External Hard disk check?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Deth, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Deth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Location:
    South of heaven
    #1
    Hi.
    I had this USB hitachi hard disk that i use mostly for backups since like 5 years and it has worked perfectly so far, yet last week when i plug it in i heard it making the horrible "Cloc Cloc Cloc Cloc Cloc" sound and unplug it immediately

    Since my last laptop disk and my friend's Usb HDD die in from of my eyes by the "click of death" i... well... panic lol

    When i calm down i plug it again but this time it mount perfectly with no abnormal sound at all, i copy and burn all the essential data from it in case of it will fail again and then i disconnect it and have not connected it again since then.

    Now, my question is... was it really a click of death or WTH was that? since it worked perfectly the in second attempt
    ..and can i check it with some utility? is Apple's DiskUtility the best choice or is there anything better to verify is the disk is fine?
    DU says that the SMART is unavailable so i don't know

    Thanks!
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Run Disk Utility on it and see what it reports.

    But after five years, it might be time to start looking for another backup drive.

    If the old one still works, you might keep it around as a "scratch" drive -- useful for storing stuff that you don't absolutely "have to have"...
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    Fully agreed.

    Disk drives are cheap. You can get 2TB USB 3 portable drives in the $100 range. A desktop 6TB is around $250.

    As we approach Black Friday....watch for extra good deals on drives.
     
  4. Deth, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    Deth thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
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    South of heaven
    #4
    Alright, thanks im going to run DiskUtility and see what it says... but still i wont trust that drive 100% ever again

    Eh... DiskUtility says its ok.. but it doesn't do a sector or surface scan so... how do i know?

    ..and a quick question for not make another threat or anything... since im interested on life spam over speed since is a backup disk should i go to a standard HDD or look for a SDD? i heard that SSD lifespan is really bad
    thanks again
     
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Large SSDs are only ~1TB and cost around $450. Large HDDs are 6TB and cost around $250. So a a single SSD is practical for a backup only if your entire file system is <1TB.

    The mean time between failures (MTBF) of the average SSD is far longer than a HDD. I have no idea where you would have otherwise.
     
  6. Deth thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
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    #6
    ok thanks
    I've been reading people saying things about their SDD failing around after 2 years, so i don't know
    I prefer to have small hard drives (500Gb to 1Tb maximum) in case that something fails i don't lose all my data in a single shot

    my normal HDD that are not for everyday use have always live for around 10 years without any issue until this one that its getting suspicious after 4 years

    i think it may be related to the lack the power supply... since all the others i have has a external power source and this is usb powered... not sure if this kind of things may affect but... my USB ports has been acting kinda weird since the last years, for example my ipod get disconnected by itself sometimes so i guess it may be a power issue on them even when im running always on a UPS (don't know if there is a way to test the usb without sending it to the technician)
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    I don't agree with the small drive idea. Every time you add a drive, you add another potential point of failure. Minimize this type of failure by using fewer and larger drive. But, this is critical, have regular backups using Time Machine. Not having backups is asking for catastrophic data loss.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP wrote above:
    [[ i think it may be related to the lack the power supply... since all the others i have has a external power source and this is usb powered... ]]

    This might be a VERY useful piece of info.

    If there's a problem with the USB port, you might get an instance where the drive behaves like this:
    - You plug it in, it "tries" to spin up, but "can't quite get there".
    - Even if it spins, it may not be able to mount up on the desktop, kind of "almost gets there", then kind of "recycles", etc.
    - This process just repeats.

    The problem is the port isn't supplying enough bus power to get the drive up and running.

    Do you by any chance have a powered USB hub?
    Try running the problem drive through the hub.
    Any change?

    There are also USB "Y-cables" that have a single connector on one end, and pair of connectors on the other.
    You can plug the single end into the drive, and plug both plugs on the "dual end" into TWO USB ports at once.
    The idea is that this "pulls some extra power" from the second port, and the two of them are enough to power up the drive and get it mounted.

    Another alternative:
    Does the drive in question have a port for an external power block?
    If so, connect a power block and then connect the drive to the Mac.
    If the drive didn't -come with- a power block, but it has a port, you may be able to find a small and cheap power block on ebay that will work. Chances are many electronics places also sell "universal" power block kits that offer different voltages and connectors to suit your needs...
     
  9. Deth thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
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    South of heaven
    #9
    Yeah, you might be right...
    I try to keep all the important data at least in two different places

    Yeah, i was wondering if that that sounds to me like the click of death was actually something like that... a couple of weeks ago i plug it in, it started but it didn't appears on the desktop... i took this as a symptom of the other thing but maybe was something else

    No, i don't use a hub... i do have one that barely use and i never connect a hard disk to a hub

    The disk came with the option of add a little cable along the usb (round hole)... no idea what is supposed to connect there but now that you mention it it may be a power adapter
    i always assume that the extra holes on things are for exotic pc-only cables lol
    Im going to check it.. and check better the next driver i buy
    thanks
     

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