External HDD freeze when unused

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wirelessHead, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. wirelessHead macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012
    Hi there
    The problem is very old, Im so tired of this stuff ) please help
    I have a 2.5" WD Black HDD, connected to my late 2013 13" Macbook Pro (OS El Capitan 10.11.6) via USB 3.0 Enclosure. Also another WD 2 and 3 TB Ext HDD.

    The problem is - when I do not use ext drive - it freezes after a 5-6 min or so... Cant even open finder, or disconnect it from MAC OS. But when I use file from it (for example mp3) everything is just fine.

    So, I used several disks and several enclosures. Same problem. Maybe my laptop have in some way lack of power for the USB HDD?
    Is there any thunderbolt case enclosures for 2.5 HDD maybe?
  2. white7561 macrumors member


    Jun 28, 2016
    My wd passport never do that. Umm. Maybe you tick the sleep hdd when not in use? On energy saver tab?
  3. wirelessHead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012

  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Are your drives encrypted with FileVault?

    El Capitan appears to have issues with external HDDs in some cases, and for certain Users the solutions have been as strange as the problem. For me, I had the issue regardless of power or HDD sleep settings, and I solved it with different USB enclosures and running through a powered hub. I am not sure exactly why this was. For example, I have an issue with this enclosure (and every other Maker that buys this from some supplier and rebrands it with their own logo/style) where I have not had an issue with this enclosure, and some of the fixes for people have been even stranger.
  5. wirelessHead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012
    Yes! I have the same enclosure! So this is the problem? Maybe because it has no power supply?
    About FireVault. Should I switch it off?
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Some Users have reported more issues with FileVault, but these issues still appear even without an encrypted drive, and I needed it for my work as it contained Client data. After switching enclosures, I was able to leave FileVault enabled, allow the computer to put the HDD to sleep when inactive, and it has not had any issues with sleep or waking since.

    I'm not sure how many enclosures are affected by this, but that one definitely is, and it is sold by like 20 different "Makers" (rebranders.) My SurfacePro 3 also has issues with it sometimes, although not as badly. Initially I thought it was because I was using 750GB & 1TB 7500 RPM HDDs that needed more power due to higher speeds + more platters and that enclosure wasn't feeding enough juice through (hence the powered hub) but I still had some issues so I think it also has to do with something in the enclosure design/implementation with Mac systems, and for some reason El Cap is more sensitive to it. My SMART App also registered several IO errors that indicated an issue with the cable or drive enclosure...but I had 7 of these enclosures and multiple ones were doing this. For whatever reason, the chipset in those enclosures don't play nice with my MBP + the WD Black drives I use.

    Another enclosure I've had an issue with is one from Transcend, which is an outstanding aluminum enclosure, but it does not play well with Macs when using an App that pulls SMART data (as the enclosure supports it on Windows but does not appear to with Mac.)

    With my 3.5 inch drives that are all 7500 RPM, I've not really had issues with the OWC, MacAlly, Rosewill, and Synology enclosures I've used, all of which are also encrypted either with FileVault or VeraCrypt, some using USB 2, some 3, some TB-->USB or ethernet.
  7. wirelessHead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012
    Thanks a lot for your help! Will get another enclosure and maybe switch to the latest OS. Thanks again

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6 February 12, 2017