external hard drive red activity/ access light on all the time making noises

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sossity, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Sossity macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #1
    for the 1st time, I hooked up my seagate 7200 1tb external hard drive that I put in my own enclosure to my i7 2010 macbook pro. It is formatted to FAT 32 for maximum cross platform compatibility without the need for software etc. I plugged it in via a usb hub. The hard drive has been plugged into a PC prior to this.

    It mounted & was recognized right away, I got an offer to use it with time machine, but I did not want to use it for this, this one is for photos etc. I could see all my content fine, I could not quite figure out how to just move a folder of content from my mac's drive to the external hard drive. So did edit copy & edit pastes & this worked.

    I noticed that while the external was plugged into the mac, it was making an access noise that it makes when files are being accessed or moved, but it was doing it the whole time it was tuned on & plugged in. When it was plugged into my pc, it only made the access noise when files were moving or being accessed, but not just being turned on or plugged in. When files are being accessed or when something is being done, a red activity light blinks/is on, & it was on the whole time while plugged into the mac.

    Apart from that, it seemed to be ok, I could read & write files, was just curious as to why the red activity light & noise is going on the whole time it is plugged in.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Check to see if Spotlight is indexing the drive.

    You can also determine if it's indexing by the Menu Bar icon: [​IMG] (not indexing) [​IMG] (indexing)
     
  3. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #3
    & if it is, should it be being indexed? or can this be turned off? what is the function of indexing?

    can a hard drive like this be defragged in mac os x ? like it is done on windows? does it need it when using it in mac os?

    now that indexing is mentioned, I do notice after using a thumb drive or an external on my mac, & then plugging into my pc, I see little odd files, like .spotlites & trashes.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Spotlight:
    About disk optimization with Mac OS X
    Spotlight-V100 and Trashes Folders On USB Flash Drives
     
  5. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #5
    I found this article on disable ling spotlight, is this safe to do? or should I leave spotlight on?

    http://datacharmer.blogspot.com/2008/03/disabling-mac-os-x-spotlight-or-how-to.html

    so, should I just let spotlight do its thing with my external hard drive? it seems like it it needs time to go through my whole hard drive, should I leave it plugged in to do a whole indexing of it? or can I disable it like how the linked article I found does for different drives?

    I am a bit new to mac os x, & I dont want to mess with spotlight if it is something critical I need. Is spotlight crucial? from what little I have read, it seems it can hog resources, I definitely do not want to hog up cpu or ram.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    I'd just let it finish indexing. When it's done, the excess hard drive activity and CPU usage will go away and your searches should be faster. I definitely wouldn't attempt to disable it.
     
  7. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #7
    so perhaps I should set aside some time maybe 2-3 hours & just plug in & leave my external hard drive on & let spotlight index it? will this burn out my hard drive? it is a big drive with alot of material on it.

    So, the bigger the hard drive or the more material on it when it is 1st plugged into a mac will take longer for spotlight to index it, as opposed to a new external hard drive whether it is big or huge but does not have much material on it yet will not take as long for spotlight to index it?

    will spotlight ever need to do a long indexing of this particular external hard drive again after it has done it? even if it used with a pc for a while? I use my drives on both platforms. After spotlights work with it, will it affect how it works on a pc?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Yes
    No
    Yes
    No, unless you manually force it to reindex.
    No.
     
  9. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #9
    So if I use the drive with a pc for awhile again, & acquire alot of new files on it while working with it on a pc, & then plug it into the mac again, will it need to do another index? even after it has been indexed once before on the mac?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    It won't have to reindex the whole drive again. Only the files that have been added or changed.
     

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