How to configure the power output of a USB (extHDD not able to start, most often)?

I have a WD Blue MyPassport, 4TB. And whenever I connect it, its not able to spin up properly. Only a few times it starts and get detected as a devblock. Is there a power limit for output? Usually ext HDD require upto 15W burst to start and then go down to 1-3W, and I think the power output is not able to deliver it… I’m using USB-A port for testing.

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What bios/OS/port are you using? If you swap your USB-A card between ports on one side does it work?

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@Kieran_Levin I’m on BIOS 3.07, using VoidLinux (glibc), USB-A port on any side.

By the way it works perfectly fine with a usb-c to usb-a converter (tried with congo 3.2gen2) over the USB-C port, seems like it is some problem with the USB-A ports. I have 3 USB-A ports, none of them works 95% of time.

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If you don’t mind some more debugging, try the following on a port that is not working.

  1. If you reboot or power on your system, and unplug and replug the usb-a expansion card does your hard drive work?

  2. If you plug the hard drive into the USB-A card with the usb-A card disconnected from the laptop, and then plug the usb-A card into the laptop does it work?



  1. If I connect it in to the port in poweroff mode and later power-on the laptop, it gets detected! A few errors come up at boot time (about some cache thing? I have that drive in ntfs), but drive is recognized in dev block, can mount and do all operations.

  1. Yep that works too!
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Connected to USB-C slot by a congo type-c to typa-a adapter, connected the adapter first then the hdd, it works too.

Seems like USB-A expansion card has some limitations, it prevents current, when idling previously?

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Oh so I found a fix working on to get a fix for similar problem of wireless mouse (with a usb unifying receiver).

The solution was to just push it enough to make it sink power, wait 2s, let it get detected in lsblk, push it all the way back now.