Resolved Connect and Disconnect External Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by CoastalOR, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #1
    I would like to safely connect and disconnect the external hard drive while the MBP is running for doing daily back ups.

    What is the best/safest way to Connect a powered external 3.5" hard drive via firewire or USB? Can it be done while the MBP is running or is it better to do it before starting the computer?

    What is the best/safest way to DISconnect a powered external hard drive via firewire or USB? I know about ejecting the drive first. Is it OK to then turn off the power to the external hard drive and then disconnect the drive cable? Or, do I need to shut down the MBP, turn off the power to the external Hard Drive and then disconnect the drive cable?
     
  2. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #2
    Connecting does not matter whether the MBP is on or off. If the external drive has a power switch, I would make sure it was off when I plugged it in. Then I would turn it on.

    As for disconnecting, eject the drive and then if it has a power switch, turn it off and them remove the cable from the MBP. If no power switch, just eject the drive and then remove the cable. Simple as that.
     
  3. CoastalOR thread starter macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #3
    Thank you for the response and information! I was not sure if it was different for firewire & USB, but it seems like it does not make a difference.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    If it is a 3.5" drive in an external enclosure, you will also need the enclosure's power supply.

    A MBPro doesn't supply enough "bus power" to power an external drive of that size.

    To connect:
    1. Connect the drive's power block and plug it in.
    2. Connect the drive's USB or Firewire cable to the MB
    3. If the drive has a power switch, flip it on.
    Drive should spin up and mount on the desktop.

    To DISconnect:
    1. Drag the drive's icon to the trash, or, right-click on the drive and choose "Eject"
    2. Wait until the icon disappears from the desktop
    3. Flip the drive's power switch (if it has one) to OFF
    4. Physically disconnect the drive from the Mac.

    Some (but not all) smaller 2.5" drives can run on bus power alone.
    In that case, same routine applies, but you don't have to hook up a power block.

    Also be aware that -some- smaller drives might need a "USB Y-cable". This kind of cable has a single adapter on the drive end, and TWO USB connectors on the "Mac end". The idea is that one USB connection alone doesn't provide enough bus power, but using two at once will "do the job"...
     
  5. CoastalOR thread starter macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #5
    Thank you Fishrrman. The drive does have an external power supply that I use. I have been using the drive for awhile for back ups, but I have shut down the computer to connect or disconnect the external drive just to be safe. The process seemed slower and tedious. Now it will be easier following your instructions.
     

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