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I had EXACTLY the same problem, about 6 months ago.
I took all of my PC apart to clean it, get the dust out etc, and when I put it back together, guess what?
The 2 WD External USB Hard drives I have plugged in, dropped thier speeds to stupidly slow, just as you described.
First off, I took them out of the cheap little USB hub I had them plugged into.
Then I plugged them into another USB socket, and hey presto the speed shot back up.
So I started experimenting, swapping them around different combinations, on different ports, with different hubs and cables and such like.
What I found was that WD External hard drives are damn fussy about the sockets you plug them into.
On the PC I'm currently using I Have 16 USB Sockets.
5 of them are only USB 1, the rest are all USB 2 except for one which is a USB 3 mounted on a PCIe card.
The v1 sockets where a complete no-go, and the v3 socket just refused to even acknowledge there was a device there.
of the remaining sockets, 4 are sockets soldered directly to the mother board, 2 are mounted in the cases plastic front and are connected to the mother board with a custom ribbon cable that also carries the LED's power switch etc
The final 4 are those 10 pin double row industry standard things with 2 sockets on an expansion slot that plug onto a set of pins on the mother board.
Out of all the remaining v2 sockets, the only ones the WD drives would operate at full speed on where 1 of the 4 sockets soldered on, and one set of two connected by the pin header.
Also one of the USB cable, need to have one of those ferrite chokes on (The big round chunky things about and inch away from the plug), without the choke the 2Tb drive wouldn't get up any faster than about 700k
All the time I was going through different combinations, other devices I was testing with all had no issues what so ever on sockets and cable combinations that the WD drives where basically having a cow over.
Among some of the other devices I was testing with, where a seagate 3.5in desktop drive, a sandisc 2.5 in portable USB drive, various SD cards and card reader's and mobile phones and tablets connected by USB.
It took a LOT OF EFFORT and time to find the correct combination for each drive, but now I have them plugged in, I have stickers on them so if i do have to unplug stuff, I know exactly which USB ports are for which device.
My youngest, Hannah, is a sea cadet. On Sunday, she took part in the divisional kayaking competition (one division covers three counties). She was only supposed to do two races but ended up doing three instead (stepping in to do a doubles 2K time trial at the last minute). Three races, three gold medals for her. She has done so well that she is now going to represent the division in the area event. That covers what they class as the north; basically every unit from Leeds up to Aberdeen. If she does well there, she's off to represent the area in the national events. I couldn't be prouder of her if I tried - not because she won, but because she took part. I'm proud of all the cadets who took part, they gave up their Sunday to do the competition. They really do show that there is so much potential in the youth of today.
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
Athletically she takes after her mother? Well done to Hanna.
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
«... thank the gods that they have made you superior to those events which they have not placed within your own control, rendered you accountable for that only which is within you own control For what, then, have they made you responsible? For that which is alone in your own power—a right use of things as they appear.» Discourses of Epictetus Book I:12
Apart forma short break and 4 hours sleep, I've been here (along with some others) since 0700 yesterday. We are running on caffeine and fumes. I swore I'd never do this again but, in a very strange way, I'm sort of enjoying it. I'll collapse later!
Don't worry, I can hear myself rambling.
Keep your friends close. Keep Kill your enemies closer. The End