external hard drive issues

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by tdot, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. tdot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #1
    I have a 1G Powerbook G4 (superdrive) running os 10.2.8 I recently bought an external Firewire/USB 200G hard drive. When I connected it I got a message saying"you have inserted a disk containing no volumes that os x can read..." and was prompted to initialize it. When I try (using the erase tab in disk utility), it goes into "erasing" or "saving file directories" depending on whether I selected the Oxford HD bar or the Untitled Volume bar. In either case, the little blue barber pole goes on and on for hours but nothing seems to happen. I took it back to the shop that built it and they re-formatted as a FAT32 disk (they said that should solve it, but they knew nothing about macs) and it still didn't work, although after trying erase in disk utility it then came up as HFS+ volume, but says it is not mounted. I tried using "initialize" in os 9, but no luck there either. I also tried using usb connection instead of firewire but got same problem. Now when I connect it I get nothing at all until I disconnect it and then I get the "You have inserted a disk etc." dialog box.
    Starting to hope I didn't waste 350$, advice??
     
  2. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #2
    new development

    To update, I was just about to give it all up when I tried the usb connection one last time, whattayaknow, ithe drive came up in disk utility and I was able to partition it as one HFS+ volume. Success is relative however......
    When I tried the firewire connection again....nothing...same issue of disk utility seeing no disks at all (not even the laptops HD?!?!?) and when I DISCONNECT it I get the "you have connected ...." msg. I then replugged it in with usb again and works fine. I don't have usb 2.0 on my laptop so I assume firewire would be much better than the usb connection I have made work. Any ideas on where to go from here?
     
  3. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #3
    narrowing it down

    I have discovered that if i run OS 9.2 the drive works on both the usb and the firewire connection. In OS 10.2.8 the drive works on the usb connection, but not on the firewire. So I have a problem within OSX that is related to firewire? Seems like I have made it worse during the course of my efforts, at least when I started this mission disk utility would pick up the drive when it was connected via firewire, now it waits till I disconnect it to tell me that I have inserted an unreadable disk.
     
  4. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #4
    Sounds like you may have an unsupported firewire controller.
     
  5. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #5
    ok

    "Sounds like you may have an unsupported firewire controller."

    Thanks, what does that mean exactly, and how could I fix the problem?
     
  6. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #6
    MacBandit is referring to the firewire controller inside the case of the external drive. Have you tried a different firewire cable to make sure it is ok?
     
  7. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #7
    That might be a possibility but since it worked under OS9 I'm more inclined to say the external drive is just incompatible with OSX.

    The only way to fix this if it is an unsupported firewire controller is to return the case and get a compatible case.
     
  8. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #8
    more tests

    Connected my video camera through firewire in OSX no problem. Then I tried this; Started up with the Powerbook G4 software disc in and held "c". When the installer started up, I did not install, but went to the "installer" menu and selected "open disk utility" Now it recognized the external drive through the firewire.
    So...Does this mean it is a problem with my OS? Are there ways to reset the firewire settings or should I re-install my system and if so, are there any good threads describing how to do so?
     
  9. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #9
    Re: more tests

    I would reformat the drive from the disk utility while booted up on the CD.

    Apple has updated 10.3's firewire software to prevent the possibility of hard drive corruption with certain 3rd party drives with incompatible control software. When booting up off the 10.3CD you are using the old 10.3 without the updates. I would say there is a strong possibility that your drive controller uses an Oxford chipset and needs a ROM update to work with the latest version of 10.3.
     
  10. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #10
    more details

    What puzzles me most is that when I started all of this, the ext drive was being seen in disk utility when I connected with firewire, I was able to select it but the erasing was not working. Now when I connect it and start disk utility, there are no drives at all being seen, not even my HD, it also hangs system profiler, so no way to tell if that picks it up or not. And then there is the dialog box "You have inserted a disk containing no volumes..etc." that was originally coming up when I connected the drive, but now only appears upon disconnection.
     
  11. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #11
    OS 10.2.8

    Thanks for all your help on this MacBandit, I am not running OS 10.3 but 10.2.8
    Don't know if this makes a difference to your last bit of advice or not. Also when I boot up from the dvd should I go through the "install" steps or just go directly to disk utility and try to reformat?
     
  12. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #12
    Re: OS 10.2.8

    I would just try reformatting the external drive.

    Also it sounds like you definitely have something wrong with your system if Disk Utility isn't showing up anything. Have you tried repairing disk permissions? If not do it from the Disk Utility program while started up on the DVD.
     
  13. tdot thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #13
    Unbelievable

    What the...? I just tried to reformat like you suggested MacBandit, and..now it is not being seen when booted from the cd. This worked an hour ago! It now behaves the same when I'm booted from the cd as when I'm in my OS...and to top it off, I can't see it when I use the usb anymore either! This thing is getting ready to go through the window. Also Disk utility seems to work fine when the drive is not connected.
     
  14. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #14
    Re: Unbelievable

    This thing is causing way too much frustration. If it were a high quality product it would use basic standards that are compatible on Mac or PC. I would take this back and shove it somewhere that will cause them gastric problems.
     

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