External Hard Drive Issue - Keeps shutting off

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by maclover001, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #1
    Hey I have a 500GB Western Digital SATA drive inside an unbranded enclosure that I use for Time Machine.

    If I plug the drive in, it will work for about a minute, then I get an error about unsafe removal (The same one you get when you unplug something without ejecting it), I put my ear up to the drive, and it sounds like it spins up for a second, then spins down, then up again, then down, then up.......

    My estimate is that some kind of power supply inside the enclosure is failing, could this be it?

    What I have tried:
    - Reformatting the drive
    - Using the power cord from my external DVD burner (They appear to be identical)
    - Placing it horizontally instead of vertically
    - Throwing the drive against the wall and smashing it with a hammer repeatedly (just kidding)

    This has been going on for about 3 weeks now, but it used to just be intermittent.
    What could be the problem?
    Thanks
     
  2. live4ever macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #3
    One question- when you say power cord, do you mean an external power supply (either a power brick type or one that has an AC cord going into one side and a cable to be attached to your drive out the other side) or are you talking about just a straight AC cord directly to the drive (hence an unusual but not unheard of internal power supply- usually on fairly large enclosures)?

    The reason I ask is that if you are talking about an external power supply type and you have replaced it with one of the exact same output voltages and current capacity and have the same results, you have successfully eliminated the power supply as being part of the issue and would then have to move on to the drive mechanism's electronics as a probably cause.

    Do you by chance have another enclosure you might temporarily mount the drive in for troubleshooting?
     
  4. maclover001 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #4
    Thanks for the quick replies :)

    The power cord is a brick yes, but I assume there is some kind of internal power supply as well? I dunno, I'm dumb.

    I don't have another enclosure, or another drive to do diagnostics, and I can't format the drive again because I'm pretty much locked out of it now. It only appears in the Finder for a few seconds before ejecting.

    I tried plugging it into my dads iMac, and the same thing happens, except it isn't shown as a TM drive obviously.

    The drive is still under warranty, but it's a cheap-ass enclosure with no warranty whatsoever, so I'm pretty sure that may be the problem.
     

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  5. Beachcomber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #5
    I'm having the exact same problem.

    Not the same drive, but very similar.

    Is this a possible overheating issue?
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #6
    I've had these problems before. It seemed to be a USB problem. Connecting USB drives directly to my Mac mini, the drives would disconnect pretty quickly. Connecting them through a powered USB hub helped, but not by much. It would just disconnect a bit later. Switching to Firewire solved all my problems and it was faster, too, albeit at a higher cost...
     
  7. Beachcomber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
  8. Beachcomber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #8
    I'm almost convinced now that in my situation it's an overheating problem. I ran the drive all day at my work, which is air conditioned, and had zero problems. But when running the drive from home, which can get pretty hot at times, I have the same random shutdown issues. I've set up a fan directly over the drive to try and keep it cool. Hopefully that helps.

    If anyone could shed some light on this it would be really appreciated.
     
  9. Whitby39 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    #9
    This is Happening to me on windows(Western digital)

    When i plug in my external hard drive to my vista computer, on the western digital hard drive, the light keeps flashing, and as said above it keeps running up and down, soon cutting off. I was wondering, can i back up all my stuff on the hard drive to put onto a new one even though its busting up....thanks
    :mad:
     
  10. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #10
    You can always transplant the drive to another enclosure...
     
  11. TH-Gunner macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    #11
    I've been having a similar problem for a couple years, now. I've gone through 4 of the power supplies (bricks) and tried 3 different enclosures. This is between two different drives.

    So now I've tried using my ATX power supply (for a desktop computer) and running the wires to the enclosure. I have 2 enclosures now and have tried both of them with both of my drives. I keep getting the random disconnects, even when the power supply being a problem should effectively be eliminated from the equation.

    Now, I tried using the enclosure and drive on a PC running Suse Linux. It's been running 100% fine for almost 48 hours now. If the problem is the mac, how could that end up burning through 4 power supplies? It doesn't make sense to me.
     

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