external hard drive connection is not stable

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – I have a Toshiba hard drive that has a few partitions on it. Recently, when it is plugged to the computer, the connection is not very stable. Usually I have this Input/Output error that shows I suddenly lost a partition that I was working on. On tightening the connection of the mini USB to the hard drive, I got the connection back, but the disk is remounted, so that disk label is not longer valid in my .bashrc and .bash_profile file. This is just a 6-month old disk, I think the only problem is the connection, I think the connection of the wire to the portable disk is loose at times, but there is no other major issue with this disk. So my question is: How to make the connection between the cable and the portable drive tighter ? (HowTos)