Sorry, this is a long message. but I will try to describe the series of events that are involved in a problem.
Today I received the Plugable USB 3.0 PCI-E card and the Plugable SATA to USB 3.0 dock. I already had an ASUS U3S6 USB 3.0 card in the PC, which was working properly with USB 3.0 devices. In a previous pre-purchase correspondence I asked whether your card and the ASUS card could co-exist… One of your support guys tried putting two of your 3.0 cards in a system and that worked OK. He also researched the ASUS card and found that it uses the same chip set as the Plugable, so he thought the two cards probably would co-exist peacefully, and in fact I may not even need to load the Plugable driver.
I shut down the PC, pulled the power plug, and installed the new PCI-E card in a slot. I plugged a 2 TB USB 3.0 external drive into one of the ports on the new card (this self-powered drive had formerly been plugged into a USB 2.0 hub and was working correctly, although at USB 2.0 speed of course.) I powered up the system and after it booted (Win 7 64 bit), the 2 TB drive did not show up in Win Explorer and, in fact, Windows popped up a message that said the drive needs to be formatted. Rather than format a 2 TB drive nearly full of data, I installed the Plugable driver from the included mini-CD, hoping that would resolve that problem. The driver installed and showed it was updating the existing driver to a newer version. The update ended successfully and, as I recall, the system needed to be rebooted, so I did that.
When it rebooted back to Windows, the 2 TB USB 3.0 drive drive was still not shown in Win Explorer. I checked My Computer/Manage/Storage/Disk Management and found that the drive was listed, but as "1863 GB Unallocated. So Windows was seeing the drive (except in Win Explorer), but thought it was “unallocated”. Fearful that the data on the drive was gone, I shut the system down and took the drive to another PC and plugged it into a USB 2.0 port. As I feared, the drive did not show up in Win Explorer on that PC either, and just as on the other PC, My Computer/Manage/Storage/Disk Management showed it as “Unallocated”. It appears that the data on the drive has been corrupted or the partition has been damaged (or something).
It occurred to me that maybe this was a coincidence unrelated to the card, and that it was possible that somehow the data on the drive was damaged just from physically unplugging it from a hub and plugging it into the new card (unlikely, given that the system was powered down and the A/C plug had been disconnected). So I went back to the first PC and plugged a 1 GB USB 2.0 flash drive into the Plugable 3.0 card. It too failed to show up in Win Explorer but did show as “Unallocated” in Manage…, and when I ejected it, removed it from the Plugable card and put it back into a USB 2.0 hub, it still shows as Unallocated there too. So it appears that any drive I plug into the Plugable card ends up with a some type of corruption that causes Windows to think it is Unallocated.
To try to determine whether there is a conflict with having two USB 3.0 cards of different brands in the system, I shut the PC down and removed the ASUS card from its slot so that the only USB 3.0 card in the PC was the Plugable. That didn’t help. I booted back up and plugged another small USB flash drive into the Plugable card – it too ended up as “Unallocated”, even when I eject it from the Plugable card and put it into a USB 2.0 slot,
I also tried the Plugable 3.0 Dock:
I powered the system down, placed a 1 TB SATA drive into the Plugable USB 3.0 dock, connected the dock’s A/C power, and plugged the dock into the Plugable card, turned the dock on, and powered up the PC. The drive in the dock did not show up anywhere (My Computer/Manage…, Device Manager, or Win Explorer). I looked at your website directions for determining whether the dock needs the firmware update, but my Device Manager does not have the settings that it says to check.
So at this point, neither the card nor the dock work and, worse, it appears that I have lost 2 TB of data on the USB 3.0 external hard drive. The USB flash drives that are “Unallocated” didn’t contain any important data, so I can probably plug those into a USB 2.0 slot and format them – hopefully they will come back to life.
What do you suggest as the next step?