External drive not found in Windows 10

I had a USB hub fail yesterday. The 3 external drives connected through the hub all disappeared from my system. I almost went into panic mode when I moved the external drives’ cables to a new USB hub and they were still were not working. However, I knew some keys to the process.

tl;dr: Restart has benefits that shut down/power up do not. Make one change at a time.

In Windows, the process of moving a drive from one USB port to another can be fraught. I have seen this problem in the past. I don’t know the exact reason Windows has this behavior.

When the hardware configuration changes, the naïve way of just unplugging the drive from one port and installing the cable in another doesn’t always work. When there is a problem, Device Manager might show the drive, but it could have a error flag. [See below for an easy way to launch Device Manager.]

Before pulling out the heavy guns on the problem, it might be that some simple steps are enough. Some actions unlikely to succeed:

  • Device manager’s driver uninstall.
  • External hardware manager software.
  • Registry changes
  • Disk management changes
  • For emphasis, making changes in Device Manager, even if you see errors there
  • Modifying BIOS settings

Some of these are suggested as the first line of defense, but I’ve found them unhelpful when USB drives are not recognized.

Device Manager can show your progress but you do not need to make any manual changes there. Especially true: Online help that says you should download and install special tools shouldn’t be trusted.

The two keys are

  • “Shut down/power up” is not always equivalent to “Restart” when it comes to USB devices.
  • Only make one change at a time.

Shut down/power up is safe but sometimes a restart is still needed.

The steps I took to successfully transfer the drive is as follows. It’s wiser to disconnect/reconnect while the power is off, but Restart is still needed after the power is turned on.

  1. Power down and unplug the drive from their old ports.
  2. Power up and Restart the system
  3. power down and put the drive’s cable into its new USB port
  4. power up and restart the system again.

At this point the device manager showed the external drives under the “Disk drive” category.

I was disappointed that, at first, Windows didn’t show the drives in Explorer and Device Manager didn’t show any errors. To fix this didn’t require any extra magic steps. I did an extra restart and shut down the system and turned off the power strip. I did not change anything in administrative tools nor device manager.

My point in this description is to explain that the error when I moved a drive from one USB port to another required some extra steps but no wizards hat.

A similar problem can happen when you move a USB hub from one USB port to another. That also requires multiple reboots. You just make each change one at time.

Fortunately, changing usually works without any trouble. Unfortunately, when you do have trouble, many online help sites give identical suggestions that don’t work. The pedestrian steps of change, restart, change, restart can be enough.


To launch Device manager in windows 10, just go to search in the taskbar and type Device Manager. You can also search in the configuration tool (the gear in the start menu). You don’t need to remember the name of the tool’s file any more.

Left handed

Green coffee cup
A couple of months ago, I started doing journaling with my left hand. Before bed, I would write one page with my right hand and the reverse with my left. I’m not ambidextrous. I was wondering whether it would access a different part of my brain. I can’t prove that one way or the other. However, because it made me write more slowly, it made changes, if only because of that.

Last week, I got the clever idea of writing the journaling alternating hands. Write one word with the right, the next with the left, then with the right and so on. This style I can definitely tell that it’s different.

I have more of an idea of the whole sentence and things tend to flow together better. I also used the technique to write a poem and it came out so that it didn’t need so much editing. (Often when I write a poem, I take a long time editing and reediting which is tedious.

My left hand isn’t as legible as my right, although it’s getting better. My right hand’s writing isn’t that legible to begin with. lol

House version 2.0

For several months, my bedroom was a shambles. I had hired someone to rip out the plaster and replace it with drywall. Unfortunately, he wasn’t qualified and left the place a mess. He had planned to do more work to finish it, but the quality wasn’t satisfactory. My bedroom was on standby as I slept in my living room for several months.

I was hospitalized in March for 10 days. Mom and dad made the room livable again. However, mom was operating under the direction “do not throw anything away” while also not knowing what different things were for or how to organize them.

She did her best, but one person’s organization can be another person’s chaos. I’m rearranging things in a big way–my vision is that it will be better than the original ever could be.

I’ve got various goals. One is to turn the house into a refuge from the storm for people needing help. I’ve already failed at having people stay with me, so that’s not an option. However, housing is not the only refuge people might need.

I’m hoping the living room can become a party room. While a typical party has loud music and posing, I’m hoping for the opportunity for small groups of people to share something unique. The current kitchen might double a room for people to meet in private.

The bedroom and office are in flux. On one hand, I’d like the current bedroom to be an office. I’ve got a map, but it would be cramped and the current computer room would become a bedroom and library. That’s a middle term goal while my primary goal is to close down my storage unit which costs about $40 per month. I’d also like to create a place for producing music and videos.

The expensive goals are to fix the plumbing, electrical outlets and lighting. This month I need to get a lot of quotes on the many different sub-projects.

I have big hopes and am looking forward to getting stability in what is currently very shaky. I’m tending toward having a tent theme to the house where the rooms will not be divided by modern plaster. I’d rather have a form that harks back to humanity’s experience as wanderers in a big world. Our world is hard to understand. Making something simple seems worthwhile.

Drug: a definition

a. Something that has been purified.

b. Something that causes a characteristic change in an organism.

or c. Something that is chosen because it might cause a characteristic change.


Once a drug has been identified, there are some questions to ask:

  • What are its side effects?
  • How small of an amount can have an effect?
  • Does it interact with anything else?
  • Does chronic use of it cause problems? At what levels? What problems?
  • Does its usage affect other organisms?
  • What do you need to do to stop using it safely?
  • Can it cause acute harmful effects? At what levels? What effects?

A key point of this definition is that it does not specify that a drug must be a substance. Also a drug is defined by the change, not by its design.

I’ll come back to this definition once in a while to show how it can be a useful frame to think about important issues.

Trust Covers Fear

Like in the rock-paper-scissors game, there are three positive attitudes that can conquer three common negative ones. Just as paper covers rock, the positive attitudes are capable of destroying the negative. I thought I’m calling the 3 negative ones the terrestrial trio and the three positive ones the celestial triad.

So, Fear is the first in terrestrial trio and it can be covered by the celestial triad principle of Trust.

Fear is a basic human reaction to danger. It keeps us safe and it is very sensitive… You don’t want the rustling brush to be hiding a saber-tooth tiger. So, to play it safe, humans are really good at finding things to fear. Saber-tooth tiger crouching

Unfortunately, that biological machinery is way more powerful than people need in the modern world. Everyone can imagine the worst really easily. They give that fear a reality and power that the cynical and powerful can use to control the fearful.

People in recovery say that fear is a lack of faith.

One aspect of faith is trust. You trust that God and your companions will care for you. You treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated. In doing that, you trust that they will be reasonable. You recognize the ways that people are similar more than you notice how they are different.

When you are afraid of someone, you inherently don’t trust them. But trust is an essential part of society. Without trust, the mechanics of a society break down.

To look at the civil rights movement, it wasn’t just Rosa Parks resisting segregation on that bus. It was a whole host of uncelebrated people that worked together to make the Montgomery Bus Boycott work. The workers in that fight were organized. They had a strategy. They had specific goals. They trusted their cause and (especially) the others working with them.

When people go out to the streets to protest, they cannot change things in the ways that trust can accomplish. A group grounded in trust can help leader’s fears can fall to the side as they grow a shared trust.

Leaders that feel trust will compromise, work in the solution and develop creative answers. When you work with people that you trust, you can be organized and have a long-lasting impact.

So, getting back to the topic, with fear, you are separate and full of discord. The expression divide and conquer exists for a reason. When people act out of fear, they don’t have a base for cooperation and can be easily manipulated.

By using the spiritual principle of Trust instead of the untameable reaction of Fear, unity can develop. Fear can’t develop a way forward because it is looking back. Vision and insight that are rooted in trust can lead to change and success.

Original image: Saber-tooth tiger. By davlenjah [Image license]

[2016-07-15: edit and revision]

Everything became a secret

An orange poppy blooming in a fieldOnce he started doing things that he was ashamed of, he didn’t want the people around him to find out. He tried to separate the people on one side from the other. If they met, the information could make things awkward.

He decided to pull away from the former group of people because they were the ones that would disapprove of the others. The secrets were growing and the far side became more important and the closer ones were bewildered by his behavior.

As the circle shifted, problems started to pile up. Issues that could be easily solved with an honest discussion, couldn’t get fixed because of the risk of exposure.

The path grew narrower.

Until the secrets were taken out of the darkness, they festered and led to more and more bad times.

He decided to make a change and gradually, the secrets became less threatening. Trust was slowly coming back. The circles realigned and it became possible to move forward again.


Original image: The secret of success…. By Cheryl VanStane [Image license]

Running Away

small bird
In the moment, I might be afraid or different or apart-from. When I feel those feelings, it’s easy to see that something is wrong. I want to feel different but I don’t know how to get there.

In the moment, I instinctively try out my different skills to change the feeling. Some work better than others. The ones that work well, help me feel integrated.  I become part of the solution and the fear gradually dissipates. Some work for a moment, but leave me with other problems to solve.

In a relationship, I can engage or disengage. We can move forward together or I can pull back. One way to pull back is to physically or emotionally run away. I can get away from the situation by going to a new place… or I can go to a new place in my heart and get behind the familiar walls.

These forms of running away are examples of techniques that leave me with other problems to solve. The next time I feel it, I can just want to run away again, whether or not anything got better the last time I did it.

My impulse is to find a new path. I want to do it better; I want to be compassionate and kind to myself. Friends can help me find that way. Prayer can help me start moving in a good direction. I don’t need to have all the answers. Sharing with a friend who listens can reveal new ideas.

Prayer, over the course of a few days, causes things to shift. I hoped to feel a-part-of and as I looked at the days pass, I found it easier to get there.

I look out for ways to learn new skills. The ones I’m good at require cognition and not emotion. Learning the nurture the emotion skills has been worthwhile lately.

[original image: Wilson’s Warbler in Denver 2 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]