External USB Drive Woes...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by PCMacUser, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #1
    Hi Guys, thought I'd seek some greater knowledge on the following problem I'm experiencing:

    Yesterday I bought an external USB 2.0+LAN Macpower Pleaides enclosure, with a Seagate 320Gb hard drive installed. It's very sexy. In order to utilise the LAN feature, it requires a FAT32 partition, so I configured it with that - no problem. Then I copied my Music, Pictures, and Movies folders over to it. No problems there either.

    However, I wanted to pull back some of the files onto my iBook's internal hard drive, so I plugged the enclosure into my USB port and attempted to drag a folder back across. OS X counts the number of files etc as per usual, but then when it's about to do the actual copying, it just freezes up. I have to switch off the enclosure in order to get Finder to respond again. Naturally I just about had a heart attack and thought that the hard drive was stuffed. But then I tried doing the same thing across its LAN interface and it worked perfectly. So then I suspected that it might be the USB interface that was stuffed on the enclosure. So I plugged it into my PC laptop via USB - and it works perfectly... Hmm.

    Therefore I can conclude that this drive works fine on USB 2.0 on OSX for writing files TO the external drive, but will not copy files back onto my computer via USB 2.0. Any thoughts as to what may be causing this?

    I checked the permissions on the files, and they're all set to Read/Write.

    Cheers!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Was the iBook plugged into the adaptor? It might not be getting enough power to use the USB connection for such a transfer, although most enclosures/external drives seem to be fine. It's a bit of a long shot. :eek:
     
  3. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion, but alas, fully charged and plugged in too :(

    While I'm typing this, I've got the drive backing up onto my PC laptop - just in case... it makes me really nervous having problems like these!
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #4
    Well, was anything else plugged into the other ports of the iBook at the same time? I checked the manufacturer's site and there don't appear to be any firmware upgrades. It's this drive, right? :eek:
     
  5. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #5
    Yep, that's the one. Pretty isn't it? :D

    Nothing else was plugged into any other ports on the iBook. I just stumbled across this forum thread on another site which might give some clues. Something to do with OS X resource forks and the .ds_store files?
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #6
    Very purdy. :D

    Interesting thread, although if that's the case for you then it's strange that it still mounts via the network. Nevertheless, try deleting the DS files using a PC, and see how it goes. :)
     
  7. eldino macrumors member

    eldino

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #7
    @PCMacUser:
    i have a Pleiades USB2+FW400 too and i agree, it's damn sexy.. it makes me wet everytime i look to it :)

    about your problem: did u try to use another (possibly smaller) hard disk inside it? maybe it's something related to the FAT32 partition size...
    you could try to do a Scandisk and a defrag of the 320Gb disk using the PC laptop as well...
     
  8. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #8
    Nah, unfortunately I don't have another drive to try in it. It did cross my mind that OS X might have trouble reading an ultra large FAT32 partition. I ran a scandisk on the drive using my PC laptop last night, but it didn't find any problems. I also ran Disk Utility on my Mac on it, and it went through okay there too.

    My next move will probably be to reformat the drive using either the Mac or the drive's built in utility (if they'll allow the large partition size). At least I have a backup of the data on my PC now, so it gives me some freedom to experiment...
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #9
    Yeah, the Mac should be fine with such a large partition. If you're able to, I'd be interested to hear how it goes as an HFS+ drive. :)
     
  10. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #10
    Yikes, this is worse than I thought. I gave up getting the FAT32 setup to work on my Mac, so I reformatted it under HFS+. However, it does the same thing with that too. I can copy files to the drive, but when I try to open them or copy them back to my iBook, the external drive just freeze up.

    I plugged in my FAT32 formatted iPod (60Gb) with USB 2, just to make sure that the ports were working okay, and it can copy files and do backflips without any hassle at all.

    And after all that, the Macpower drive appears to work perfectly on a PC...

    Arrrghh!
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #11
    Since it's so new, maybe take it back and get it replaced. I can't see how it wouldn't work with your machine.
     
  12. eldino macrumors member

    eldino

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    Italy
    #12
    i doubt he can take it back, since it works fine with a pc...
    and i doubt it's 'cause a faulty usb controller, since it works well on the pc..
    so i'd suggest you to point your browser to www.macpower.com.tw and ask them.. for experience, they usually answer to your email in 2-3 hours and they are pretty professional and exaustive.. :) just explain'em your problem and wait :)
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #13
    All true, but it does claim to support OSX at least. :cool:
     
  14. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #14
    Yeah, that's the argument I'm using. I took it back to the shop this morning - along with my iBook - so that I could demonstrate what was happening. They've booked it in to 'investigate further', but since they only have PCs to test it on, I'm really not sure they'll be able to do anything useful.

    I suggested that they plug the IDE drive into another Macpower enclosure, the Firewire/USB 2.0 version (which uses a different USB controller chip from the USB/LAN unit) to see if that would work, but I'm not sure they'll follow that advice...

    I'll update in a few days when they get back to me... :(
     
  15. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #15
    Excellent. Maybe get them to test another branded case on your iBook just to ensure it's not a problem with your USB system.
     
  16. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    Jan 13, 2005
    #16
    Good news

    Well, I got my external drive back today. The vendor could not find anything wrong with it as predicted, but respected the fact that it would not work on my iBook.

    So they offered to exchange it for the USB 2.0/Firewire version of the same enclosure and refund the difference. I accepted the offer and have found that this alternate model works perfectly on my iBook (using the same 320Gb HDD that was in the original USB/LAN enclosure too).

    I'm not too bothered about losing the LAN functionality, since 10/100 is a bit too slow anyway.
     
  17. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #17
    Nice one mate. Strange that it wouldn't work before though.
     

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