External Hard Drives keep failing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pdparsons, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. pdparsons macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #1
    I have a fairly new iMac that I upgraded to Snow Leopard a few months ago. It seemed to me that prior to that my external HD worked fine with Time Machine. Since then it is recognized for a short period of time when I connect it, then it disappears. I replaced it with a WD My Book. It worked perfectly for a month and now it has shut down. Has anybody had run into this before? I can't believe that every hard drive fails within a month in the same mysterious way!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Have you tried plugging it into different USB port? Have you tried it with another computer?

    Connect it and open Disk Utility and verify the disk and repair permissions
     
  3. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    Do you "eject" the drive or shutdown the computer ALWAYS before unplugging it?
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    If it were anything other than a Western Digital drive I would have been surprised.

    Check the drive on another computer if you can. Also, never buy canned drives, buy separate hard drives and enclosures so you can diagnose problems that might arise.
     
  5. pdparsons thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #5
    External Drives Failing

    I shut down the mac, unplugged all USB and Firewire cables, turned the mac on, added each USB/Firewire cable one at a time until they were recognized. The external HD lit up, was recognized for a minute, then shut down and was no longer accessible from disk utility or any other means. It looks and sounds dead!
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    Buying HD and enclosure separately is more expensive nowadays, it's only worth it when buying enclosure with multiple HD bays. Most people still buy plug&play HDs, no matter what would really be better, only "geeks" like we here do it.

    Do you have another computer you could try it with?
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    Sure, it's "worth" it if the drive never fails. But all drives fail, and many of them fail within the warranty period. If that happens, you have to send the drive in - if you open it you void the warranty. And here's the rub - more often than not, it's not the drive that fails but instead it's the enclosure's controller. I don't want to send a drive into a company that may have private data on it, especially if it's unnecessary (because the drive is perfectly fine). With a self-assembled drive you can take it apart without voiding any warranties and diagnose the problem to the controller or the drive.

    An 8 year old child can assemble a hard drive and enclosure. It just takes a screw driver. Nothing geeky about that.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    I know it's not hard. Most people just don't see the benefits of self-built external HD and most people don't know how to diagnose the problem (though it's super easy) and don't have another HD around to test the enclosure.
     

Share This Page