External drives keep going offline.

machenryr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
354
37
Obviously, I don't know what the problem is so I don't know which forum to put it - OS or MacPro?

I have external drives continually going offline. Maybe once or twice a day. It seems to have increased in the last two days. I'll see a dialogue that says X, Y and Z drives were shut down improperly. Every night I use SuperDuper to back up. Sometimes the drives go down and come back on their own. Mostly I have to shut off/reboot them.

Mostly it seems to be a Raid two-bay enclosure I bought from OWC. I've contacted OWC support with no solution yet. Ideas? Suggestions? I've seen this before but I don't recall what the problem was.

OS 10.12.6. MacPro 5,1 3.46 GZ.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,211
701
What USB ports are they plugged into? Are you using a PCIe USB card? If so, it's a known issue that drives connected to it will be force disconnected when the cMP enters sleep mode (because power to the PCIe slots is cut). Apparently it does not generally cause issues with the the data on those drives, but the notifications do get annoying.

If you are using only the built-in USB 2.0 ports then I would try leaving the OWC enclosure disconnected and try some normal USB drives to see if those get disconnected. If not then maybe the OWC is the culprit.

If the disconnection is always happening during sleep you could decide to just disable sleep mode.
 

machenryr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
354
37
What USB ports are they plugged into? Are you using a PCIe USB card? If so, it's a known issue that drives connected to it will be force disconnected when the cMP enters sleep mode (because power to the PCIe slots is cut). Apparently it does not generally cause issues with the the data on those drives, but the notifications do get annoying.

If you are using only the built-in USB 2.0 ports then I would try leaving the OWC enclosure disconnected and try some normal USB drives to see if those get disconnected. If not then maybe the OWC is the culprit.

If the disconnection is always happening during sleep you could decide to just disable sleep mode.
OK. That could be it. I think it's plugged into a PCIe USB card. Wow. I wouldn't have thought. I'll switch it out and report back. Thank you.
 

machenryr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
354
37
It's still happening regardless of USB ports. Sierra, High Sierra and Mojave boot drives.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,211
701
If this is happening when drives are plugged into the built-in USB 2.0 ports (front or rear) then it's definitely not normal.

I think you said you have two identical Mac Pro 5,1's. Is this problem happening on both of them?

You probably need to get systematic about testing this. Try to test identical scenarios on both Mac Pros to isolate the problem.

Maybe first determine if it's only happening with the OWC enclosure. If so, that is likely the culprit.

If not, maybe "SuperDuper" has something to do with it? I dunno as I've never used that software.

Edit: Are you using any kind of USB hub anywhere? Try eliminating those if so.
 

MIKX

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,178
445
Japan
You could try ( as a test ) turning off 1. Computer sleep. 2. Drive sleep in Prefs Energy Saver .. while you are using the cMP.
 

TheIguana

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2004
650
381
Canada
Do you have Sleep enabled in Energy Saver? If you do, is “wake for network access” turned on?

I had to turn “wake for network access,” off as it was waking my Mac Pro up every 3-5 minutes when asleep. Over the course of a few evenings, some of my drives would start to disappear and not remount correctly.
 

machenryr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
354
37
If this is happening when drives are plugged into the built-in USB 2.0 ports (front or rear) then it's definitely not normal.

I think you said you have two identical Mac Pro 5,1's. Is this problem happening on both of them?

You probably need to get systematic about testing this. Try to test identical scenarios on both Mac Pros to isolate the problem.

Maybe first determine if it's only happening with the OWC enclosure. If so, that is likely the culprit.

If not, maybe "SuperDuper" has something to do with it? I dunno as I've never used that software.

Edit: Are you using any kind of USB hub anywhere? Try eliminating those if so.
Yes, it's happening on both MacPros. All of my enclosures are OWC, older and newer. But I have an idea. I have an audio interface that's in beta. I just went through two months of internet/ethernet issues. I tracked it down to this. DEveloper fixed it. It might be related.

I've used SuperDuper for years. Maybe I'm using an older copy not optimized for High Sierra and beyond. I'll check. Thanks.
 

machenryr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
354
37
One other clue - It's obviously a USB thing. The printer goes offline too. There's no wi-fi on this MacPro. When I got the printer HP Office Jet Pro 8710, I could only set it up with USB because no wifi, which is a drag. I used to use Boujour. Is that gone now on Mojave? But I think this issue may predate that. Not sure.

What should I check? I've tried the USB 3.0 card, not the card, hub, no hub. I now have the printer on the front USB port. The way I can get the printer back is to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,211
701
You don't need WiFi in your Mac Pro to use your printer over WiFi. If your printer has WiFI and you have WiFi in your house then the printer connects directly to your router over WiFi and all your Macs communicate to it over their ethernet connection.

Just use the OfficeJet's menu interface/touchscreen to supply it with your WiFi network and password. Then once it's connected, on your Macs go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and hit the + sign to add a printer. It should find your OfficeJet on the network, download the driver if necessary and set it up.

As for your USB problem, did you fully investigate the possible culprits identified in your earlier post this morning? Namely the "beta" audio interface. Are you using that on both Macs? Try disconnecting it from one of the Macs and then test for a while to see if the drives still drop off.

You could also try uninstalling SuperDuper from one of the Macs for a while to see if that makes a difference.

Since you have two pretty-much identical Macs both experiencing the problem it points either to some hardware, software or configuration that is present on both machines. So your best way to proceed is to start eliminating some of that hardware/software/configuration on just one of the Macs, with testing in between. I'd start by unplugging everything USB that can be unplugged (aside from KB/mouse and the drive enclosures). Run like that for a day or so and see if the problem goes away. If it does, then you know what the problem is.

Edit: Might also be interesting to remove any USB PCIe cards from one of your Mac Pros to see if even its mere presence in the machine could be triggering the problem. Something to experiment with anyway.