2017 MBP Killing External Drives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Trey M, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I ran into a series of issues with my MBP yesterday which are very concerning. I have a 2017 15" tbMBP, which has been reliable for me thus far up until yesterday. I have a few external HDDs and SSDs hanging around that I use to move things around, including a Samsung 1TB T3 SSD and a Lacie Porsche Design 2TB HDD.

    Yesterday, I was copying contents from the Lacie drive to my local MBP drive, and I plugged in the power cable during the transfer since I was running low on power. Instantly when I plugged in the power cable, the transfer stopped and I got a bunch of screen prompts about not safely removing my drive. After that moment, my HDD is completely dead. It won't turn on (indicated by the power light), it won't mount, and it's completely unusable. I've tried numerous different cables and on different laptops, and the drive is dead.

    I chalked it up to just a failing HDD. It is about 2 years old, so I thought maybe I just got unlucky. It was working flawlessly earlier in the day.

    Then, I plugged in my Samsung T3 SSD to test things out. At first, it worked fine. I tried using it later in the day, and the drive is now also dead. Same symptoms. The SSD won't power on (no blue light), its not recognized on a Mac or Windows laptop, and I've tried like 3 different cables. Now, it seems like something is up with my MBP that is actually killing my drives.

    I think it's related to the USB-C ports on the left side of my machine. That's when I've noticed both drives have stopped working completely. I refuse to plug in another drive as it will kill that one as well.

    I was testing the ports using a USB-C to Lightning cable my plugging in my iPhone XS Max and also noticed something strange. If I plug in just the USB-C to Lightning cable, my iPhone charges fine. The moment I plug in the power cable to the MBP, my iPhone stops charging, even though it's plugged into another USB-C port. I think there's some kind of electrical failure in my MBP, probably related to the logic board.

    I found one YouTuber with a similar issue, but aside from that haven't found anyone with the same experience. Has anyone else ever heard of this? I will probably be making a trip to the Apple Store soon to see what the issue is.
     
  2. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    I have heard of this happening. You really need to be careful with loads and the power charger. Always plug the charger in first. It is 85W of power which is more than enough to fry things. At a friend's company they have fried the USB controllers/fuses on 3 2016/2017 15" MBPs.
     
  3. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #3
    I had issues with my 2016 frequently giving me improper drive removal errors with external drives plugged in, but luckily (knock on wood) it never actually killed a drive. Only messed up the file transfer.

    But that’s very concerning.
     
  4. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Thanks for sharing this. I'm taking it into the Genius Bar today and will share this info with them. Hopefully this is something that will show up on a hardware test.
     
  5. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #5

    Wow, that's very bad. I've never heard of that happening and would never think to unplug my plugged in devices, then plug in the power, then plug the external devices back in.

    That's shockingly poor design if true.
     
  6. DIMEZ macrumors 6502a

    DIMEZ

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    MD
    #6
    also killed my 2 tb porshe drive....only had the drive for 3 days....smh
     
  7. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #7
    Are you able to exchange the drive? That’s really messed up :(
     
  8. DIMEZ macrumors 6502a

    DIMEZ

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    MD
    #8
    yeah took a moth to get a new one back.....lost all my data...smh
     
  9. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #9
    Glad that you got a replacement drive, but that is terrible to lose the drive and data like that. To make matters worse, I am guessing you don't trust connecting the replacement drive to the computer anymore.
     
  10. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Pretty crazy chain of events for my MBP repair.

    Took the machine into Apple Store in Dallas area on Nov 3 for repair of what was initially suspected as a failed I/O (Thunderbolt) controller. Was quoted 3-5 days to receive my machine back.

    Next, they called me a few days later and told me they would be replacing the logic board as the I/O controller replacement was not totally fixing the issue. They suggested they'd send the machine to Apple warehouse for offsite repair where they have more advanced diagnostic tools.

    There was a delay at the repair facility due to a constrained part, so after lots of back and forth with the store and AppleCare senior reps on the phone, they decided to replace my machine since the repair was taking too long. Walked in with a 2017 MBP quad core w/ 16GB RAM and received the replacement today: a 2018 MBP 2.9 hexacore w/32GB RAM and the 560X video card.

    Apple was also kind enough to give me a free Lacie 2TB HDD since my machine literally fried my original one. I was also able to get a brand new Samsung T3 from Samsung under warranty.

    All in all this whole fiasco has ended up a positive thing. This new machine is crazy!
     
  11. Camark08 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    #11
    Wow that's amazing. Did you have apple care + or just the standard warranty?
     
  12. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    I did have Applecare+ which probably helped my case.

    They extended my Applecare+ warranty as well so I got a new 3-year warranty with the computer :) I was extremely fortunate but it speaks to Apple's level of customer service. The local manager took care of me.
     
  13. alexballvideos macrumors member

    alexballvideos

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2017
    #13
    Hmmm interesting read.
    I had an odd experience over the weekend.

    My 2017 15" 560PRO machine had a 2tb Seagate Ultra Slim die mid transfer on Saturday just gone. Re-connected it, deleted the failed transfer folder and started the transfer again. 200GB or so. It finished. So i kept on pushing more files off my machine and other external drives onto this drive. Then later on, about an hour later, it doesn't let me browse any folders and continually crashes finder. I hadn't had a chance to run a CCC clone of the new data on it! Dang.

    Then the following day my 500GB WD USB-C SSD i use for time machine, says it's not writeable. I need to backup and format it. Could not repair either drive in disk utility, tried booting from recovery partition and also using disk utility, no luck.

    I got both the SSD and HD replaced on Sunday and Monday, but makes me nervous transferring files now... no more "moving" folders in finder!
     
  14. alexballvideos macrumors member

    alexballvideos

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2017
    #14
    Well a third drive, another bus powered SSD, has been corrupted by the laptop. Took the machine into Apple and they found three of the four USB ports had highly variable power delivery. New port/board chips ordered and a logic board in case it’s needed aso. Smh.
     
  15. Trey M, Dec 14, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018

    Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    I’m 90% certain that is the issue my machine suffered from. Part of the reason Apple was able to help me out was that I had a very reproducible issue. This is what I did:

    - Plugged USB-C > Lightning cable into my laptop and phone respectively. I used the bottom left MacBook Pro port.

    - Plugged power cable (87W Apple adapter) into top left port (in this sequence). I would immediately get an error message indicating that there was a USB power issue and speeds would be limited (can’t remember the message exactly).

    If I flipped these ports in sequence, i.e used top port to connect my iPhone, this issue did not occur. The issue was exclusively with the bottom left port on my machine. I showed this to the reps and definitely feel it helped my case since having something reproducible is one of the top things they’re looking for.

    The logic board (2017) was the constrained part in my situation and, as it met the threshold in terms of number of days, I was able to get a new replacement.

    It’s definitely made me more paranoid about USB-C in general. This, coupled with the reports of certain first-gen cables that were literally frying devices, leads me to worry about USB-C in terms of reliability/safety.

    I was lucky to get my drives that were ruined replaced by Apple and Samsung RMA. Had I been out that ~$500 for the cost of the drives, it would’ve been real tough to deal with.
     
  16. alexballvideos macrumors member

    alexballvideos

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2017
    #16
    USB-C sounds amazing on paper, my experience so far has been damaged by this. I own so many USB-C drives now, and bought USB-C cables for everything else. I’ve already had two different drives replace by the same retailer, one HDD and SSD, I don’t think they are going to like me coming back with a 1TB WD MyPassport SSD which they just replaced a week ago. And they should not be taking the hit for it either.

    What I’m concerned about is the other several external hdd I have, and have been using the past week during these issues, dropping out in the future due to damage done in the past months. Im a self employed video producer, I have over ten drives. I think there is 5 spinning hdd and 4 ssd I use which are bus powered. Not impressed at all. Apple said I can call legal about reimbursement.

    We’ll see how that goes. Smh.
     
  17. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #17
    Be cautious of adapters as well. I purchased an Aukey USB C adapter with SD/USB/HDMI and it does not handle external drives at all. Plugged in my external SSD through the adapter and did a speed test only to have it disconnect. I unplugged everything and attempted again and this time with no response. The light was solid and never registered a blink. Panic set in and I tried to revive the drive with different cable and enclosures, but no luck on my end.

    Waited a few hours and tried again, this time directly with USB-C with my iPad Pro cable and to my surprise, the SSD registered. Excited as I was, I started backing up all my files, albeit at a slow USB 2.0 speed of 40MB/s. I then googled around for the reason why the drive came back from the dead and it has to do with power cycling the SSD. I guess it's a protective measure that was put into place to prevent the drive from further damage. Don't count it as a lost cause yet. Give it time and try again.
     

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16 October 29, 2018