can read hard drive, but not write (not ntfs)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by armon, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. armon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #1
    I have an 80 gig external firewire drive hooked up to my macbook. It is formatted with the Mac OS Extended with Journaling. I have about 7 gigs of stuff on there and can read all of it without any problems. But when I try to place something on the drive (e.g. copy file to it) it will get about 2 megs done and then it will sit there for ever. If I try to cancel the copy it wont respond, if I try to eject it wont resond. I can only manually turn the hard drive off and then on (thank god for journaling!). Any suggestion? What could be wrong, and what can I do?

    Thanks,
    Armon
     
  2. zephead macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    in your pants
    #2
    Connect your drive, go to Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities), and verify the disk. It'll tell you if it's necessary to repair it. While you're at it, it probably wouldn't hurt to repair your permissions too.
     
  3. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #3
    drastic, but maybe it's a sign of impending hardware failure?
     
  4. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #4
    I don't know about hard drive failure, as when I play a movie over the drive, it is fine to lag or hiccups. All read operations work. I verified the disk, repaired it, and repaired permissions ( I do all of this regularly). Once again I tried to copy a 9.7 meg file and it got stuck at 1.3 megs.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #5
    Can you duplicate this file on your internal HD?

    If not, then the file may be corrupt which may be why the external drive will not allow the file to be copied.
     
  6. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #6

    No I am sure the file is not corrupt. I tried to download a file from a network drive onto the external and it failed. So then I tried to copy to the local drive and it worked fine. It must be an issue with the drive, as this is a problem with all files larger that about 1-2 megs.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #7
    Okay, we are sure that the file is not corrupt.

    So on to something else as the cause. Since you have checked the drive, me thinks that maybe there is a problem with your connection/cable.

    Do you have access to another similar type external hard drive?
     
  8. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #8
    It is also a USB drive, so I will give that a try and post my results.
     
  9. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #9
    Okay, same 9.7 meg file stuck at 620 KB. Next?
     
  10. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    I know this may seem pretty drastic, but have you tried backing up whatever you have on the external drive and then reformatting it?

    Or try a different file?
     
  11. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #11
    I only have an 80 gig drive on my macbook, so I just used it for storage of non-essential data. (Movies, big files, apps, backup, old documents) I prefer it over using a network drive because it is faster. Should it go, there is almost nothing of value.

    BTW, I have used differend files. None work.
     
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
  13. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #13
    Do you think that both the USB and Firewire cable are bad? That is fairly unlikely
     
  14. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #14
    Have you done the Disk Utility Verify/Repair operation yet as in post #2?

    You do understand that when you are reading from a drive, you are reading sectors that have already been written, and there's no verification going on... whereas when you write to a drive, you are writing to unused sectors of the drive, which may or may not be good, and the machine does a compare after write?
     
  15. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #15
    Yes I have done the Disk Utility Verify and Repair but it said it was clean, or good. That was what I was thinking, that it is hitting some bad sectors. I thought that the drives normally just flags those bad sectors and goes on until they find a good one.
     
  16. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #16
    If you have tried both, chances that both cables are bad is remote.

    So that makes me think that it might have something to do with your hardware connection (between the cables and the drive).

    Let's see if I have this correct:

    - The drive works. You've tried the Repair function with Disk Utilities and it worked fine.

    - The computer can find the external drive using either a FW or a USB cable.

    - You can transfer small files. But large files will not transfer (write to the external).

    - The files that you are attempting to write to the external are not corrupted. You have tried copying them in place on the internal HD with no problems.

    The only thing that I can think of at this point is that you have something intermittent in the hardware of the external drive. It could be the connectors, the board, etc.

    FWIW, I have one external FW drive this happened to me. It can see the drive but sometimes the drive disappears and I get an error. The connector was loose. Use the 2nd connector now with no problems. I've also had problems with the board/chip set on another external. I have a few external HDs -- about 10 -- so it can happen.

    This is why I am thinking that it may be a problem there.

    One easy test, is to get/barrow another external HD from a friend and try it out with your test file. The results of this test may help us diagnose your problem.
     
  17. armon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #17
    Everything you stated is true. I tried another external HD, and it works without problem (but it is formatted with fat32). I backed up everything, so if it fails, oh well, but still...
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #18
    Okay, so the other external drive is working. Call it Drive B. Call the original external drive, Drive A.

    Swap the HDs between Drive A and Drive B.

    Then test Drive B. If it works, then you know that the HD from Drive A is good. If so, then try Drive A. If it fails, then this would indicate that the circuitry in Drive A is not working for some reason.

    Please keep us posted.
     

Share This Page