Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

NavySilver

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
106
341
New York, NY
After two unfruitful communications with Apple’s support staff (who I assume are working from home), it dawned on me that at this point, I need people at MacRumors’ support for this issue.

I have an iPad Pro 2018 updated to 13.4, which means that powered by the USB-C port, I should be able to take full advantage and attach external hard drives. However, it’s been dropping connection from my external hard drives about five minutes into use, almost every single time.

It goes like this: I plug my SanDisk 2TB portable SSD in. Head into the files app, finds it. Browse it & access its content for 5 minutes (sometimes less), then boom, it’s gone. While still securely plugged. I suspected it was the drive, and I decided to try my spare LaCie 2TB portable HDD drive. Same story. Both drives work wonderfully fine on my MacBook Pro so it sure as hell isn‘t the drive’s issue.

Oddly enough, I have another 64GB USB-C thumb drive that never fails to work with my iPad Pro (despite getting very warm). I am thinking it’s the iPad‘s inability to supply sufficient power to the hard drives yet I have not found any posts online suggesting this, and Apple Support couldn’t figure it out. What exactly is going on?

––––––––

A little update: I recently swapped in my iPad Pro for a replacement due to a display issue, not for this problem. Tried the same steps with my new iPad Pro, and the issue persists. This is not a problem with faulty units, but something that rings true at least among all 11 inch iPad Pros from 2018.

It's quite strange how little information is available on this problem on the internet, given that some of the folks who replied here are experiencing the same thing.
 
Last edited:

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
Did it act like this on 13.3.x or is this new on 13.4? Do you have a powered hub that you could test the drives with external power applied?
 

NavySilver

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
106
341
New York, NY
Did it act like this on 13.3.x or is this new on 13.4? Do you have a powered hub that you could test the drives with external power applied?

It’s been like that since file management was introduced (13.0?). And unfortunately I don’t have one.

What’s baffling to me is I haven’t heard of other iPad Pro owners online who are experiencing this, and I don’t have access to other people’s iPad Pros to test it out... especially now when we’re all remote.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
It’s been like that since file management was introduced (13.0?). And unfortunately I don’t have one.

What’s baffling to me is I haven’t heard of other iPad Pro owners online who are experiencing this, and I don’t have access to other people’s iPad Pros to test it out... especially now when we’re all remote.

I have a 512GB Samsung SSD and don't see this but I did find that a 512GB Western Digital spinning drive wouldn't work without external power. I think there's a fine line between needing & not needing power. There are a lot of good, inexpensive hubs available but that adds to the h/w pile you need.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NavySilver

NavySilver

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
106
341
New York, NY
I have a 512GB Samsung SSD and don't see this but I did find that a 512GB Western Digital spinning drive wouldn't work without external power. I think there's a fine line between needing & not needing power. There are a lot of good, inexpensive hubs available but that adds to the h/w pile you need.
Thanks a bunch!
Yup I find it extremely odd that an SSD demands external power as well. Especially when it’s been recommended by other techies as a viable drive for iPad Pro users.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
Thanks a bunch!
Yup I find it extremely odd that an SSD demands external power as well. Especially when it’s been recommended by other techies as a viable drive for iPad Pro users.

The weird aspect is the 5 minutes. If you let it sit for a while and retry, does it work? If one stops and you immediately try the other drive, does that one work? Usually with power issues they work or they don’t, not work for minutes and then stop.
 

NavySilver

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
106
341
New York, NY
The weird aspect is the 5 minutes. If you let it sit for a while and retry, does it work? If one stops and you immediately try the other drive, does that one work? Usually with power issues they work or they don’t, not work for minutes and then stop.
I can actually plug the drive that no longer works right back in, and it will be detected once again. Don’t even necessarily have to let it sit.?‍♂️
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
I can actually plug the drive that no longer works right back in, and it will be detected once again. Don’t even necessarily have to let it sit.?‍♂️

Makes me wonder if the iPad has some kind of limiters in place regarding supply of power externally, i.e. so many watts over x amount of time, that gets reset when you unplug. If that were the case, then a hub with external power would work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NavySilver

Desde Mi Atiko

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2020
1
0
After two unfruitful communications with Apple’s support staff (who I assume are working from home), it dawned on me that at this point, I need people at MacRumors’ support for this issue.

I have an iPad Pro 2018 updated to 13.4, which means that powered by the USB-C port, I should be able to take full advantage and attach external hard drives. However, it’s been dropping connection from my external hard drives about five minutes into use, almost every single time.

It goes like this: I plug my SanDisk 2TB portable SSD in. Head into the files app, finds it. Browse it & access its content for 5 minutes (sometimes less), then boom, it’s gone. While still securely plugged. I suspected it was the drive, and I decided to try my spare LaCie 2TB portable HDD drive. Same story. Both drives work wonderfully fine on my MacBook Pro so it sure as hell isn‘t the drive’s issue.

Oddly enough, I have another 64GB USB-C thumb drive that never fails to work with my iPad Pro (despite getting very warm). I am thinking it’s the iPad‘s inability to supply sufficient power to the hard drives yet I have not found any posts online suggesting this, and Apple Support couldn’t figure it out. What exactly is going on?

Hello, I have an iPad Pro 2019 and the same thing is happening to me. Before, you could use the external disk with its adapter indefinitely, but for a while now, it works for a while and then indicates that it cannot find the files.
 

0128672

Cancelled
Apr 16, 2020
5,962
4,783
After two unfruitful communications with Apple’s support staff (who I assume are working from home) ...

Just a side note that Apple employs a regular, large, global tech support and store workforce who work from home, not just related to the pandemic, called At-Home Advisors.
 

hohohong

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2007
540
8
I've the 4th Gen IPP. Tried is a USB C hub. It disconnect after 5 min of using the 2.5" External portable HD. But when I plugged in 3.5" External HD with its' own power, it works fine.

My USB C hub even have power pass thru, but still doesn't work.
 

NavySilver

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 4, 2012
106
341
New York, NY
A little update: I recently swapped in my iPad Pro for a replacement due to a display issue, not for this problem. Tried the same steps with my new iPad Pro, and the issue persists. This is not a problem with faulty units, but something that rings true at least among all 11 inch iPad Pros from 2018.

It's quite strange how little information is available on this problem on the internet, given that some of the folks who replied here are experiencing the same thing.?
 

ysvsr1

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2013
92
21
I read in Reddit that media play is an issue with >1 tb ssd. Also another limitation is if file size is > 4.8gb.

disclaimer: i am waiting for my 2020 ipad pro and doing research about samsung ssd with finger print security.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
I read in Reddit that media play is an issue with >1 tb ssd. Also another limitation is if file size is > 4.8gb.

disclaimer: i am waiting for my 2020 ipad pro and doing research about samsung ssd with finger print security.

I've used a 4TB spinning drive and 7GB mp4 videos with my 2018 12.9 Pro. Wish I could afford a 2TB SSD!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ysvsr1

macdogpro

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2020
656
494
I’ve been using Baseus Type-C Hub to connect Seagate External HDDs. The 1TB one doesn’t need external power source to view and transfer large media files (photos or videos), while the 5TB one would not power on without external power source. And once it hooked-up, it needs several seconds to boot up and available on the Files app. Browsing into folders with large media files also requires several seconds to show up. Viewing / playing large media files also being choppy and feels very heavy. Finally transferring media files in between the two HDDs sometimes corrupting the files (audio files gets loud static noise on the transferred files in my case), so it’s best to copy to iPad first then copy to the second HDD.
The two HDD can connect to the iPad via the same hub simultaneously using the external power source (USB type C Power Delivery).

Oh, maybe also worth to mention my 1TB HDD formatted using ExFAT, while the 5TB formatted using Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

Bottom line, Files app is far from fully stable. I wonder if any of those 3rd party file management apps works better?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ysvsr1

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
I’ve been using Baseus Type-C Hub to connect Seagate External HDDs. The 1TB one doesn’t need external power source to view and transfer large media files (photos or videos), while the 5TB one would not power on without external power source. And once it hooked-up, it needs several seconds to boot up and available on the Files app. Browsing into folders with large media files also requires several seconds to show up. Viewing / playing large media files also being choppy and feels very heavy. Finally transferring media files in between the two HDDs sometimes corrupting the files (audio files gets loud static noise on the transferred files in my case), so it’s best to copy to iPad first then copy to the second HDD.
The two HDD can connect to the iPad via the same hub simultaneously using the external power source (USB type C Power Delivery).

Oh, maybe also worth to mention my 1TB HDD formatted using ExFAT, while the 5TB formatted using Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

Bottom line, Files app is far from fully stable. I wonder if any of those 3rd party file management apps works better?

I've quit using Files altogether because of the corruption issues you mentioned - I run into them with exFAT drives. I use FileBrowser for Business instead - it works well.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/file-corruption-on-copy-to-external-storage.2235171/
 

macdogpro

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2020
656
494
I've quit using Files altogether because of the corruption issues you mentioned - I run into them with exFAT drives. I use FileBrowser for Business instead - it works well.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/file-corruption-on-copy-to-external-storage.2235171/

Just read the thread. So I guess I better reformat my exFAT drive into Journaled then, since my prehistoric MBP doesn’t support HFS+. Should be okay for me tho, since most of my colleagues use Macs anyway.

Now about that 3rd party app, it’s pretty hefty for how basic the Files app should have been ? (been purchasing quite a lot of creative apps lately). Can it show us an external storage’s total capacity left? Also folder’s or multiple files’ total size?
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,461
30,369
Seattle WA
Just read the thread. So I guess I better reformat my exFAT drive into Journaled then, since my prehistoric MBP doesn’t support HFS+. Should be okay for me tho, since most of my colleagues use Macs anyway.

Now about that 3rd party app, it’s pretty hefty for how basic the Files app should have been ? (been purchasing quite a lot of creative apps lately). Can it show us an external storage’s total capacity left? Also folder’s or multiple files’ total size?

It can show size for folders but doesn't show overall utilization for an external device. I use System Status for that -


I use FileBrowser a lot for general local file management and access to network assets and cloud services so the price is a bargain to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: macdogpro

Jetfuel

macrumors newbie
Aug 16, 2020
4
3
I had the same problem with my 7th gen iPad with an SSD. I used disk utility first aid on the iMac and when the SSD was on the iPad the drops stopped. I used the SSD on the iMac the drops started again on the iPad. Lately with ipadOS14 it seems to be fixed.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.