external USB backup drive randomly will not show

I have an external USB backup drive that is usually powered down save for when I want to run backup software. Mostly it's fine, i.e. when I power it up, it shows up on my desktop within a minute. But sometimes it doesn't, no matter how often I cycle the drive's power. It WILL show up if I power it up and reboot the computer. Any ideas what's going on? (spec's in the signature block).


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