8) That's kind of odd though, restarting it should have the same affect. Probably has constant power going to the USB drive which was uninterruptible unless you disconnected the power or power supply.
Anyhow glad to hear you figured it out, I was going to suggest an axe next.
I had one of those drives that was brand new out of the box, kept disconnecting and reconnecting. Even an identical replacement one did the same thing.... I even went as far as updating the BIOS on the motherboard which isn't something taken lightly and it still didn't work. I'll have to remember that for future reference.
BTW, that pop-up you were getting was for a PM I sent you via this board, wasn't a regular pop-up if you were wondering.