External Hard Drive Troubles

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by BrianJ844, May 16, 2016.

  1. BrianJ844 macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Houston, Tx
    I did a fresh install of 10.11.4 on my late 2008 macbook. I have a 1TB western digital external hard drive that I used when the laptop was still on 10.6.8. It has a 300GB partition for TimeMachine and the rest formatted FAT32 for general storage. When I first connected the hard drive, it was really sluggish and time machine was stuck at ‘Preparing Backup’. The FAT32 partition was almost impossible to look into. I canceled the time machine and noticed the activity light was still flashing. I figured 10.11 was indexing the 400 gigs in the FAT32 portion so I waited it out. This took about 2 and a half hours. Once that was done, I connected and ejected the hard drive a time or two and it mounted slow but it still mounted and functioned. Time machine was able to run fine on the time machine portion at this time. I didn’t mount it for a week and it appear to need to index again. Or at least the hard drive is really sluggish and the activity light on the hard drive is constantly flashing so something is talking with it and time machine was stuck on 'Preparing Backup' as well.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is there anything I can do about it? It wouldn’t help to reformat the drive on 10.11 would it? It this because my laptop doesn't have any USB 3.0 ports?

    used: 416.8GB
    free: 283.1GB

    used: 130.3GB
    free: 168.8

  2. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    Just except your time machine backup partition or even your entire external disk from being indexed by spotlight.
    This is the easiest fix.
    I have such sluggish issue even on HFS+ formatted partition.
  3. BrianJ844 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Houston, Tx
    Hi Shirasaki, I didn't know that was possible but that sounds like an excellent fix! I will look into how to do it. Thanks for the idea!
  4. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    You can monitor which processes are accessing the disc by entering the following in Terminal:

    sudo fs_usage -f pathname

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3 May 16, 2016