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Hunter5117

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
569
401
I have 2 "Thunderbolt" drives on my relatively new 2013 Mac Pro. Coming from a 2012 cMP, I had to put together some external drives for all my data. What I have right now are 2 Lacie firewire drive units with new 4tb WD drives in them. I connect to my MP using Apples Thunderbolt to firewire dongles. Since getting this set up about 3 weeks ago, one or the other of the drives spontaneously disconnects at random. Sometimes once or twice in a day, sometimes they go over a week without issues.

I have read that Thunderbolt used to have this issue. Can anyone comment if they still have this sort of thing going on, and/or has there been a fix developed for it. Thanks in advance.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,595
2,015
UK
Not the same/but similar, I used to have two ssd’s connected to one Sonnet Tempo card.
One or the other would randomly eject (this seemed to be following a security update).
Have run two separate cards with one drive each since.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,536
8,870
I am unsure if this is your issue, and have never experienced it myself, but I have read that TB cables can be fragile and can become easily damaged leading to intermittent disconnects.

I have seen this a few times, but never experienced it myself.
 
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Average Pro

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2013
469
192
Cali
Vert has a point. I used to get disconnected from an external SSD connected to a MacBook Pro (TB3). It would happen a series of time then on a different date or later in the day, there would be no problem. I tracked it down to a bad TB3 cable. Once I ran into the problem again, I destroyed that cable and the problem hasn't come back since. I hope this helps.
 
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Hunter5117

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
569
401
Once I ran into the problem again, I destroyed that cable and the problem hasn't come back since.

Thanks. I have already tried all combinations of the 2 cables and dongles. Unless both are bad, it seems to be hardware/OS related. One drive does seem to disconnect more but both do it.
 

Hunter5117

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
569
401
After doing a good bit if research it looks like this is a very common problem. OWC even sells a little plastic bit that is supposed to hold the Thunderbolt cable more secure. Other people have used bits of cardboard or other materials to help hold the cable tighter in the socket. For now, I have looped my cables in such a way they are holding the plug end tighter in the back of the MP. I will see if that helps before I move on to some of the other fixes.
 
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th0masp

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2015
839
506
Interesting.

I have trouble with the TB cable that connects to the screen. Seems really sensitive when you move the computer ever so slightly although it has been bought for just this purpose and removed so infrequently that it could not possibly have developed play in the connector.
I think this is a speciality of this computer though - I have used TB cables plenty to connect MBP's to screens, unplugged a million times, all fine. Something about the slightly curved plastic cover around the ports perhaps? Compared to the straight aluminium shell of the MBP.
 

Hunter5117

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
569
401
I may have found at least part of the problem. On the drive that would disconnect sometimes multiple times a day, I was going to swap it into a different enclosure. However, once I had it apart, I decided to try cleaning all the connectors with DeOxIT and see what that would do. I cleaned the drive SATA connector, plus all the plugs and sockets for the firewire and TB2 connectors. So far it has been running fine for 4 days. Jury not completely out yet as it has gone for over a week in the past, but it is looking good.
 
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