External hard disk problem (2.5")

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by alexstein, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. alexstein macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #1
    I have an old Toshiba 30GB Laptop HD that is formated in NTFS.
    The only thing that is on the HD is Windows XP and some applications.
    So I figured I'm just going to mate it up with an external enclosure and use it as an external HD for backups.

    I went to the store and picked up one of those usb enclosures and inserted my HD .Everything went fine. Now I plug it into my iBook and nothing happens. The LED flashes but the HD does not mount.

    I opened Disk Utility and nothing either. My mac just does not recognize the drive.

    I plugged this configuration into my IBM Thinkpad again via usb and there it is no problem at all i can access everything.

    What do I have to do that my mac recognizes the HD. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you
     
  2. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I had this exact same problem just yesterday with an external 2.5" HDD - worked fine on the PC, but not on the Mac. Read lots of books which said the Mac would mount any PC-formatted drive: "just plug it in and the Mac will recognise it instantly" - sounds familiar??

    The problem is that the Mac doesn't pass enough current through the USB sockets to actually mount the drive. The light comes on, sometimes the disk even spins up, but no icon appears on the desktop. The solution is to use a powered hub - you can pick one up pretty cheaply - maybe £25, something like that - this gives enough power and the Mac will pick up and mount the drive.

    It seems a bit lame that the USB ports don't drive an HDD, but apparently Hard disks draw more power than a keyboard, mouse or pen-drive, so need that extra bit of boost.

    :eek:
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    FWIW, also, you will not be able to write directly to an NTFS-formatted disk, once you do get it working, from a Mac. You can read it, but not write it. If you reformat FAT32 or MacHFS+, you can read/write on both platforms, or just MacOS, respectively.

    If you don't have a powered hub available, does your USB enclosure have a power supply? Or do you have any other USB devices plugged in? If so, unplug them. And also make sure you're trying this with the laptop plugged into wall power....

    Good luck!
     
  4. Texas04 macrumors 6502a

    Texas04

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    I agree with the first post, a HD can not run on what, 5amps of energy that comes out of a USB? Give the HD more power and then plug it in, I have an external HD but it has its own power supply, The only problem i had on my old iMac was that to watch movies through the USB was extremely slow! Only my HD was storebought, a Netdisk Ximeta, so i hooked it up to my router and used a program to recongnize it. If you can find a way to hook it up via Ethernet, Then I would aslo suggest that.
     
  5. alexstein thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #5

    Thank you. As soon as I plugged it in to my powered usb2 hub it mounted. This was an easy fix.
     
  6. alexstein thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #6
    Unfortunately the enclose did not come with it's own power supply. It one of the cheaper ones available. Like I said I have a powered hub and the HD mount now.

    I think I will go back and reformat the drive in FAT32 so I can read/write on it from both platforms.

    Thank you guys for all your help and the quick response.
     
  7. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a

    Marky_Mark

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    No problem, glad to be of help.

    And what is it with iBook/Powerbook USB ports anyway? Why are they so anemic when run-of-the-mill Wintel lappies don't seem to have a problem? It's a right royal pain in the arse because it means you can't take a 2.5" bus-powered drive with you to back up stuff while you're out and about, you need a power socket to drive an ancillary hub.

    Like I said - pain in the arse.
     
  8. Aliquis macrumors regular

    Aliquis

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    If noone already suggested it, you could try formatting the drive on the Windows machine, and then try mounting it on the mac.
     

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