External USB Drive Problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by OldGuyTom, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. OldGuyTom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #1
    I'm getting some problems on my external USB drive ... you know, the backup drive....the one that isn't supposed to fail.

    My internal drive is 4 years old and there are no indications of problems with it. The external backup drive however is tossing I/O errors. I'd like to know if it's the drive, the cable, or maybe a damaged port. I know I read on here somewhere that one of the drive testing programs can be used to test I/O cables and ports too. Anyone know which one it is?

    The external drive is a WD MyBook 2TB USB 2.0 type, FWIW.
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    WD have utilities on the site that can check the drive for you, but I can't vouch for accuracy...Disk Warrior is used by many here and seems to provide good test's and accurate results.
     
  3. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #3
    You're probably thinking of Scannerz. It uses the progress of the drive scan as a reference, and if errors or other problems that don't correlate to the surface scan progress, you can almost always bank on it being a cable problem. Granted, it could be a logic board problem but cables just plain fail.

    They've got a ton of stuff on their web site at:

    http://scsc-online.com

    if you want more information. Also, another member of this board created a list of all drive testing tools which can be found using this link:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1544280
     
  4. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #4
    The three hard drive scanning tools are Scannerz, TechTool Pro, and Drive Genius. I wrote the list the guy above linked. I use Scannerz myself and I know it can be used to do tests on cables. I've asked for more input on TechTool Pro, Drive Genius, and others but no one has ever provided more information. I used TTP a long time ago but it was SOOOOOO long ago I thought I dare not give an opinion.
     
  5. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #5
    That's not true. The point of having a backup is that it is very unlikely that both the main drive and the backup fail at the same time.

    It follows that the natural course of action for you is to as soon as possible buy a second backup drive, make a new backup, and only then start to worry about fixing the old backup drive.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    Exactly - it's unlikely that both main and backup will fail at the same time, unless of course you are doing a backup and lightning strikes and fries the computer. In this case a second backup helps. I have 3 clone backups for each Mac I own, and 1 clone stays in a fireproof box.

    I would just consider the current backup as toast and buy a new one.
     
  7. OldGuyTom thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #7
    My wise crack about it being the one that isn't supposed to break was just that..a wise crack. The external drive is probably 11 months old which is why I'm thinking cables.

    I'm going ahead and tossing 30 bucks or whatever it is at Scannerz. It can't hurt to have a tool like that lying around anyway.
     
  8. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
  9. OldGuyTom thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #9
    As an FYI for anyone that gets a WD MyBook 2GB external HD, the USB cable that comes with it looks like it was made by elves, and lasts just about that long too.

    It was almost hysterical running a test on it. You start a cursory mode test and start moving the cable around and irregularities start popping up like popcorn.

    ...I surely hope the HD stands up better than the cable did!!
     

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