often most mobo today will have multiple controllers for stuff like usb… so they have like one that runs an older standart and one with the new standart or even 3 different usb controllers… it’s possible one of the controllers have gone bad, so if so then moving from one controller to another should atleast be a temporary fix… often the ports are color coded or otherwise marked by their usb speed, so its easy to tell the difference.
also usb connections are well weird at times… like when i install on my old server from usb… if i use a usb extender cable it will boot just fine, however if i don’t it won’t boot on the usb, even tho it can still detect it… which is weird… length of cables, power supply’s to external usb hdd enclosures also often go bad, tho usually i find that they will all run 12 volts and will fit from most usb enclosures to another…
so switching those around could also help identify problems, and provide possible temporary solutions.
to hook up many harddrives you will want something like a disk shelf and connect it through an hba card with an external esata or maybe even sas tho i’ve recently learned that running sata on sas backplanes can cause compatibility issues, especially if one connects both sas and sata drives on the same “enclosure” / backplane / hba not sure exactly how it would affect it.
but in any regard it would make sense to hook up some kind of external device to your network or directly to the computer, ofc if you connect over network, then you will have an easy option to connect other computers later, without the need for moving around PCIe cards from one computer to another and thus would provide a redundancy solution in case your computer breaks down and you have other computers on the network which could be make to temporarily run the node.
you can also get some pretty practical sata port multipliers on ebay which will split out 1 sata port into like 5, and since for a storagenode you don’t really need the bandwidth of a full sata port anyways, you coulld in theory build a very cheap very big storage solution, if you don’t mind it being a bit ghetto.
ofc you would need to figure out how to connect it, but if your mobo has esata then that might be a fine way of doing that, else getting a card for that… but i duno how reliable esata is… i really like that the sas sff8088 external cables hook in with metal brackets and such…
another major consideration i think many people without lots of practical experience or formal education in electrical engineering, forget is that when you connect multiple things via different power supplies there can be or will eventually be over time voltage differences between the power supplies…
this is for the most cases not really that important because most stuff we connect usually only have one power supply… and for temporary connections it doesn’t matter much… it will usually work until the voltage difference becomes to much and stuff stops working… people disconnect it and reconnect it which might reset the issue.
the solution to this is proper grounding, something which the usb most likely has in the metal cape around the jack, but that will only work if the computer is also grounded and the powersupply isn’t to cheap to actually skip this little nuance… which should really be an issue today, but… well i’ve seen it.
a way to maybe make the usb port work again, if its just “blown” a thermal fuse which will permanently lock stuff down until it’s lost all power, is to disconnect everything wait a good 5-10 minutes… tho usually i find a good 10 count is enough, but sometimes stuff just takes much longer, but the 10 count will take 99%
hope you find a solution to the issues.
Oh and GROUND the computer… if you don’t have ground… make one… usually doesn’t take much… in worst cases, all you want to do is to equal out the voltage differential and thus a common bus… a piece of metal / copper or alu you can hook stuff up to so that all the grounding is equal between the devices… ofc with nowhere for the voltage difference to go it will eventually arc or dissipate into the surrounding things… even wood will move low voltages at very low currents.
which is why you see plastic mounts on the back of older speakers, because connecting directly touching a wooded speaker box will created added voltage leaking and noise i guess… or wear on the amp
for my server and my 3d printer i hammered down a big alu pole and hook it up with stout copper wire and connected everything to that… because when the 3d printer head touched my alu build plate it would kill the usb connection and make the led display on the printer all weird… lol