount of current and therefore Seagate designed the docking station to have 2 USB ports so that the proper amount of current can be drawn from the desktop computer. One would think that desktop computers would have more than enough current than laptops.
Anyhow, once I connected the FreeAgent Go drive docking station to the desktop computer and plugged my FreeAgent Go drive into it, it's worked perfectly ever since at USB 2.0 speeds, with no chirping/beeping. I was able to backup over 300 GB of data from my desktop hard drive to the FreeAgent Go drive without any issues, and still plug my FreeAgent Go drive into my laptop with the originally supplied USB cable. I can't explain why the USB 2.0 ports differ between the desktop and laptops. Perhaps one of you can add to this discussion if you know the technical differences.
I think that the reason why most FreeAgent Go drive customers are seeing this issue is that the docking station is an option and choose not to buy it. It stands to reason, and as intuition, that the FreeAgent Go USB drive should work on any USB 2.0 port regardless if it's a desktop or a laptop.
Hope this helps all of you who've been seeing this issue,
03-25-2009 08:57 PM
I have a brand new 250GB FA Go, and was seeing the same kind of problem. When I attached the Seagate drive using the cable from a WD portable drive, the problems stopped.
Obviously all cables are not equal.