External HDD error - cannot repair

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rayjay86, May 16, 2015.

  1. rayjay86 macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    Can't figure this one out...

    My WD Passport 2TB was working fine till recently. Yesterday it made a weird noise, so I ejected disconnected and plugged in again, that sorted it out.

    Today, I plug it into my MBA13 (most recent OS) and it doesn't show up. I run disk utility and it tells me if cannot verify and to repair. Then when I run repair it says it cannot repair. All the while the disk hasn't shown up in Finder.

    Then randomly, when I unplug/replug it shows up in Finder but I get the error that it is Read Only, so I'm trying to copy over as much as I can to my desktop. Problem is its over 1TB of stuff so I'm being judicious about what I keep.

    I plugged it into a friends PC and Windows reads the disk without an issue. It takes a while to show up in Explorer but that's been the case since day 1. There are no errors, etc.

    It is FAT32 (I initially used it for my PS3 but when I got the PS4 and Sony ruined that feature, FAT32 became pointless).

    If I reformat it as a Mac format drive (I don't own any PC and I don't care if PCs can't read it) is that likely to solve the problem? Or does this sound like a mechanical fault with the drive. It will intermittently give me that Read-Only error but that's only after I try and mount the drive.

    I'd really like to avoid buying a new external HDD if possible....
  2. ColdCase, May 17, 2015
    Last edited: May 17, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Did you try a different cable or another port on your Mac? I'm not sure off hand if disk utility can verify or repair FAT32.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    IF you can get everything you want OFF the drive (at least temporarily), I would suggest re-initializing it to Mac format (HFS+, journaling enabled).

    Then, TEST IT using Disk Utility's "repair disk" function.
    Repeat this test five times in succession.
    How does it fare?
    Are you receiving consistent results with each consecutive test?

    If so, I'd trust it again for "moderate-light" storage needs.
    That is to say, I wouldn't put anything absolutely "mission critical" on it for at least a few months, until the drive has proven itself to be reliable again in day-to-day usage.

    Anything of critical importance to you should be backed up onto one or more backup drives, in any case...

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