External HDD won't stop working, even though task LONG finished

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jman995x, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. jman995x, Apr 7, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    jman995x macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    Hello All,

    History: One time I powered down my computer while my External HDD was working away on something (very similar to the situation I describe below), and I screwed up my FAT, to the tune of a couple hundred dollars to get all the info back.

    Having said that, here's my dilemma / question.
    I have a MBP 17".
    I just bought and hooked up an Airport Extreme (and it works perfectly).
    I hooked up a couple of External HDD's to the Airport Extreme so I can access them wirelessly.
    To confirm everything was hooked up correctly, I connected to one of my External HDD's (wirelessly, through the A.E.) and transferred about 185MB from my MBP to the External HDD.
    That took about 20 minutes...no problems.
    The "Transfer Progress Blue and White Barber Pole" window (for lack of a better term), kept me apprised during the whole task, and rightfully disappeared after the task was completed....
    That was an 1+ hours ago and my External HDD is still "chunking" away on something....but I have no idea what.

    I'd like to put my computer to sleep by closing the lid, but don't want a repeat of a screwed up FAT.

    Is there any way to see what the External HDD thinks it's working on?
    The only program I have open right now (and for the last hour) is Safari, so I'm not asking the External HDD to do anything....but it sure is burning the midnight oil working on something.

    Any help for this relative noob would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

  2. mac-convert macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are we there yet?
    Use the Activity Monitor (in the apps/utilities folder) to see what your system is doing. There is a button for Disk Activity, or something similar in name.
  3. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    If the disk is connected through AirPort Extreme Does it count as a local drive?
  4. jman995x thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    I knew there was some sort of app. like that allowing me to check to see what was going on, but I didn't even think to check for something that logically named....must be all those years of PC-brainwashing coming back to roost.
  5. jman995x thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    No, it brings up a category on the left side of the Finder window called "Shared", then a sub-category of that is "Airport Extreme", then under that are my drive names.

    When my external drives are physically turned off, neither "Shared" nor (obviously) "Airport Extreme" appear, even though Airport Extreme is still turned on and providing wireless.

    Thanks for everybody's help.

  6. zaney macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2008
    Middle of a field, UK
    It's quite possible that this extra activity is Spotlight indexing the remote drive, it quite often takes hours, especially if you've just transferred a lot of files. Sleeping your mac shouldn't cause any problems or damage, spotlight will just pick up where it left off.
  7. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
    You did not mention if you partitioned the external drive under Mac.

    See disk utility. All of my HDD have been partitioned to use the Apple GUID Partition Table?

    Don't know if this will help, buy may be relevant.

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