New PowerBook 15 won't talk to USB HardDrives

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Michael Gyngell, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2005
    Just received my new PowerBook 15/1.67. I've tried several different USB 2 bus powered hard drives without any success. The disks won't spin-up, and don't mount. System Profiler sees the USB interface of the drive but not the drive itself. The same disks worked fine on an iBook! Other USB devices, keyboard & mouse also work.

    Has anyone else seen this behavior or is my PB broken (on arrival).
  2. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Did you try both ports?

    The specs say 500mA for both -- but people have found that in reality only one of the ports may provide full power.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2005
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2005
    Try differnet cables... I thought my firewire bus was shot when my ipod refused to spin up/mount turns out the cable just gave out... still gave power though just no data.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2005
    I think that this is a known issue! There's a thread at It seems that the USB ports on the PB adhere very closely to the USB spec ... so if a device draws more than 500mA it won't work!!!!!
  6. TEG
    macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Please, break down and either do one or both of the following.

    1) Purchase a Powered (by the wall) USB Hub. Attach Hub to PB, HD to Hub. The HD should now power up.

    2) Purchase a power cable for the USB HD. Every USB powered HD should have the ability to use a power adapter. If not, try option 2.

    3) There is no number 3.

  7. macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    USB doesn't give enough bus power for most hard disks. Get an A/C adaptor (should have come with it) or try a powered hub.

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