External Hard Drive Woes!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SophomoreThomas, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. SophomoreThomas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated...

    Last night (early this morning?) I was messing around with my old external hard drive, for which I had never quite figured out how to change the permissions from read only to read/write, and I decided it was time to wipe the drive and start fresh. I already had all the files I needed off of it, and I felt that I was beginning to run out of space on the Mac HD. This was the first time I had opened the Disk Utility. I did something stupid, out of experimentation, and now I can no longer see the external hard drive. It is connected via USB. The system profiler sees it as:

    5000LE v01.00.00:

    Version: 1.00
    Bus Power (mA): 500
    Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
    Manufacturer: Maxtor
    Product ID: 0x5010
    Serial Number: Y2VA3JQE
    Vendor ID: 0x0d49

    The terminal, however, sees only:

    dhcp31-9-90:~ thomasmyers$ cd /volumes
    dhcp31-9-90:/volumes thomasmyers$ ls -a
    . .. Macintosh HD
    dhcp31-9-90:/volumes thomasmyers$

    And this, therefore, is where the combination of my sparse unix knowledge and even thinner Mac knowledge fails me.

    If you must know what I did to end up in this situation, I opened the disk utility, clicked on the Maxtor external hard drive, went to the partition menu and clicked the partition button. I don't remember if it was GUID, Apple, or Master Boot Record. I just remember seeing that through to completion, and then scratching my head, wondering why I did that, and what repercussions would ensue. Now I know! I've effectively shut myself out, as I'm sure countless other users have done with their external hard drives. I've just done it in a way that I've never seen anyone else do before.

    So, as I said before, I genuinely appreciate any help that can be provided to get me out of this predicament. This problem is beyond me.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    So it's not in the left pane of Disk Utility anymore, either? What happens when you hot plug it? Any recognition that a device was plugged in?
     
  3. SophomoreThomas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    Right, it doesn't show up in the left pane of Disk Utility. Only Macintosh HD shows up. I'm not sure what hot-plugging is (or at least I'm not familiar with the term). I've shut off power to the external hard drive, and turned it back on, unplugged the USB cable, plugged it back in, restarted the computer, etc. and I have no recognition of a device being plugged in or removed improperly or anything at all. It's like it's not even there. The only place I see it is in the system profiler, under USB.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Hmmm... open a terminal and type in:

    cd /dev
    ls *disk*

    You should see matching sets of entries that are of the form disk0s1 and rdisk0s1... All the entries with disk0 in them will typically be your main HD. Do you see any entries for the external HD?
     
  5. SophomoreThomas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    These are the entries I got:

    disk0 disk0s2 rdisk0 rdisk0s2
    disk0s1 disk1 rdisk0s1 rdisk1

    I have an update of the situation, though. I just tried switching to the guest account rather than my main account, and unplugged the external hard drive's power source and plugged it back in. After a few seconds I got an error message saying that the drive was unreadable. I believe the options were "initialize", "ignore" or... something else. I can't remember. I clicked "initialize", and it opened the disk utility. The external hard drive now shows up in the disk utility on the left pane, as Maxtor 5000LE v01.00.00 Media. I'm not sure what this entails, but under the info, it says "partition scheme: unformatted".
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    You should be able to erase it then and start using it. :)
     
  7. SophomoreThomas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    Oh, awesome. So, under the erase menu, do you recommend just zeroing out the data? And after that it should show up in the finder again?

    EDIT: Almost forgot... what should I do with the volume format?
     
  8. SophomoreThomas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    Never mind. All went well. I was able to erase what was on the drive, and renamed it to "External HD" and now I'm able to read and write. Thanks for the guidance in my time of panic over this whole ordeal!
     

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