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Flaky usb3.0 from cable length?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I have a sabertooth z77 in Raven rv03 case. I am trying to connect Western Digital usb3.0 drive to front ports. The front ports of the RV03 are the USB passthrough type that look like a typical port and will not connect to motherboard header. I have tried several internal adapters, but have ran into an oddball issue. I tested the scenarios below which leads me to think cable length may be the issue.

For these scenarios, everything works fine, chkdsk reads correctly

If I try Drive -> Y adapter -> internal motherboard header or
If I try Drive -> front panel connector -> rear motherboard port

everything works fine and I get this output from CHKDSK:

Windows is verifying files and folders...
Volume label is My Passport.
File and folder verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

976711680 KB total disk space.
181078784 KB in 99058 files.
1628416 KB in 6361 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
768 KB in use by the system.
794003712 KB available on disk.

262144 bytes in each allocation unit.
3815280 total allocation units on disk.
3101577 allocation units available on disk.


If I try Drive -> front panel connector -> Y adapter -> motherboard, the drive flakes out and is "redetected" over and over again (as if it is being unplugged and plugged back in over and over)

Also CHKDSK gives this output

C:\Users\Raven>chkdsk e:
The type of the file system is RAW.
CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.

The only thing I can guess is there is signal degradation from cable length or some such going on. I don't understand that, however because according to this, length should be good for 3 meters and the setup that isn't working is only 3 feet.

http://www.everythingusb.com/superspeed-usb.html

These are the 3 Y adapters I have tried

Current one- symptoms above, 2ft long
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0076SZL8K/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

Second one- I detached bracket and just used cable. One port worked fine, other kept giving "drive needs format" error. The release notes for newest intel chipset mentions this error so I am thinking about trying this one again. (It's probably 17" long, didn't measure)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006TAEH7W/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

First one- too short at about 8". I couldn't try it
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NGGKPU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i05

Has anybody ran into anything like this before? I am leaning toward trying the second adapter again. From rough measuring looks like I need one from 12-15". Any suggestions?
Raven 2012
(16 items)
 
BigHeavy 2009
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770k (4.6ghz) Asus Sabertooth z77 Galaxy GTX680 4GB SLI 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
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Raven 2012
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BigHeavy 2009
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post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
Updates:

I still have not found resolution for this.

I ordered a USB3 flash drive as well as a couple additional Y adapters and did some more tests.

I no longer think cable length is the issue. Additional testing has me now thinking the problem is incompatibility with the internal motherboard header and My Passport external drive. (Not enough power perhaps?)

My reasoning.

1.) Multiple Y adapters have the same problem - length doesn't seem to matter and usb3 spec is supposed to be good for 3 meters. Longest run tested has been maybe 1.5m

2.) USB3.0 flash drive works fine in every scenario - This rules out software and all hardware but external drive.

3.) New My Passport drive has same issue - new drive with new cable has same issue. Not to mention both drives work fine when connected directly to rear port.

I have ordered a powered usb3 hub to see if that gets me anywhere (figure I'll probably need one eventually anyway). I have also ordered a 1TB Seagate external to see if it has the same problem. I have preferred WD for a long time, but this whole thing has been a big enough head ache to try something different.

It is looking like the best solution may just be to connect the front panel cables straight to motherboard rear ports and just ignore the internal header altogether. It sucks to "lose" two additional ports, but they are not a necessity at this point. I just hate paying for features that don't work. This option would certainly be less of a headache.
Raven 2012
(16 items)
 
BigHeavy 2009
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770k (4.6ghz) Asus Sabertooth z77 Galaxy GTX680 4GB SLI 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
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Samsung 840 PRO 256GB Western Digital Black 1TB ASUS DVD-RW Tuniq Extreme 120 with Gelid blue fan 
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Raven 2012
(16 items)
 
BigHeavy 2009
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770k (4.6ghz) Asus Sabertooth z77 Galaxy GTX680 4GB SLI 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 840 PRO 256GB Western Digital Black 1TB ASUS DVD-RW Tuniq Extreme 120 with Gelid blue fan 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
And final updates:

Seagate external drive has same issues as Western Digital

USB3 powered hub didn't help at all.

However, both drive, and hub work fine on "rear" usb3 ports.

With all of the above in mind, the only possibilities left I can think of are:

Defective motherboard / header - seems unlikely since usb2.0 works fine, usb3.0 flash drive works fine.

or

USB3.0 internal header on Sabertooth z77 motherboard is not compatible with USB powered external HDD (and testing with powered hub indicates it's not compatible with powered usb3.0 drive either). This is what I believe. So much time wasted.

So solution is to just ignore the internal header- plugging front panel cables into rear port resolved all issues, so I'll just do that and use the usb3.0 hub if I need to.

I understand this isn't a solution so much as an explanation of every possible test failing, but maybe it will save someone time later on.

Regards,
Chris
Raven 2012
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BigHeavy 2009
(10 items)
 
 
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OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Overlord x270oc Logitech G510 Seasonic Platinum 1000w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone Raven RV03 Logitech G600 Logitech g440 Sound Blaster ZXR 
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Raven 2012
(16 items)
 
BigHeavy 2009
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770k (4.6ghz) Asus Sabertooth z77 Galaxy GTX680 4GB SLI 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 840 PRO 256GB Western Digital Black 1TB ASUS DVD-RW Tuniq Extreme 120 with Gelid blue fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Overlord x270oc Logitech G510 Seasonic Platinum 1000w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone Raven RV03 Logitech G600 Logitech g440 Sound Blaster ZXR 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7-920 (oc 3.5ghz) Asus P6T V2 EVGA GTX580 SC (SLI) 12GB Corsair Dominator (2Gb x 6) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial M4 256GB + Western Digital Black 750GB DVD-RW x2 Windows 7 pro Samsung SyncMaster XL 2370 
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post #4 of 5
My first thought when I read this thread - bad USB3 controller firmware?

But then I looked up your board and discovered the internal ports are Intel ones, and the backpanel ports (which are working) are the flashable Asmedia ones.

http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/SABERTOOTH_Z77/#specifications

I had some odd performance issues with my USB3 ports. I ended up flashing the controller's firmware. You could still try it if you want, but it sounds like the Asmedia ports are the ones that are actually working. Even so, flashing them improved my USB3 performance, so it's unlikely to hurt yours. smile.gif

http://www.overclock.net/t/1275701/usb-3-0-drive-disappears-upon-restart/0_100#post_17587996
http://www.overclock.net/t/1275701/usb-3-0-drive-disappears-upon-restart/0_100#post_17588509
http://www.overclock.net/t/1275701/usb-3-0-drive-disappears-upon-restart/0_100#post_17588723
     
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

My first thought when I read this thread - bad USB3 controller firmware?
But then I looked up your board and discovered the internal ports are Intel ones, and the backpanel ports (which are working) are the flashable Asmedia ones.
http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/SABERTOOTH_Z77/#specifications
I had some odd performance issues with my USB3 ports. I ended up flashing the controller's firmware. You could still try it if you want, but it sounds like the Asmedia ports are the ones that are actually working. Even so, flashing them improved my USB3 performance, so it's unlikely to hurt yours. smile.gif
http://www.overclock.net/t/1275701/usb-3-0-drive-disappears-upon-restart/0_100#post_17587996
http://www.overclock.net/t/1275701/usb-3-0-drive-disappears-upon-restart/0_100#post_17588509
http://www.overclock.net/t/1275701/usb-3-0-drive-disappears-upon-restart/0_100#post_17588723

Kramy, I thought it might be bad usb3 chip as well- except for this from the specifications:

Intel® Z77 chipset : *6
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

2 of the rear ports are on the intel controller and the other 2 rear ports are asmedia. I have confirmed this by looking at device by connection in device manager using the usb3 flash drive which works fine. I have tested external HDD on all 4 of these rear ports, and it works fine on all of them.

The problem only happens when I try to use USB3 external HDD on the "2 at mid-board".

Also I installed latest driver for both asmedia and intel usb3 controller as one of my many troubleshooting steps above.

The only conclusion I can make is ASUS dropped the ball on something to do with the internal header or mine has some very obscure defect that causes it to malfunction only with external HDD and only some of the time.

The only step left I can think of would be an RMA of the motherboard, and there is no real evidence to support that would fix anything (other than the fact it is the only piece that hasn't been replaced). I honestly wouldn't be surprised if new one had similar issues. I'm at the point now where way to much time and effort have been wasted trying to fix this as is. The workaround is to just not use the internal header. I don't have an explicit need for them anyway and now have a usb3 hub if such a need ever arose.

Part of me wants to RMA motherboard anyway "just to see", I hate having something not working right on a brand new build. In a world of limited resources, sometimes it's best to just throw in the towel. Thanks for trying smile.gif
Raven 2012
(16 items)
 
BigHeavy 2009
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770k (4.6ghz) Asus Sabertooth z77 Galaxy GTX680 4GB SLI 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 840 PRO 256GB Western Digital Black 1TB ASUS DVD-RW Tuniq Extreme 120 with Gelid blue fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Overlord x270oc Logitech G510 Seasonic Platinum 1000w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone Raven RV03 Logitech G600 Logitech g440 Sound Blaster ZXR 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7-920 (oc 3.5ghz) Asus P6T V2 EVGA GTX580 SC (SLI) 12GB Corsair Dominator (2Gb x 6) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial M4 256GB + Western Digital Black 750GB DVD-RW x2 Windows 7 pro Samsung SyncMaster XL 2370 
PowerCase
Silverstone Strider 850watt CM HAF 932 
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Raven 2012
(16 items)
 
BigHeavy 2009
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770k (4.6ghz) Asus Sabertooth z77 Galaxy GTX680 4GB SLI 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 840 PRO 256GB Western Digital Black 1TB ASUS DVD-RW Tuniq Extreme 120 with Gelid blue fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Overlord x270oc Logitech G510 Seasonic Platinum 1000w 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone Raven RV03 Logitech G600 Logitech g440 Sound Blaster ZXR 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7-920 (oc 3.5ghz) Asus P6T V2 EVGA GTX580 SC (SLI) 12GB Corsair Dominator (2Gb x 6) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial M4 256GB + Western Digital Black 750GB DVD-RW x2 Windows 7 pro Samsung SyncMaster XL 2370 
PowerCase
Silverstone Strider 850watt CM HAF 932 
  hide details  
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