External drives not initializing after being idle

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by korax, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. korax macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012

    when I connect a HFS+ formatted external drive (which is healthy for sure) via USB to my mini and leave it for a while, it spins down and goes idle, as set in system preferences. Sometimes, when I want to resume working with that drive and eg open up a folder in it, nothing happens, I dont even get a list of the folder contents. In this case, the disk doesnt even spin, it stays dead.

    Furthermore, this seems to have some impact on Finder functionality. When this happens, spotlight doesnt work, similarly, I'm unable to eject the drive and have to forcibly physically disconnect it in order for finder to work again.

    This happens to me on both 10.7 and 10.8 - even fresh install doesn't help. No stuff like Paragon NTFS and the like is installed.

    This is driving me nuts. It's happening to all my 3,5 external drives, I checked them all, both the health of them and the permissions are OK. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Are both externals in the same branded case, if so the case might be the problem.

    I have something similar but on a Ext3 formated drive, I can not eject them safely, can not format them, so the only way to get them out is to force the drive by pulling the cord.

    The finder might be the problem, back in the early days I also had this happen on CD's, most of the time after errors, finder brought to a standstill or couldn't eject the disks.

    What you can try is another branded external disk, if the problem is gone there are issues with the ones you have.
    Are USB thumbdrives/flash memory doing the same?
  3. korax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    I have to WD disks in two Axago enclosures. I realized this might be causing some problems, but this also happens when only one drive is connected, so it's probably something else.
  4. korax thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012

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