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Old Nov 19, 2012, 08:30 AM   #1
Kryptik.Kode
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Question External Drive Causing Issues

Good morning,

I just purchased a NT miniStack and I inserted a 2TB Seagate Green hard drive in it for backups.

Ever since I connected this drive to my Mac Mini, I've been having issues with my Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Magic Trackpad and wireless Logitech Marathon mouse.

The wireless keyboard and trackpad always give a "Lost Connection" error and my Logitech mouse has very bad cursor lag. It's extremely bad and makes the system unusable as I can't control the cursor or type anything. I have changed the batteries in all 3 but the issue still exists.

I would like to note that I have a LaCie Minimus 2TB external hard drive plugged into my Mac as well and it does not cause any issues when connected by itself. As soon as I connect the miniStack, the issues start almost immediately.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 08:41 AM   #2
GoCubsGo
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So you had the issues after connecting the mini stack? You confirmed that it is the mini stack by unplugging the drive and testing everything? If so, then I don't see what the issue could be. It sounds like everything else is bluetooth; there's no BT in the mini stack, right? Have you contacted NewerTechnology?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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Call OWC and talk to the customer support reps. Tell them the issue and, if you can, can replicate the issue everytime.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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I've had exactly the same issue - I reported it to OWC and they can't replicate the problem. It persists for me, regardless of the type of disk I use within the miniStack.

I've not seen the problem with two other types of USB 3 enclosure I own.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:44 AM   #5
Kryptik.Kode
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Originally Posted by pollaxe View Post
I've had exactly the same issue - I reported it to OWC and they can't replicate the problem. It persists for me, regardless of the type of disk I use within the miniStack.

I've not seen the problem with two other types of USB 3 enclosure I own.
I'm glad I am not alone. It is however frustrating that there is no solution.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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Same here. I had the same issue if it was sitting under the mac mini. I tried to experiment with it sitting on top of the mac mini (looks much uglier this way) and the problem went away.

I suspect that the casing or the material is affecting the bluetooth antenna which, I believe, is sitting at the bottom of the casing of the mac mini.

It's ashamed that the best complementing case for the mac mini does not work well.

I also suffered from sleep issues as well and decided to return it.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:04 AM   #7
pollaxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryptik.Kode View Post
I'm glad I am not alone. It is however frustrating that there is no solution.
It is frustrating but there at least two of us in the world with the same issue! I was convinced my Mini had a Bluetooth fault until further testing revealed the miniStack to be the culprit and it also affected a Logitech K400, with exactly the same symptoms as you describe though I also got a few total lock-ups with beachballs that required a power off/power on to clear.

It was definitely the miniStack that caused the problem and it did it with no disks installed, SSDs and mechanical disks of differing sizes.

I suspect we've both got faulty units - I have emailed the OWC tech support chap who was dealing with my problems to let him know this thread exists.

Unfortunately, I can't do any further testing as my Mini has been returned due to the black screen/snow problems.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:19 AM   #8
pollaxe
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Originally Posted by albert1028 View Post
Same here. I had the same issue if it was sitting under the mac mini. I tried to experiment with it sitting on top of the mac mini (looks much uglier this way) and the problem went away.

I suspect that the casing or the material is affecting the bluetooth antenna which, I believe, is sitting at the bottom of the casing of the mac mini.

It's ashamed that the best complementing case for the mac mini does not work well.

I also suffered from sleep issues as well and decided to return it.
Looks like it's three of us then!

Interestingly, one of the questions the tech support chap asked me was if this happened with the miniStack under the Mac Mini. For me, though, I had the issue when the miniStack was underneath and to the side, as far away as the USB 3 cable would allow it to go. I don't recall if I tried it on top of the Mini, I don't believe that I did.

What with the black screens and the miniStack issue, this was not the most pleasant of experiences!
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 04:11 PM   #9
albert1028
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I wonder if the usb3 chipset is just sensitive to a devices chipset. I know that those with Mac Pro with most usb3 pci-e cards are having full compatibility issues with usb3.

With the mini stack it happened with FireWire 800 and usb3.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:00 PM   #10
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I hope that you will let us know how this turns out... I have a miniStack v3 and I was planning on getting a new one at some point. I don't use wireless input devices but I might in the future.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:44 AM   #11
Mr. Retrofire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryptik.Kode View Post
Good morning,

I just purchased a NT miniStack and I inserted a 2TB Seagate Green hard drive in it for backups.

Ever since I connected this drive to my Mac Mini, I've been having issues with my Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Magic Trackpad and wireless Logitech Marathon mouse.

The wireless keyboard and trackpad always give a "Lost Connection" error and my Logitech mouse has very bad cursor lag. It's extremely bad and makes the system unusable as I can't control the cursor or type anything. I have changed the batteries in all 3 but the issue still exists.

I would like to note that I have a LaCie Minimus 2TB external hard drive plugged into my Mac as well and it does not cause any issues when connected by itself. As soon as I connect the miniStack, the issues start almost immediately.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
This is usually the result of a cable, which has not the sufficient shielding. Replace the cable with a better cable. Btw, which interface do you use?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mr. Retrofire View Post
This is usually the result of a cable, which has not the sufficient shielding. Replace the cable with a better cable. Btw, which interface do you use?
I can confirm that after a lot of research on my new Mac Mini 2012 there are two issues that are in play here and unfortunately it appears that the 2012 Mini suffers even more then the 2011 Mini.

1. SSD Install. There are many posts on this topic but the reality is that any SSD that is not correctly shielded (the way Apple shields their SSD's) will have a negative impact on Bluetooth range on the Mac Mini (2011 and 2012 that I am aware of). The only difference is that on the 2012 model it is even more pronounced, which is why I haven't investigated this sooner. In my case I am using the OWC Extreme 6G 240GB drives. If I remove the drive from the 2012, I go back to full "Home Theater" range for my Bluetooth devices. With it in I am lucky to get 6 feet of range. (BTW, if you hold the option key down in the Bluetooth setup screen in 10.8.2 you will see a display of signal strength. Anything worse than -60 (eg -65) is not good). I have yet to do research on how to shield these devices but at lease I have discovered the root cause.

2. I too have just installed a Mini Stack from OWC. This had made the problem worse until I substituted my own thicker USB3 cable which made a significant difference and got me up and going again.

Net of all this, OWC probably don't fully realise it yet but they have a problem with both their devices PARTICULARLY now on the 2012 Mac Mini. Unfortunately (Or I prefer to say fortunately ) I live in Australia so time zone differences make it tricky for me to have a discussion with OWC during normal hours. The one thing I can say is that I can ABSOLUTELY repeatedly prove that both the SSD and the Mini Stack adversly effect the Bluetooth range of the Mac Minis.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:00 PM   #13
philipma1957
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usb3 connection has issues. i have had some usb3 booter issues with 2 other usb3 booters.

I suspect 2012 minis have a few bugs to be ironed out.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:02 PM   #14
albert1028
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crhendo View Post
I can confirm that after a lot of research on my new Mac Mini 2012 there are two issues that are in play here and unfortunately it appears that the 2012 Mini suffers even more then the 2011 Mini.
Thanks for everyone's help, I like it on a forum like this that people pull together the info they have and help each other. Other forums on here, are less helpful and people are even sometimes insulting and rude.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 04:50 AM   #15
pollaxe
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Thumbs up Nice one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crhendo View Post
I can confirm that after a lot of research on my new Mac Mini 2012 there are two issues that are in play here and unfortunately it appears that the 2012 Mini suffers even more then the 2011 Mini.
Good work, mate.

Just to add a little of my own experience, in my situation, I was using an SSD via a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter to boot for most of the time but I also booted off the internal mechanical 1 TB drive and still had the reception issues. Whenever the miniStack was connected, it really seemed to hose the Bluetooth and my (wireless) Logitech K400.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 02:43 AM   #16
Mojo1
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It's Not Just Bluetooth That's Affected; 2.4GHz Wireless Is Too...

Friday night I assembled a brand new NewerTech MiniStack. It is underneath a 2012 2.3GHz Mac Mini connected via the short USB 3.0 cable that was included with the enclosure.

Saturday evening I began using it to transfer data from a MiniStack v3 that may have a problem with its Firewire 800 port. I noticed that my 2.4GHz Airport network was having problems. Downloads were very slow or weren't working at all. I had read about the Bluetooth problem but I didn't connect it with my issue. Then I did a Startpage search and stumbled upon this familiar thread...

So I did some online speed tests... With the MiniStack turned off dslreports.com showed 13,118kbps download and 3,206kbps upload. When I powered-up the MiniStack it read 38kbps and 402kbps respectively.

Speakeasy.net gave me similar results, with a twist... With the MiniStack off it was even faster with 15,580kbps down and 3,230 up. When I turned-on the MiniStack I could not maintain a reliable Internet connection and I could not even begin a test!

I did a couple more tests with the same outcome...

I haven't moved the MiniStack away from the Mini to see if that improves things. But since I bought the MiniStack so I could stack it with my Mini, its usefulness will be less if that is what it takes to make it fully operable. I also paid more for the MiniStack than other proven OWC enclosures.

Tomorrow I will see how connecting the MiniStack via FW800 works. I plan on contacting OWC since I haven't read about this on its website; the OWC blog and the responses only mention a problem with Bluetooth devices. I may wind up returning the enclosure (I purchased a separate OEM Samsung drive from OWC.)
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 03:33 AM   #17
cyclotron451
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Have same issues with 2012 Mac mini, Apple BT keyboard & Apple BT Magic mouse and new WD USB3 2TB MyBook with stock USB3 mini cable.
My mouse is sometimes 'drunk' and occasionally 'connection lost', it's nowhere near the USB3HDD - I wonder if it's the USB3 data packet RF content that is DOS'ing the Apple BT receiver(2.45GHz wideband)
I have raised this at a high level with Apple Engineering and I've sent my BT logs to them.

BTGATE!

just found an Intel developer note where they mention that Bluetooth devices CAN be interfered with by the DC to 5GHz RF content of the spread spectrum USB3 data. Careful design is suggested!
USB 3.0 Radio Frequency Interference Impact on 2.4 GHz Wireless Devices. White Paper. April 2012

Last edited by cyclotron451; Dec 9, 2012 at 04:30 AM. Reason: found that USB3 external devices should be well screened and that location of BT antennas should be well thought out!
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 11:51 AM   #18
Mojo1
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I tried using the MiniStack connected via a 3' FW800 cable. WiFi/Airport was not adversely affected.

When I use the short FW800 cable that came with the MiniStack and stack the units WiFi is fine.

Apparently, the Bluetooth and USB 3.0 interference only occurs when the USB 3.0 connected is being utilized.

Last edited by Mojo1; Dec 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mojo1 View Post
I tried using the MiniStack connected via a 3' FW800 cable. WiFi/Airport was not adversely affected.

When I use the short FW800 cable that came with the MiniStack and stack the units WiFi is fine.

Apparently, the Bluetooth and USB 3.0 interference only occurs when the USB 3.0 connected is being utilized.
We are in the same boat as Mojo, with FW800 Bluetooth keyboard and mouse worked fine. Wifi was solid without slow throughput or dropped connectivity. Connecting the drives via USB 3.0 same issue as everyone, Apple will not acknowledge this on any level. Although the Genius Bar at our local store was pretty intrigued by it. Here is what they said, "It's clearly a design issue that will take Apple a long time to publicly acknowledge". "If that happens at all". Pretty candid but then again, it's a glaringly obvious issue.

Because of the particular application, it's in a box on it's way back to Apple for a refund.

L.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 01:41 AM   #20
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OWC have found a solution ->

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shiel...with-bluetooth
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeboss View Post
NOTE: I'm almost sure this will void your AC.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 05:47 AM   #22
mikeboss
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OWC now have a kit available for ordering to fix this issue ->

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMM12BTS/
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 06:42 PM   #23
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OWC's kit is already out of stock and they do not know when they are expecting more in.

I see the issue with my miniStack and Mac Mini 2012 - if the miniStack is powered on, Bluetooth (and thus my keyboard and trackpad) becomes unusable.

This happens even if I am using FireWire800 and not USB3.

Meanwhile - I have no interference issues with my Seagate GoFlex USB3 drive.

This is frustrating indeed. I have a drive with a form-factor I love, but it is essentially unusable.

I hope to try the "fix" kit as soon as it is available.

- Chris
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 03:24 AM   #24
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OWC's kit is already out of stock and they do not know when they are expecting more in.

I see the issue with my miniStack and Mac Mini 2012 - if the miniStack is powered on, Bluetooth (and thus my keyboard and trackpad) becomes unusable.

This happens even if I am using FireWire800 and not USB3.

Meanwhile - I have no interference issues with my Seagate GoFlex USB3 drive.

This is frustrating indeed. I have a drive with a form-factor I love, but it is essentially unusable.

I hope to try the "fix" kit as soon as it is available.

- Chris
So, this is only a problem w/BT device usage?
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 02:33 PM   #25
Mojo1
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My WiFi network is also affected by the MiniStack; I don't utilize Bluetooth.

I shipped the MinStack back to OWC a few days ago. I have ordered two Mercury Elite Pro enclosures; the new model now offers USB 3.0. I am going to use a longer cable and keep the drives away from my Mac Mini; hopefully that will solve the USB 3.0 interference. If that doesn't work then I may try using cables with better shielding or simply use Firewire 800.

One added bonus of the new enclosures: they don't have fans. My older MiniStack v3 has an internal fan (as do the new models...),it routinely revs-up and the noise is very noticeable. Since the FW800 port has recently failed it will be going into the trash as soon as the new enclosures arrive.
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