system doesn't see the external HD

i've had my system setup for over a year with an external HD that was working great

now my external for some reason doesn't show up in the menu using nito or boxee

the tv flash is the latest one but what is the  

New AppleTV - Thanksgiving Update ????

i tried updating the Smart Installer twice and it didn't help

i then went thru the whole menu and updated everything still no go

i hooked my HD up to my Mac and everything is fine its the apple tv just can't read it, dead usb port???

any ideas????