Bootcamp Firewire disk woes

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by f00f, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. f00f macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2009
    New Yawk
    Not quite sure I can blame Windows for this one but Windows makes a good scapegoat. ;) In short, when I reboot from Windows back into OS X, the external Firewire drive is not detected. System Profiler shows it as an unknown device; I typically have to unplug the power on the disk and plug it back in. This is on a 27" 2010 iMac & I'm using the external drive for Time Machine and general data (it has two partitions); I'm not booting any OS off it.

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk external drive using the at Firewire 800 base. Studying Seagate's forums and Google results in general, folks have wildly mixed experiences with this drive. My experience has been generally decent on the OS X side but Windows has added a new headache.

    The drive likes to spin down and go to sleep, even in OS X. I use it with Time Machine so the drive wakes up and does its thing & has little time to sleep. (And I'm not using Seagate's software in either OS X or Windows because of seriously headaches others have had with it.)

    Upon booting into Windows the drive is seen and alive for a bit but eventually goes to sleep because I don't really use it there (its partitions are read-only in Windows). If I reboot into OS X while the drive is resting, it simply doesn't get detected. System Profile claims "unknown device" in the Firewire section and I have to hard reset the thing -- by re-plugging its power -- to get it noticed again. FWIW I've never had this issue between subsequent reboots of OS X (likely because its never has much time to sleep).

    Any ideas? I guess I could explicitly try waking the drive up in Windows before rebooting to OS X. It's a kludge but kludge is Windows' middle name, IMO. ;)
  2. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Another name for a kludge is a workaround right?

    One idea is doing a small .bat windows executable in windows startup folder. The bat file could be a script to sleep and rescan disks in a loop.
  3. f00f thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2009
    New Yawk
    I do that on the Mac side with a cron job, though over there it seems superfluous since Time Machine uses the disk.

    Something like:
    use strict;
    use warnings;
    # Disk mounted in /Volumes
    # Default to Time Machine volume
    my $disk = shift || "Time Machine";
    ### MAIN
    $disk = "/Volumes/$disk";
    (chdir $disk and
    	utime undef,undef,".") or exit 100;
    exit 0;
    (Honestly not sure if that utime, which is essentially a "touch" command, is enough to access the disk since it's likely to be cached?)

    Anyway most of this topic is now moot because my original observation that the disk was sleeping in Windows is wrong. It's outright turning itself off. The activity light on the base of the disk turns off, and when I try to access the disk in Windows I get an error message saying the disk is no longer accessible. It's as if it's been 'ejected'.

    I noticed the FW drivers are old (2006?) and claim that it's some Texas Instruments chipset, so I went searching for alternatives. According to this page the drivers are made by another party, Unibrain, so I went poking around there. I grabbed a package called ubCore which is end-user runtime stuff.

    I installed those drivers and left the FW disk and computer on over night. This morning the disk was still accessible (normally it goes AWOL fairly quickly), so this may very well simply be a case of cruddy old drivers in Bootcamp.

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