Cannot see harddisk in Disk Utility

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DelboyJay, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. DelboyJay macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2009

    I have just bought a Samsung 500GB SATA 5400rpm 8MB Cache Laptop Hard Drive and put it into my old MAC mini, the only problem is that the Disk Utility cannot see the drive at all. I have also tried df -hl but that cannot see it either.

    If I connect the drive to a Windows PC it says that I have to initialise the drive using an MBR or GUID Partitioning.

    I'm assuming that I have to use GUID partitioning for the MAC? But how do I do this inside Leopard? Do I have to take the drive out and initialise it using Windows?

    Once I manage to initialise it, will it appear in Disk utility so I can format it? Please Help!


  2. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Are you sure it's plugged in firmly into the Mini?

    If the drive is working properly, then there shouldn't be a reason DU cannot see that it's there (reading or mounting it may be another issue).

    I assume that you are trying this while booted up to your system disc?

    For an Intel Mac, GUID is the necessary partition scheme, then formatted with Mac OS Extended (hfs+). I didn't know that Windows could set it to GUID, but if it can and there is nothing on the new drive then I would try it.

    DU can read MBR volumes too, as that's what flash drives and sticks are generally formatted as.

    Sounds wierd :(
  3. DelboyJay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2009
    hmmm, I think you might be right about it not being plugged in properly as I have opened it up twice and the connector is very loose although it is pushed in as far as it can go. I think I might put the old HD in just to be sure I haven't broken anything as it still has the original OS on it.

    Thanks for your input on this. I'll take another look and report my findings.

  4. DelboyJay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2009
    SATA I or SATA II?

    I have just thought, the HD i bought is SATA II. Does the old mac mini that came with the Intel Core Solo support SATA II or do I have to configure the drive to use SATA I?
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Not an issue. I had that drive in my GMA950 Mini. You need to connect the drive by USB2 or FW just to verify it's in good working order. If so, then it's something about your connection.
  6. DelboyJay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2009
    Hi CaveMan,

    Thanks for the feedback, I think that the connection is to blame here because I put the original drive back in and I got the folder with a question mark up. I had to put all the screws back in nice and tight before it started working again I thought I broke it and wasn't a happy chappy as you can imagine. Now I'm scared to touch it again in case it completely dies on me.

    I have plugged the new disk into a windows machine and initialised it to use GUID partitioning but have not formatted it because Vista only allows NTFS on there which obviously won't work for me so I think I will have to do as you suggest and buy an external firewire/USB2 to sata icy box or something and format the disk that way.

    I am worried that the drive connector is very very loose. I'm not sure how I can improve the connectivity of the drive connector.


  7. DelboyJay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2009
    It's working!!!

    OK I finally got it all working.

    I had to plug the new drive into an external icy box and format it, then putting the drive into the MAC mini it could finally see the disk and allow me to install the OS. So for the record Cave Man was indeed correct SATA II definitely works in the 2006 models.

    The only other problems I had was transferring the settings from the old HD (which I transferred to the icy box) it basically failed every time for some reason because it says the external disk connection dropped but other then that it's all good. :)

    Thanks for everyone's help on this,

  8. acemcsword macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2007
    sprry to drag this thread up...

    but its the closest i've found to my problem.

    Basically I have a 500gb SATA drive in my Pro that OSX isnt recognsing properly.

    Te first thing is that DU tells me the drive is failing critically and should be replaced immediately. This is unlikely as i have been using it in an XP machine for about a year without any probs. I am putting this down to the fact that even though i formatted the drive, i formatted it in XP - leaving windows sticky fingered NFS formatting on it.

    basically i know this drive is fine, but i cannot format it clean in DU because it still thinks its NTFS. any ideas how I can wipe this totally?

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