The Second Version


Fixing Toshiba Canvio Connect External HDD

A very specific post on a problem that I faced and resolved yesterday. It appears to be quite common, so I hope this can be useful for others out there.

I bought a Toshiba Canvio Conenct 1TB to store movies and watch them on a TV with USB port, but at first the drive was unusable: it kept disconnecting every 10 min or so and needed to be unplugged and replugged to resume working.

A brief internet search gave interesting results: the drive is factory-configured to enter either standby or spin-down mode after a little while (I tend to think it's standby in fact), and that causes the TV to lose connection ot the disk.

So I connected the Canvio to my Ubuntu machine and did as suggested in the Toshiba forum:

   sudo hdparm -B /dev/

But in fact this only returned an error message ("Invalid exchange") and only basic information on the drive; I could not see what power management mode was factory-set for the drive.

Undeterred, I tried :

   sudo hdparm -B 254 /dev/

But I got the same error message as before. So I switched to Root user, drive still connected, and hdparm worked as it should, showing me that the power management was indeed in mode 254 (where 255 is disabled).

Yet, the disc still lost connection from the TV after 10 min. So I read more on the invaluable man page for hdparm and realized that the -S option can be used to set the standby time for the disk.

Directly from Root this time, I gave the command:

   hdparm -S 0 /dev//

to disable the standby/idle timeout. Yet all I got was again "Invalid exchange". Again undeterred, I ejected the drive from the laptop before unplugging, and I tried to watch some other stored movie: the disk kept spinning happily well past the 10 minutes mark.

Resolved? So it seems.

Update 24/04/14: The connection between Canvio and TV (an LG LED model) seems to be very dependent also on the USB cable. Use a quality one with firm connectors for best results.

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2 Commenti:

  • Hello,

    Is this command for Linux only, or can it be used on Windows? I was wondering if you could provide a complete step by step for me, my Toshiba sleeping is super frustrating and your solution seems as close as I have read to actually providing a real fix!

    Thanks for your help!

    Di Anonymous Anonimo, Alle 12/1/15 05:24  

  • I mentioned Ubuntu once or twice in the post and it should be clear that the commands are Unix ones.

    An equivalent utility for Windows can be found here:

    I cannot provide a step-by-step guide because I never used Windows to set HDD parameters, I do not know your system and in any case I do not want responsibility for loss of data that may occur.

    If you think your IT competence is below the task, build up your competence first or contact somebody more competent: setting HDD paramenters is not for noobs.

    But all the required info is out there on the Internet.

    Di Blogger Fabio, Alle 15/1/15 05:18  

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