External Hardrive slow/Crashes

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by MacAttackKev, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. MacAttackKev macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2014
    So I'm still rocking my Macbook air 2013 model with 256SSD and 8 GB ram.
    Prior to Mojave, I was on El Capitan and had no problems.

    There were some slight lags and whatnot after upgrading, but otherwise nothing very crippling on average use.
    That is until I tried to use my external drive (1TB)

    I have a lot of varrying files on this drive (basically a giant backup for everything I've had over the years) and whenever I try to use it I have to allow a couple of minutes for it to just load the icons or it will stop responding leading to a force quit followed by a re-open then repeat the cycle.

    Is there anything I can do to fix this?

    So I noticed this is also apperant on my files saved on my air as well, when opening folders with a high density of videos (ex. my travel videos)
  2. mikzn macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2013
    that could be caused by a lot of different issues

    How full is the drive? over 70% will definitely affect the performance of the drive, especially if if it is HDD - but even an SSD

    how old is the drive - how is it formatted?

    I have Mojave working on multiple macs accessing many external drives, some almost 20 years old and some formatted in FAT32 / windows etc - they all seem to work just as good in Mojave as far as I can tell.

    Is your drive full? or can you reformat it and re-install your data (is that your only drive?)

    Also is your Mac Book Air internal drive getting near or past 70% / 180g? - it may have a hard time transferring files if the Macbook Air is near capacity?
  3. NoBoMac macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2014
    Have you run a "First Aid" on the external and internal drive (need to do from Recovery mode for internal) from Disk Utility, to see if something might be going bad?

    Could be the the thumbnail cache for the external drive's folders are corrupt or not generated, and needs to generate when opening. If a folder has lots of files, yes, can see taking a while to generate a thumbnail. And also Spotlight might be re-indexing a drive/folder to update size of files, tags, content, etc. Might want to try the following on the external drive:


    Can turn off thumbnail images in Finder > View > View Options: that might help speed things up.

    I kinda see similar on the /Applications folder where if I open, the "Size" field takes a few moments to populate in Finder. Has always been like that, including older versions of MacOS.
  4. fisherking macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    also, try resetting the smc (and perhaps nvram as well); google for your particular mac... & might be a good idea to backup that drive as well to a new one; how old is the backup drive?
  5. MacAttackKev thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2014
    Thanks for the reply!

    It has about 200GB of free space left, I did add a few new photos/Documents, but otherwise no drastic additions after updating to mojave and defintely no problem prior on El capitain.

    The drive itself isn't that old I bought i back in 2015 I beleive, but it has files dating back to 08.
    I'm not sure for formating, but under info it's APFS

    And yes my macbook is past that threshold about 50GB of free space left. I will see if removing files will help.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 21, 2019 ---
    Hmm interesting, I wasn't aware of turning off thumbnails as an option, but I'd rather save that as a last resort as it does help me visually sift through things faster.

    I will keep it in mind though!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 21, 2019 ---
    I will try that as well, thanks for the advice!
  6. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    It's possible that the external drive is heavily fragmented if it's not an SSD. Unfortunately Apple doesn't include any defrag tools and the 3rd party ones available are very expensive while you can find several free defrag apps on Windows and Windows itself comes with a defrag utility.

    Having thousands of files results in more fragmentation than having a dozen really big ones. It also depends on how old the drive is. HDDs wear out and their performance degrades over time especially if you write and re-write to them often.

Share This Page

5 April 21, 2019