A friend called me yesterday to help with her just-purchased My Passport Slim 1.0TB for her old Windows Vista machine. She had plugged it in, but it wasn’t being recognized, sort of.
When I came over, I repeated many of the steps she had already gone through. Wanting to use a third-party backup software, she had not installed the WD software, but had installed the SES driver. Still not recognized.
I could easily see the drive in Device Manager, which said that it was working properly, but neither My Computer, Windows Explorer, nor Disk Management could see it. We uninstalled and re-installed SES driver. All sorts of fiddling, Googling and looking at others with similar problems, all with no results.
Because the cord that came with the Passport was pretty short, she had plugged that cord into a USB extension cable, about three feet or so long, that plugged into her computer and had a female A plug on her desk. That extension cable worked fine with her two flash drives.
In desperation, we tried plugging the Passport directly into the computer instead of using the extension cable. The drive immediately showed up in Windows Explorer and My Computer. Everything was ok.
I’m a little puzzled about why there was a problem with the extension cable. The computer presumably had USB 2.0, but was made a time the nobody had ever heard of USB 3.0, and besides, USB 3.0 is famously backward-compatible. If the plug on the back of the computer presented a vanilla USB 2.0 interface to the world, then presumably the extension should present exactly the same. Maybe it was the additional length?
Anyway, I thought that I should post an account of our adventure in case someone else has the same problem.