Disconnecting external hard drive question...

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
Hi there! I have a 15.4" MacBook Pro and a G-Tech G-Drive 500 GB that I connect via Firewire 800. I connect my external HDD by first plugging the cable into the Firewire port while both the MBP and HDD are powered off. I then power on the HDD for 10-20 seconds (to allow it to spin up) and then I power on my MBP. When OS X loads my G-Drive is there and ready to rock. I normally disconnect the HDD by dragging the G-Drive to the trash, waiting for the HDD to spin down (about 10 seconds), then powering off the HDD via the power switch on the back of the device, then unplugging the Firewire 800 cable, and then finally powering down my MBP.

My question is this... This past time I did all of that, except when it came time to disconnect my HDD I dragged it to the trash, let it spin down, then I shut down my MBP (forgot to power off the HDD and disconnect the Firewire 800 cable). So when OS X was shutting down it went to that blank blue screen and the little gear wheel was spinning for a longer than usual amount of time because my HDD spun back up (remember it's still connected), immediately spun down, and then the MBP shut down. I then powered down the HDD via the back power switch, and disconnected the Firewire 800 cable.

Is that okay? Did I do any damage? Is there a way to verify one way or the other?

Thanks,
Keith
 

BlueArctos

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2007
89
0
Considering the average consumer dismounts his Firewire/USB hard drive by yanking the cable out while BOTH devices are powered and active, I'm going to say you're COMPLETELY FINE. It sounds like OS X was doing a device check before it powered off. You heard the hard drive spin up and then back down - nothing at all to worry about.

You are certainly treating your hardware with respect. I wish the people I provide tech support for were as cautious as you.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
No, you didn't cause any damage to the external hard drive. IMO you are being very over cautious with it. You can turn on the external hard drive and plug it into the MacBook Pro while the MacBook Pro is on and turn off the MacBook Pro with the external hard drive on.
 

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
Considering the average consumer dismounts his Firewire/USB hard drive by yanking the cable out while BOTH devices are powered and active, I'm going to say you're COMPLETELY FINE. It sounds like OS X was doing a device check before it powered off. You heard the hard drive spin up and then back down - nothing at all to worry about.

You are certainly treating your hardware with respect. I wish the people I provide tech support for were as cautious as you.
Yeah I'm a bit anal when it comes to all of this but hey... I've literally spent $1,000s on this stuff (including the music that I back up to my G-Drive) so why not learn how to properly use the hardware/software, right?

Is there any way I can verify everything is okay or not okay?
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,395
8
San Francisco
You're fine man.

And why do you power off the drive and pull the firewire plug? When the computer powers off the drive powers off. No need to pull any plugs.

EDIT: Yeah just run Disk Utility to verify everything's ok, but you're just wasting your time because everything is just fine. Hate to say it, but you're just being paranoid.
 

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
You're fine man.

And why do you power off the drive and pull the firewire plug? When the computer powers off the drive powers off. No need to pull any plugs.
Because it's a laptop and I take it with me on the road... :D If it was a Mac Pro I'd definitely just leave it plugged in (and probably leave both the tower and HDD on all of the time).

PS. I love the quick response times on these forums... Thanks guys for your input. :)
 

BlueArctos

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2007
89
0
Is there any way I can verify everything is okay or not okay?
Haha, seriously, don't worry about it.

If you REALLY want to check, try copying a file from your external drive to the desktop. If the transfer goes off without a hitch (and it will), you're fine.
 

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
EDIT: Yeah just run Disk Utility to verify everything's ok, but you're just wasting your time because everything is just fine. Hate to say it, but you're just being paranoid.
Okay I will run Disk Utility just for my peace of mind in the morning... But what am I looking for? Will it not just say "blah blah blah was X and blah blah blah should be Y.... permissions repairs complete" or something along those lines?

And I should run Disk Utility inside the OS... not off the Mac OS X Install Disc, correct?
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,395
8
San Francisco
Because it's a laptop and I take it with me on the road... :D If it was a Mac Pro I'd definitely just leave it plugged in (and probably leave both the tower and HDD on all of the time).
The more paranoid the post the faster we swoop in.
You can just eject the drive and pull the plug while the machine is on and your A-Ok. Unless you got the Device Removal Warning then you haven't done anything wrong. Unplug the drive without ejecting it and you'll get this warning. Go ahead, Try it!

EDIT: (I am not responsible for any problems that occur if you do actually 'Try it!'). And if you run disk utility once, you might as well run it twice. Just to be sure ;)
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
Okay I will run Disk Utility just for my peace of mind in the morning... But what am I looking for? Will it not just say "blah blah blah was X and blah blah blah should be Y.... permissions repairs complete" or something along those lines?

And I should run Disk Utility inside the OS... not off the Mac OS X Install Disc, correct?
Don't repair permissions on the external hard drive, verify the disk.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
Okay will do... Just for the sake of genearl knowledge, doesn't repairing permissions ALSO verify the disk in the process?
Well, you can't repair permissions on a hard drive that Mac OS X is not installed on. And I don't believe that repairing permissions also verifies the disk.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
My external hard drive goes into a standby mode if it isn't being used for 10 minutes (basically stops the drive spinning and goes to sleep, but is still mounted on the Mac incase I want to use it again).

There isn't much point in ejecting the drive since it is in standby mode (wastes time since the drive has to spin back up again, then power down). I tend to just turn the drive off without ejecting when it is in standby mode.

I get shouted at by OSX for doing so, but it isn't damaging the drive since the drive isn't active - it is only the interface that is and it is awaiting any instructions regarding the drive wanted to be accessed.
 

diadem

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2006
139
0
Glasgow
considering I keep both my firewire Lacie HDD on all the time and let them spin down/turn of when my MBP goes to sleep, it should be fine.
 

KumaChan

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2007
10
0
Is there any thing I should be cautious of if this was a 2.5" external HD? Just scared as I am a total newbie to the world of the portable Apples...

Also wondering if sleep mode is really safe to lug around in the bag while I take the train everyday...(I'm the type that switches off the mains everytime I through for the day!!!)

Anyone has anything to comment on the WD Passport Black 250GB which I thought of getting? Or should I get a DIY set with a alum casing separate?
The WD doesn't offer any portables with Firewire 800 / 400...

cheers:)
 

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
Anyone has anything to comment on the WD Passport Black 250GB which I thought of getting? Or should I get a DIY set with a alum casing separate?
The WD doesn't offer any portables with Firewire 800 / 400...

cheers:)
To add to that question, what about the G-Tech G-Drive mini (160GB)? Any better/worse than the WD (besides obvious capacity difference)?
 

KumaChan

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2007
10
0
Yes...did read up also about the G Tech G Drive mini...is the casing hot when its backing up?

Many have advise me against the WD passport black as its plastic and the heat won't do good in that! Is this true?

Just want a practical external portable HD about 250GB...with Firewire800...any suggestions folks?
 

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
Yes...did read up also about the G Tech G Drive mini...is the casing hot when its backing up?
I haven't used a mini yet... I have a normal-sized G-Drive and it doesn't really heat up at all that I can tell... Then again I don't often go and put my hand on it. :) But I think one of the selling points of the product is it's fan-less cool design/materials (heatsink). And it matches my MacBook Pro... I'm almost required to get it now. :D
 

KumaChan

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2007
10
0
I will go have a look at the mini G. Thanks

Keithos27 - a pat on your back - I find your care with your HD very encouraging as I normal forget all safe practices when I am in the midst of a rush job...hope to try like how youre treating your babies...
 

keithos27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
131
0
I will go have a look at the mini G. Thanks

Keithos27 - a pat on your back - I find your care with your HD very encouraging as I normal forget all safe practices when I am in the midst of a rush job...hope to try like how youre treating your babies...
Thanks. And hope the G-Drive Mini works for you... :)