External HD connected via USB A disconnects when writing [FW 13, AMD, Windows 11]

I have a Western Digital ‘My Passport’ External 1TB hard drive (not SSD) connected via a USB A expansion card on port 2 (left side USB 3.2 port).
The drive connects with no problems, and can write small amounts of data. But when I try to begin writing a backup, or using Crystal Disk Mark, after about 10 seconds the drive disappears from “This PC” and the operations fails.
I tried connecting the same USB A expansion card into port 1 (left side, USB 4 port) and it had no problems, I was able to run a full computer backup when connected in this way.
I was also successful in using the drive with another desktop PC and a macbook pro, so it seems the drive is in good shape.

Reading reddit it seems this may be a power issue - either the laptop is cutting power after some duration of copying, or this port simply can’t source enough power for the hard drive.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is the USB 3.2 simply not rated for external drives?

  • OS: Windows 11 pro, 23H2, 22631.3007
  • Framework 13, AMD Ryzen 7 7840U

Yes, this is a problem with some Framework laptops. They have trouble initiating and/or maintaining USB 3 speed connections. Even Framework’s own 1 TB expansion card has problems with disconnects.

USB 2 seems to work fine, though. One way to test if this is the case for you is to use a USB 2 speed cable to connect your drive to the problematic port. Or with USB-A you can try plugging the cable in halfway until the drive appears. This enables a USB 2 speed connection.

I now use a powered USB-C hub to maintain stable USB 3 connections.

Other references:





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Thanks for the tips and the links. I see you’ve been around this topic for a while.

I’ll open a support ticket. Definitely seems like a power draw issue.

Here is my debugging so far, when plugging the Western Digital external hard drive using the same USB A expansion card into the following ports:

Port 1 (USB 4)

  • success. No problems running crystal disk mark.

Port 2 (USB 3.2)

  • disconnects when writing significant data (running backup or running crystal disk mark)
  • works when plugged halfway at slower speeds (runs crystal disk mark)

Port 3 (USB 4)

  • Like port 2, success. No problems running crystal disk mark.

Port 4 (USB 3.2)

  • constantly disconnects and reconnects, without a chance to read or write data
  • Like Port 2, works when plugged halfway at slower speeds (runs crystal disk mark)
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