LeCie external hard drive probelm with iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ScotRobson, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. ScotRobson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #1
    Hello

    I hope someone can help! I just noticed that my external hard drive was not mounted on my desktop when i wanted to look for something. I tried a spotlight search and everything that is on my external drive was listed in the search but it wont let me open it and it says its not there.

    For example when I click on info button next to the file name in spotlight, the "where" field is blank everything is showing as created and modified on 1st jan 1904 at 01.00 and the number of items in the folders are 0.

    Also the picture of the blue folder (default apple folder icon) are doubling up and overlapping and the more i click the more folder icons i get appearing.

    Disk utility shows nothing wrong with the external drive or my iMac but does say my external drive is empty.

    Please can someone help as i dont know what to do or how to get "into" my external drive when it is not mounted.

    I have tried the obvious of taking the usb leads out turning it off and rebooting the computer etc

    Many thanks
    Scot
     
  2. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #2
    It sounds like one of the following three problems:

    1. The hard drive enclosure is failing. This is not uncommon, especially with LaCie. If this is the case, the drive can often be saved by putting it into a new enclosure and fixing any resulting directory damage with a program like Diskwarrior.

    2. The hard drive itself is starting to fail. If you can, check the drive's S.M.A.R.T diagnostics with Disk Utility. That might or might not detect a physical problem with the drive. Often a failing hard drive develops bad sectors. This can be checked with some disk utilities (not Disk Utility) by running a "Surface Scan". Tech Tool Deluxe or Pro can do this.

    3. The hardware is all fine, but the directory is damaged. This is fairly common, especially for external drives, as they are more prone to things like being unplugged before they are ejected. Diskwarrior can usually fix that up real good.

    No matter what the problem is, if saving the data on that drive is important to you, then I suggest get your hands on a copy of Diskwarrior 4. It's easy to run and performs "miracles" on drives with damaged directory information. Even if the drive is starting to degrade with surface flaws or other malfunctions, DW will often be sufficient for scavenging the data from the drive, depending on how far gone the problem is.
     
  3. ScotRobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, I have tried Diskwarrior 4 and it didn't work, it told me that it didnt find anything wrong all files etc were ok, when i went to the preview option it said the old drive and the new drive were now mounted on the desktop (which they werent) and that when i clicked continue the finder window would come to the front so i could check the files, but the finder window didnt come to the front. So i still have the problem with the drive not mounting, the only place i can see the lacie drive is in disk utilities, i have tried reparing permissions here but that didnt help either.

    I didnt understand your first option in your post.

    Any other ideas?

    Many thanks
    Scot
     
  4. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #4
    Hmmm... try booting to the Diskwarrior CD. That should eliminate any finder problems. I'd check the directories of both the external dirve and the built-in hard drive while booted to DW.

    Well basically, an external hard drive consists of two parts:

    1. a standard internal hard drive, like you'd find inside your computer.

    2. an enclosure for that drive, which houses it, powers it, and provides the firewire or USB interface.

    So when you buy a LaCie drive, LaCie doesn't actually manufacture the hard drive itself - they buy it from someone like Seagate and then put it in their enclosure and sell it to you.

    What I've found so often, especially with LaCie, is that the enclosure dies or becomes problematic while the drive inside it is fine. In these cases, you can often buy a new enclosure from many companies, remove the drive from the LaCie unit, and stick it in the new enclosure.

    Hope that clears that part up - do boot to the Diskwarrior disk and try again. Also, try a Safe Boot on your main drive. This will force a directory check, which you can't do while booted to it. To do this, simply restart your computer holding down the Shift key. It'll take a while to boot and when it's done, you can restart again normally.
     

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