I have a Compaq Armada M700 laptop (Windows XP) with one usb port in the back of the computer. If I plug my external HDD (Toshiba 160 gig) into it directly, it will work perfectly fine, no problems. However, I also have a Wacom tablet which I'd like to be able to have plugged in at the same time as my external HDD. So I bought what I thought was a powered USB hub and tried it. It seemed to work okay once I figured out that I have to plug it into the wall and the USB port on my laptop before turning on the laptop, and I had my Wacom and hard drive plugged into it and the HDD seemed to work fine for a few minutes, until it went idle (which it does if it hasn't been accessed for >5 minutes, which is normal) and then tried to start up again after a few minutes. Then it seemed like it was trying to spin and couldn't, and there was a very faint tk-tk-tk (I couldn't actually hear it, but if I put my hand on the HDD I could feel it). I did some googling and figured it was probably a power issue, so I bought a USB Y-cable from Newegg.com and until I got it, just used the USB port in the back of the laptop for the external HDD, not the USB hub--back to working perfectly fine again, no data lost or corrupted. I got the Y cable today, plugged it into my HDD, and both of the other ends of the Y into the hub, plugged the hub into my wall and main USB port (the hard drive started faintly clicking again, which probably should have been a sign that it wasn't going to work) and turned on my laptop. The Toshiba started spinning, I put my hand on it and it was spinning normally and not clicking or grinding or anything, just a faint "whrrrr" like it should be doing. So I thought the Y cable was working until it went idle again, and tried to start up again when Firefox opened (I don't know why my external HDD has to always start when Firefox does, but w/e), and then it was trying to spin and couldn't and there was the faint ticking (that I couldn't hear but could feel) again. So now I have the HDD unplugged from the hub completely since I don't want anything to happen to it (although if anything does I'm backing up all my stuff online) but is there any way I can get my HDD to play nice with my USB hub? It's too late to return the hub itself, I got it off eBay and there was only a seven-day return window. Apparently it's not actually self-powered like I thought it was, the AC adapter is presumably only for powering the lights on each port. Barring that, is there any powered hub out there that you've found absolutely, positively will work with external hard drives? (Bonus points if it's under $20) I have to say I don't think the drive itself is failing, if it were I don't think it would work when plugged into the laptop directly and like I said it works fine then. And my Wacom tablet works perfectly fine plugged into the USB hub, too.