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Old Nov 22, 2014, 12:07 PM   #1
Blackspeare
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External Hard Drive for MBA

I recently purchased a WD My Passport 1TB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for Mac and I am having trouble using it. I am wondering whether this unit is compatible with Yosemite OS? If it is compatible then I'll continue to trouble shoot, if not any suggestions. Thanks.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 12:19 PM   #2
motrek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackspeare View Post
I recently purchased a WD My Passport 1TB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for Mac and I am having trouble using it. I am wondering whether this unit is compatible with Yosemite OS? If it is compatible then I'll continue to trouble shoot, if not any suggestions. Thanks.
Yes, it is compatible.

What trouble are you having?
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 01:03 PM   #3
Boyd01
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There appears to be an issue with Yosemite and FAT32. I just upgraded a new MBA to Yosemite for a family member (had 10.9 on it out of the box). Plugged in a FAT32 USB flash drive and got the message "This disk is not recognized, do you want to initialize" (or whatever).

Now I had just used it in my old MBA which is still running 10.8. Found a number of posts about this issue in different places but didn't dig too deep. I tried running disk utility first, then plugging in the usb stick and it was correctly recognized and mounted.

Seems to be a known issue for some people, and evidently it's an issue specifically with the Finder since Disk Utility finds the drive.

@Blackspeare - Have you formatted the drive for MacOSX? Is it being recognized at all?

Last edited by Boyd01; Nov 22, 2014 at 01:13 PM.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 09:51 PM   #4
Ray2
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Thunderbolt. I've been through 5 usb3 drives with my wife's 2014 Air. 3 different manufacturers, at least 5 different hdd's/ssd's and nothing but problems on Mavericks and Yosemite. Failure to mount, failure to show up in DU, spontaneous ejects, improper ejects in sleep.

Or go with usb2, I've had no problems there.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 10:34 PM   #5
motrek
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Originally Posted by Ray2 View Post
Thunderbolt. I've been through 5 usb3 drives with my wife's 2014 Air. 3 different manufacturers, at least 5 different hdd's/ssd's and nothing but problems on Mavericks and Yosemite. Failure to mount, failure to show up in DU, spontaneous ejects, improper ejects in sleep.

Or go with usb2, I've had no problems there.
Try the drives with a different laptop/computer.

I have not run into any problems with a bunch of external drives that I use(d) with a 2010 MBA, 2014 MBA, and 2012 Mini.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 10:40 PM   #6
jdphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray2 View Post
Thunderbolt. I've been through 5 usb3 drives with my wife's 2014 Air. 3 different manufacturers, at least 5 different hdd's/ssd's and nothing but problems on Mavericks and Yosemite. Failure to mount, failure to show up in DU, spontaneous ejects, improper ejects in sleep.

Or go with usb2, I've had no problems there.
Are these drives formatted Mac OS Extended or ExFAT? In general for this thread there really isn't much reason to use FAT32 unless you interact with old Macs (OS X 10.6 or earlier) or Windows XP. Windows 7 and OS X can read ExFAT and there is no stupid 4GB file size limit. If you're just using it with OS X though, format Mac OS Extended. I haven't had any problems with external drives and Yosemite yet.
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Old Nov 23, 2014, 06:59 AM   #7
Ulenspiegel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray2 View Post
Thunderbolt. I've been through 5 usb3 drives with my wife's 2014 Air. 3 different manufacturers, at least 5 different hdd's/ssd's and nothing but problems on Mavericks and Yosemite. Failure to mount, failure to show up in DU, spontaneous ejects, improper ejects in sleep.

Or go with usb2, I've had no problems there.
I was about to buy a USB3 external HDD... Thank you for sharing your experience, I will go with a USB2 external HDD then.
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Old Nov 23, 2014, 12:03 PM   #8
Ray2
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
Try the drives with a different laptop/computer.

I have not run into any problems with a bunch of external drives that I use(d) with a 2010 MBA, 2014 MBA, and 2012 Mini.
I did. Went to my local Apple Store and tried an OWC there. The guy told me it might be a problem before I even plugged it in. The 3 longest threads I've ever seen on Apple's discussion forums are about the same issues I'm seeing, over 50 pages in each one.

What drives are you using that have no issues with the 2014 Air?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
Are these drives formatted Mac OS Extended or ExFAT? In general for this thread there really isn't much reason to use FAT32 unless you interact with old Macs (OS X 10.6 or earlier) or Windows XP. Windows 7 and OS X can read ExFAT and there is no stupid 4GB file size limit. If you're just using it with OS X though, format Mac OS Extended. I haven't had any problems with external drives and Yosemite yet.
Mac OS Extended, always has been, repartitioned several times (on account of a few of the drives being new). Are you running late model (2103/4) laptops? These are the problem child's from what I've been able to absorb. This is coming from Apple and OWC. The last EFI update did nothing to improve the situation.

Are you using FireWire drives with Yosemite? Do they sleep? If yes, what enclosure and drive please? I've decided to upgrade my old usb2/FireWire Mac's rather than deal with the issues I'm seeing with my wife's 2014 Air. So narrowing in on a working enclosure and drive may lead to a combo Firewire/Thunderbolt enclosure that allows for the future.
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Old Nov 23, 2014, 02:45 PM   #9
motrek
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Originally Posted by Ray2 View Post
I did. Went to my local Apple Store and tried an OWC there. The guy told me it might be a problem before I even plugged it in. The 3 longest threads I've ever seen on Apple's discussion forums are about the same issues I'm seeing, over 50 pages in each one.

What drives are you using that have no issues with the 2014 Air?
Two Western Digital external hard drives and a SanDisk flash drive. (And a bunch of other USB 2 drives which I see you don't have a problem with so I guess that's irrelevant.)

I see that half the problems you list have to do with the drives and sleeping. I use my external drives for backups and to transfer data between computers. I plug them in, copy files to/from the drives, and unplug them immediately. I've never, ever had a problem with that.

I don't know what you're doing that you want your external drives plugged in even when your computer is asleep but maybe if you avoid that it will solve the other problems you've been having?
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Old Nov 23, 2014, 03:24 PM   #10
Boyd01
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I have been using Seagate Desktop Backup Plus drives on my 2013 MBA and 2012 Mini with no issue. These units plug into a small USB 3.0 base/dock and I also have a thunderbolt dock that works with them. Running some tests, I didn't see any advantage to Thunderbolt - they all clocked in the 160 - 180 MB/s range either way. There are always two of these 3TB drives plugged into my Mini which is an iTunes server - one for the library and the other is a clone/backup that's updated nightly with CCC.

I have a third 3TB that I rotate as the backup drive. No problems at all with these. I also have 2TB version of the same drive that I use with my MBA for video editing. No issues there either. But the Mini is running 10.9 and the MBA is running 10.8. Have not tried them with Yosemite.

I also have a WD Passport Ultra (bus powered) drive that I use to clone the MBA. No issues there either, it clocks around 100 MB/s.

And I have several older USB 2 bus powered Passport drives that have also been trouble free.
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Old Nov 24, 2014, 05:09 PM   #11
Ray2
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
I don't know what you're doing that you want your external drives plugged in even when your computer is asleep but maybe if you avoid that it will solve the other problems you've been having?
My wife and I travel months every year, 5 months this year. Her Air is used for photography and backups. I take breaks and I don't sit around waiting for long exports or backups to complete. I initially tried Jettison but found it to be unreliable, then set the Air to never sleep but now I use an app called Mountain to easily eject and mount drives. Works well. I feel all of this is pretty silly. Apple's laptops have worked fine with externals since they started making them. Now they don't? That's sort of core functionality in my book.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd01 View Post
I have been using Seagate Desktop Backup Plus drives on my 2013 MBA and 2012 Mini with no issue. These units plug into a small USB 3.0 base/dock and I also have a thunderbolt dock that works with them. Running some tests, I didn't see any advantage to Thunderbolt - they all clocked in the 160 - 180 MB/s range either way. There are always two of these 3TB drives plugged into my Mini which is an iTunes server - one for the library and the other is a clone/backup that's updated nightly with CCC.

I have a third 3TB that I rotate as the backup drive. No problems at all with these. I also have 2TB version of the same drive that I use with my MBA for video editing. No issues there either. But the Mini is running 10.9 and the MBA is running 10.8. Have not tried them with Yosemite.

I also have a WD Passport Ultra (bus powered) drive that I use to clone the MBA. No issues there either, it clocks around 100 MB/s.

And I have several older USB 2 bus powered Passport drives that have also been trouble free.
Agree there's no advantage to putting a spinner in a Thunderbolt enclosure if the criteria is speed. I'm looking for the ability to survive sleep without an improper eject or failure to remount or show up in DU. Its worth the premium for me.

I believe we're probably talking about different machines and different behaviors. Our 2010 Air and 2010 mini had no issues with any drives (usb2 only). The 2014 Air is the issue running either 10.9 or 10.10. No problems with usb2 but problems with usb3. Which leads me to hope the issue is with the drives I've tried, not with Apple. Or, a poor implementation of usb3 on the part of Apple.

I'll give Thunderbolt a try. As much as I don't like it, I've gotten used to returning drives.
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Old Nov 24, 2014, 09:45 PM   #12
sovereign
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I have a 2009 MBP with an SSD in place of the SuperDrive and a 1TB in the stock location. My iTunes library, movies, and pics all reside on the 1TB drive. I was considering going with an MBA for greater portability when out and about, while leaving a USB 3.0 external plugged in all the time while at home to access my data. Interesting to read that this will not work due to problems with the newer computers and USB external drives.
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Old Nov 25, 2014, 12:32 AM   #13
flowrider
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I have a 2012 MBA. I have changed my internal SSD to a Transcend Unit, and I also have an external 2.5" Seagate Hybrid drive in an Orico USB 3.0 enclosure that I use for backups. I works great, and also works as a StartUp drive. The Transcend unit came with a simple USB 3.0 enclosure for the SSD that I removed from my MBA. That drive also works and will work as a StartUp drive.

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Old Dec 2, 2014, 11:33 AM   #14
objektÝr
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Two Western Digital external hard drives and a SanDisk flash drive. (And a bunch of other USB 2 drives which I see you don't have a problem with so I guess that's irrelevant.)
I plan to buy a 128gb 3.0 flash drive. Formatted Exfat as I want to use it on Mac and Windows but mostly on a MBA 2014, still on Mavericks.
Anybody experiencing trouble with usb 3.0 flash drives or are these problems only/mostly HDD related?
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Old Dec 2, 2014, 12:14 PM   #15
flowrider
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^^^^I have used a myriad of USB 3.0, and 2.0, drives on my MBA, both flash and otherwise and have experienced no issues. (See my post above yours) However, they are all formatted Mac Extended (Journaled).

Lou
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Old Dec 2, 2014, 12:41 PM   #16
objektÝr
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^^^^I have used a myriad of USB 3.0, and 2.0, drives on my MBA, both flash and otherwise and have experienced no issues. (See my post above yours) However, they are all formatted Mac Extended (Journaled).

Lou
Thanks and yes I read your post. I might have to use Mac Extended if I get any trouble. I just wondered if more people have experienced trouble with usb 3.0 flash. Exfat. To buy a 2.0 is another option as someone adviced but I'd liked to get the high speeds now that I can use a new MBA.
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