Hitachi SimpleTough 500 Gb Drive

As I started preparing for my trip to AZ, I decided to check my Hitachi SimpleTough 500 Gb drive that I bought back in August. And here, as they say, things got interesting. My laptop cowardly refuses to see the drive when i plug it in! LED is on, I can feel vibration, so the drive is getting power, but I cannot see it neither in USB “Safely Remove Hardware” window, nor in Disk Management utility. I also tried it on my Dell Precision workstation with exactly the same result.
SimpleTech’s Support site is not particularly useful. The FAQ section lists this useful blob:

1) I have the drive plugged in but I cannot find the drive in “My Computer”, why? The most likely cause would be not enough power provided by a single USB port on your computer. Unplug the portable drive from the cable and unplug the cable from the computer. Now, plug the cable into 2 USB ports directly on your computer. (If you have a desktop, you should plug the USB cable directly into the USB ports on the back of the computer. If this is a laptop, you should plug directly into a USB ports on the computer. Do not plug into a USB hub or docking station). Then plug the drive into the cable. In a few seconds you should see the drive listed in the “My Computer” window as a SimpleDrivePS.

Granted that there is no FAQ for SimpleTough drives (these come with USB cable permanently attached to the drive (photos later tonight), and adjusting for the difference in cables, we are still stuck with a recommendation to plug drive into 2(!) USB ports. One of my first portable USB drives (it was some generic brand) came with an adapter like that – there were two male USB connectors and one USB female. One of the male connectors was the main and second one was only pulling power. I bought that drive some time in 2006, and it died on me in a matter of year or so. I expected a little better from SimpleTech/Hitachi.

I’ve placed a support inquiry, so we’ll see what comes out of it.

The interesting thing about this particular drive is that there is a DC connector that is visible right underneath the rugged cable, though the drive itself does not come with a DC adapter (well it is a PORTABLE drive, right?). I can see support response being something along the lines of “you need to buy a DC adapter in RadioShack (support site even lists a particular model) and then it will work”. I don’t know about you or folks at SimpleTech, but to me, having an additional cable and/or dual USB cord with a portable drive really outweigh thebenefits of portability. I’ve bought this drive because i needed a portable drive that i would not be afraid of tossing around a little, when I’m on a run.

Photos and updates to follow.