External Hard Drive for MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Blackspeare, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. Blackspeare macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    #1
    I recently purchased a WD My Passport 1TB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for Mac and I am having trouble using it. I am wondering whether this unit is compatible with Yosemite OS? If it is compatible then I'll continue to trouble shoot, if not any suggestions. Thanks.
     
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #2
    Yes, it is compatible.

    What trouble are you having?
     
  3. Boyd01, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    There appears to be an issue with Yosemite and FAT32. I just upgraded a new MBA to Yosemite for a family member (had 10.9 on it out of the box). Plugged in a FAT32 USB flash drive and got the message "This disk is not recognized, do you want to initialize" (or whatever).

    Now I had just used it in my old MBA which is still running 10.8. Found a number of posts about this issue in different places but didn't dig too deep. I tried running disk utility first, then plugging in the usb stick and it was correctly recognized and mounted.

    Seems to be a known issue for some people, and evidently it's an issue specifically with the Finder since Disk Utility finds the drive.

    @Blackspeare - Have you formatted the drive for MacOSX? Is it being recognized at all?
     
  4. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #4
    Thunderbolt. I've been through 5 usb3 drives with my wife's 2014 Air. 3 different manufacturers, at least 5 different hdd's/ssd's and nothing but problems on Mavericks and Yosemite. Failure to mount, failure to show up in DU, spontaneous ejects, improper ejects in sleep.

    Or go with usb2, I've had no problems there.
     
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    Try the drives with a different laptop/computer.

    I have not run into any problems with a bunch of external drives that I use(d) with a 2010 MBA, 2014 MBA, and 2012 Mini.
     
  6. jdphoto macrumors 6502

    jdphoto

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    #6
    Are these drives formatted Mac OS Extended or ExFAT? In general for this thread there really isn't much reason to use FAT32 unless you interact with old Macs (OS X 10.6 or earlier) or Windows XP. Windows 7 and OS X can read ExFAT and there is no stupid 4GB file size limit. If you're just using it with OS X though, format Mac OS Extended. I haven't had any problems with external drives and Yosemite yet.
     
  7. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

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    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #7
    I was about to buy a USB3 external HDD... Thank you for sharing your experience, I will go with a USB2 external HDD then.
     
  8. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #8
    I did. Went to my local Apple Store and tried an OWC there. The guy told me it might be a problem before I even plugged it in. The 3 longest threads I've ever seen on Apple's discussion forums are about the same issues I'm seeing, over 50 pages in each one.

    What drives are you using that have no issues with the 2014 Air?

    ----------

    Mac OS Extended, always has been, repartitioned several times (on account of a few of the drives being new). Are you running late model (2103/4) laptops? These are the problem child's from what I've been able to absorb. This is coming from Apple and OWC. The last EFI update did nothing to improve the situation.

    Are you using FireWire drives with Yosemite? Do they sleep? If yes, what enclosure and drive please? I've decided to upgrade my old usb2/FireWire Mac's rather than deal with the issues I'm seeing with my wife's 2014 Air. So narrowing in on a working enclosure and drive may lead to a combo Firewire/Thunderbolt enclosure that allows for the future.
     
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #9
    Two Western Digital external hard drives and a SanDisk flash drive. (And a bunch of other USB 2 drives which I see you don't have a problem with so I guess that's irrelevant.)

    I see that half the problems you list have to do with the drives and sleeping. I use my external drives for backups and to transfer data between computers. I plug them in, copy files to/from the drives, and unplug them immediately. I've never, ever had a problem with that.

    I don't know what you're doing that you want your external drives plugged in even when your computer is asleep but maybe if you avoid that it will solve the other problems you've been having?
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #10
    I have been using Seagate Desktop Backup Plus drives on my 2013 MBA and 2012 Mini with no issue. These units plug into a small USB 3.0 base/dock and I also have a thunderbolt dock that works with them. Running some tests, I didn't see any advantage to Thunderbolt - they all clocked in the 160 - 180 MB/s range either way. There are always two of these 3TB drives plugged into my Mini which is an iTunes server - one for the library and the other is a clone/backup that's updated nightly with CCC.

    I have a third 3TB that I rotate as the backup drive. No problems at all with these. I also have 2TB version of the same drive that I use with my MBA for video editing. No issues there either. But the Mini is running 10.9 and the MBA is running 10.8. Have not tried them with Yosemite.

    I also have a WD Passport Ultra (bus powered) drive that I use to clone the MBA. No issues there either, it clocks around 100 MB/s.

    And I have several older USB 2 bus powered Passport drives that have also been trouble free.
     
  11. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #11
    My wife and I travel months every year, 5 months this year. Her Air is used for photography and backups. I take breaks and I don't sit around waiting for long exports or backups to complete. I initially tried Jettison but found it to be unreliable, then set the Air to never sleep but now I use an app called Mountain to easily eject and mount drives. Works well. I feel all of this is pretty silly. Apple's laptops have worked fine with externals since they started making them. Now they don't? That's sort of core functionality in my book.

    ----------

    Agree there's no advantage to putting a spinner in a Thunderbolt enclosure if the criteria is speed. I'm looking for the ability to survive sleep without an improper eject or failure to remount or show up in DU. Its worth the premium for me.

    I believe we're probably talking about different machines and different behaviors. Our 2010 Air and 2010 mini had no issues with any drives (usb2 only). The 2014 Air is the issue running either 10.9 or 10.10. No problems with usb2 but problems with usb3. Which leads me to hope the issue is with the drives I've tried, not with Apple. Or, a poor implementation of usb3 on the part of Apple.

    I'll give Thunderbolt a try. As much as I don't like it, I've gotten used to returning drives.
     
  12. sovereign macrumors 6502

    sovereign

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #12
    I have a 2009 MBP with an SSD in place of the SuperDrive and a 1TB in the stock location. My iTunes library, movies, and pics all reside on the 1TB drive. I was considering going with an MBA for greater portability when out and about, while leaving a USB 3.0 external plugged in all the time while at home to access my data. Interesting to read that this will not work due to problems with the newer computers and USB external drives.
     
  13. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #13
    I have a 2012 MBA. I have changed my internal SSD to a Transcend Unit, and I also have an external 2.5" Seagate Hybrid drive in an Orico USB 3.0 enclosure that I use for backups. I works great, and also works as a StartUp drive. The Transcend unit came with a simple USB 3.0 enclosure for the SSD that I removed from my MBA. That drive also works and will work as a StartUp drive.

    Lou
     
  14. objektør macrumors regular

    objektør

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    Nov 25, 2014
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    At home
    #14
    I plan to buy a 128gb 3.0 flash drive. Formatted Exfat as I want to use it on Mac and Windows but mostly on a MBA 2014, still on Mavericks.
    Anybody experiencing trouble with usb 3.0 flash drives or are these problems only/mostly HDD related?
     
  15. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #15
    ^^^^I have used a myriad of USB 3.0, and 2.0, drives on my MBA, both flash and otherwise and have experienced no issues. (See my post above yours) However, they are all formatted Mac Extended (Journaled).

    Lou
     
  16. objektør macrumors regular

    objektør

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    Nov 25, 2014
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    #16
    Thanks and yes I read your post. I might have to use Mac Extended if I get any trouble. I just wondered if more people have experienced trouble with usb 3.0 flash. Exfat. To buy a 2.0 is another option as someone adviced but I'd liked to get the high speeds now that I can use a new MBA.
     
  17. rachalmers macrumors member

    rachalmers

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 dsicussion

    Yes, I have a Late 2012 Mini. Running Yosemite 10.10.2, I tried an ORICO external USB 3.0 caddy with a new WD Blue TB drive in it, and it really behaves badly. Initially it will wait about 5 minutes then the WiFi shuts down. The drive shows access is happening, then the whole system reboots. !!!!

    So I take the 1TB Drive out of the enclosure and put it on a USB 2.0 Y-Type connector, and plug it into a mains powered USB Hub. No problems. The drive spins up every now and then, which is annoying with that little wine sound, but that's something to do with being a WD. They seem to have their own logic in there somewhere.
    Anyways, on the USB 2.0 it works as my TimeMachine with no worries. On the USB 3.0 it reboots the Mini. Who knows.

    ----------

    That's really interesting. And useful. Can you tell me the name/model what ever of the usb 3.0 hub you are using please. Does it have it's own power supply? I'm looking for something that's proven to work - like yours...

    I'm going to buy a couple of the Seagate Desktop Backup Plus drives, but I'm really suspicious of the Mini built in USB 3.0 setup. I have an ORICO USB 3.0 enclosure and 1 TB WD Blue, and if I plug that in, it reboots the mini after about 10 minutes !!! On USB 2.0 it's fine. It's a Late 2012 Mini. Yosemite 10.10.2
     
  18. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #18
    No idea what might be wrong. Here are the drives I've used successfully with my Mini and my MBA: WD USB 3.0 drive, a no-name $10 USB 3.0 enclosure for a Toshiba laptop drive, a different model line of WD 3.0 drive, a 2.0 Toshiba drive, a 2.0 PQI SSD, and a 2.0 WD drive.

    I've plugged all these drives successfully into my Mini and my MBA with no problems, plus I've used an Amazon USB 3.0 hub with the Mini and all the drives worked with that, and I recently bought an Anker USB 3.0 hub and so far a few drives have worked with that too.

    Basically I have complete confidence that any drive I plug in via USB will work fine in any Mac, hub or not. Crazy if you are seeing problems. No idea what might be causing them.
     
  19. Dweez, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

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    Down by the river
    #19
    I'm using a number of USB3 devices on my MBA - Sandisk thumb drives, Seagate 1tb external drives, a Samsung 840 EVO SSD in an Oyen Digital USB3 enclosure and a Toshiba 2.5 tb drive. All have worked without issue, and all are formatted ExFAT so I can use them on my macs as well as a windows box.

    With that said, what issue(s) are you having? Is the drive new out of the box? Whether or not it's "compatible with Yosemite" isn't an issue, the version of the O/S isn't a factor.
     
  20. DonCarlos macrumors regular

    DonCarlos

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #20
    I came close to pulling the trigger on a My Book For Mac, because of it's 3 year warranty and WD's reputation for solid drives.

    But I am seeing many many many posts elsewhere about the problems that Yosemite time machine has with these and several other drives. Some caused by that embedded smart ware in those drives. That said, seems problems with LaCie, Seagate, and even Time Capsule.

    -So I would like know if any members here have had problems with backups and loss of data during backups using time machine (Yosemite) with any WD externals or with any other drives?

    -I would appreciate suggestions recommendations as well. If you have had no issues, what external drive are you using?

    My inclination, is to buy a bare 3 TB drive and use my 3.0 Orico dual drive docking station, at least no smartware will be involved, but I see there are reported problems with that.


    Thanks
    __________________
     
  21. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #21
    I use Western Digital and Samsung USB 3.0 external drives frequently with multiple Yosemite Macs and have no problems whatsoever.

    Not sure what you mean by "smartware"--hard drives have firmware, i.e., the software that controls all the actual reading and writing to the disk--and they can come with software already written on the disk, which is easy to ignore/delete if you don't want to use it. But I don't know what "smartware" might refer to or how it would cause a problem.

    Anyway, WD drives work fine and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another myself. Maybe something like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Ultr...&keywords=western+digital+external+hard+drive
     
  22. newellj macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #22
    I am using a WD My Passport USB 3.0 2TB on the Mini and a Seagate Backup Plus USB 3.0 2TB on my rMBP for Time Machine with Yosemite. No problems writing or recovering. Both are Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
     
  23. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #23
    I almost went this route myself (I was running out of space, but also wanted some sort of RAID1 redundancy). I ended up spending way too much, but getting an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual enclosure (Thunderbolt) with dual drives - the whole solution is covered by a 3 year warranty. Additionally, I've used the 1TB WD Passport Ultra and 1TB WD Elements drives (2.5", USB 3.0) with numerous Macs with no problems - I never use the included software, but rather format them as HFS+ or ExFAT in Disk Utility.

    Finally, I've gotten the OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro 2.5" enclosure for an old internal laptop drive - I went with the USB 2/3-only one and have been pretty happy with its performance.

    I can't speak to the issues specific to the 2014 Airs, but I have yet to see weird drive issues across a number of Macs with these various drives on Yosemite.
     
  24. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #24
    That's good that you're thinking about redundancy but I'd be concerned about a RAID1 solution like this one.

    Studies have shown that hard drives from the same batch (same make, model, similar manufacture date) often fail at more or less the same time, so you might not have the redundancy that you might think.

    Also, if they are both plugged into the same device, they might be damaged/destroyed by the same circumstance, e.g., a power surge from a nearby lightning strike, or a fire, or theft, or something like that.

    Or you could get some malware or accidentally delete a file and then that problem is duplicated across drives before you have a chance to resolve it.

    Better IMO is to have one drive and back up its contents every week or to to a different drive somewhere else that doesn't stay plugged in.
     
  25. DonCarlos macrumors regular

    DonCarlos

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #25
    Hello all really appeciate the immediate input and comments, Great forum.

    .

    I am just repeating the terms and language I read in some threads about the issues......I am not a highly tech savvy person. I am just trying to obtain as much information before choosing an external hard drive that works correctly with Yosemite and Time Machine. Here are some examples of the threads I was referring to. But I know, most things that receive posts are about things that go wrong, so it was reassuring to see the responses here from people that didn't have a problem.

    http://community.wd.com/t5/External...ook-for-Mac-2TB-and-OS-X-Yosemite/td-p/820017

    http://community.wd.com/t5/External...ort-for-Mac-1TB-and-OS-X-Yosemite/td-p/811837

    Thanks
     

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