external hard drive works as USB 1.1 but not USB 2?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by omala, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. omala macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #1
    Hi everyone - this is an odd puzzle I've run into. I have a new HP pocket media drive (PD1600), which is a USB 2.0 bus-powered drive which was originally being used to transfer files between Windows systems. Plugged into a USB 1.1 port (with supplemental power) on a G4 tower or G4 Powerbook (running OS 10.4.10) it works fine. However, plugged directly into a USB 2.0 port on that powerbook or a G5 tower, it doesn't even show up in system profiler.

    At first I thought this was an OSX-version issue, until I recognized the pattern that if I plug it in through a USB 1.1 hub it works fine, but if plugged directly into a USB 2 port on any of those three macs, system profiler doesn't even see it. Has anyone encountered an issue like this before, and are there any ideas of ways to deal with it (other than using a USB 1.1 hub)?
     
  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #2
    Are the USB2 ports on the Macs not powered?
     
  3. omala thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #3
    Those mac USB2 ports manage to power other devices; I also tried using a powered USB2 hub with the powerbook, with the same (lack of) results.

    I suppose I should also add that the drive works fine as a USB2 device on the Windows machines. I'm suspicious there's something non-compatible about the way that drive does USB2, but am looking to see if there's a way to make it work here.

    thanks!
     
  4. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #4
    The .10 update for tiger knocked out support for some USB 2.0 External HDs.
    This is what finally got my external being read again. Hopefully that will work for you.

    I hope Leopard fixes this problem, but I doubt it because I filed a bug report with Apple 3 months ago and no one has even looked at it.
     
  5. omala thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #5
    No luck, sadly - I tried the pacifist/10.4.9 replacement route with Applejack cache cleanup as described, and also tried both USB2 ports to be sure. The HP pocket drive still spins up and lights up, but System Profiler still doesn't recognize that anything's plugged in. Actually, System Profiler now doesn't recognize any USB devices plugged in; I'm about to re-download 10.4.10 and put those files back. sigh.....
     
  6. omala thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #6
    ...aaand with 10.4.10 re-downloaded and re-updated, everything's now running the way it was: other USB peripherals work, and the USB pocket drive works - when plugged into the keyboard's USB1 hub and with additional power, which is where I started this quest.

    I really don't like to say "that's what happens for using a USB2 drive not explicitly certified for a mac", but I'm still looking for other ideas for now.
     
  7. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    #7
    Hmm... Imagine that. You just had to screw it up more before it worked.:):confused::eek:
    Glad to hear its working. Maybe 10.4.10 just never placed the files correctly it needed in the first place.
     
  8. omala thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #8
    Not quite. That drive still only works as a USB1 (slow) device, whereas it's capable of USB2 - just not on a mac, apparently, at this point. Unless some other flash of technical inspiration (or a patch!) arrives....
     
  9. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

    Joined:
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    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #9
    My bad... selectively skipped over the USB1 part.
    Yeah, now its just a waiting game I suppose.
     
  10. omala thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #10
    Update: I figured out how to make this sort-of work. It turns out that this drive (HP Pocket Media Drive) will work as USB2 in the powerbook if it's plugged in through an external USB2 hub. Apparently as long as the drive's data connection goes through a hub, it's fine - I can either leave the hub unpowered and plug the "extra power" USB plug on its USB y-cord into the other port on this powerbook, or else I can just plug the hub's wall wart adapter in, and all is well. (This explains how it worked through the keyboard's USB1 hub earlier, with the y-cord providing extra power then, too).

    If I try to plug the drive directly into the USB2 port on the powerbook, though, not only does the drive not appear in System Profiler (even though it spins up), but nothing else plugged into that port will work after that either - even a USB optical mouse won't light up - until after the powerbook is restarted. Something weird's definitely going on here.

    But as long as I use the drive through a hub, it works. Go figure, but that'll work for me for now.
     

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