Elements works on USB 3.0 but not 2.0 - power problem?

I’m trying to troubleshoot a 2TB WD Elements drive that works when connected to a laptop via a USB 3.0 port, but only clicks intermittently and is not recognized when connected to a different laptop that is only equipped with USB 2.0 ports.

WD claims that the drive is backwards compatible for USB 2.0, but I’m trying to square that claim against this info, found elsewhere online: “USB 2.0 provided up to 500 mA whereas USB 3.0 provides up to 900 mA, allowing power hungry devices to now be bus powered.”

Does a bus-powered external drive like the WD Elements require the 900mA they refer to in that quote? If so, how is the drive backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 ports? I’m trying to use the drive with both computers.

Might be a dumb question, but are you using a USB2.0 cable? Or still using the USB3.0 cable that came with the drive?

Hi Tony, I’m using the same cable that came with the drive.

try a different cable … cables can go faulty/bad (have had it happen to a few of mine)

Testing mine (2TB Elements Portable and a USB Voltage/Amp Tester) playing 2 movies at the same time (4K & 1080p) it only measured approx around 300mA. (it sometimes dipped a bit below that and above. eg. 270mA in my photo below. Only saw it spike to around 370mA once or twice.)