External WD freezes my OSX

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rockyduderino, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. rockyduderino macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2015
    Hey all!

    I'm in a bad spot.*

    Yesterday I was going through files on my 6TB western digital my book hard drive connected to my old iMac running snow leopard. I had been playing many different movie files from my camera in quick time player to categorize them during a couple of days and everything had been fine. But all of a sudden quick time froze and wouldn't answer so I had to force quit it and then I tried again, then the same thing happened and then Finder and everything froze and I had to force shut off the computer by holding down the power button. Then the same thing happened after I restarted the computer. After each time I have to force off the computer the WD hard drive still has its light on and keep sounding like it's working hard and I have to pull the power plug from it to make it stop.*
    Then I started it again to try to just copy files from it but the drive would freeze OSX again. So I connected it to my old macbook pro and the same thing happened but then I tried to connect it with usb instead of fire wire and it seemed to act normal. Then I replaced the firewire and tested and it seemed to work fine on both computers. So I assumed it was the firewire cable that was causing problems. Since I was a bit shaken I started to do backups of everything from the hard drive and copied a folder of 323 GB during the night. In the morning it had copied everything but 10 GB and had frozen again. So again I connected both to the Macbook Pro and copied over what was missing. Then I tried to copy another folder but it froze again.*
    It behaves very irrational in my eyes and I wonder what is wrong and what to do?

    When I start the computer without that drive, it acts normally and the same goes for when I connect another external hard drive.

    Did a control with disk utility on both the internal and the external drives, and it said they are fine.

    I didn't notice that the hard drive was standing in the sun which was shining through the window behind my iMac and the room was quite warm. Can that be what started all this?

    Also I noticed that the folder that I did a backup of, shows different content size on the Macbook pro and on the iMac. And this goes for both the original folder and the backup on the other external drive. Finder says both folders are 301 GB on the Macbook and 323 on the iMac. This freaks me out since this is a very important folder and I can't loose 22 GB. Anyone who knows why this can be?

    I would be extremely grateful for any thoughts on this!

  2. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    You really should have had a proper backup strategy in place before your hard drive (as all of them do eventually) fails.

    At this point, you should manually compare the movies/files you've copied across to make sure you have them all.
  3. rockyduderino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2015

    Thanks for helping.

    I do have a second hard drive with a backup of most of the content on the drive that is now acting very weirdly. It's just that there are some files that are not backuped yet since I keep it in another place for safety.

    Also, I wanted to know if the drive can maybe be saved since it's not all dead and quite expensive. The warranty expired three weeks ago of course..

    I haven't been able to copy all the files to another drive yet since I've had to make space on other drives to be able to do this. I will try to copy more now. Is there some secure way of just accessing the files and copy them which minimizes the risk for a freeze?

    Thanks again!
  4. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    One thing you could do is remove the actual hard drive from the case and put it into another enclosure... it could just be the WD My Book interface that's borked...
  5. rockyduderino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2015
    Oh, ok. Is this complicated to do? How do I get another case?
  6. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
  7. rockyduderino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2015
    Thanks a lot, will try this.

    When a data recovery software makes a clone of the problem disk, does it use the disk in another way than when it does normal data recovery? When I try to do data recovery it freezes after a while just as when I just copy files in Finder, is it different when making a clone?
  8. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I've haven't used data recovery software in years, but I would think any software that tries to read from your hard drive will freeze up just like using the Finder.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I would first try the drive in another enclosure as mentioned above.
    Or, you could use a USB3/SATA docking station, or a USB3/SATA "dongle" adapter.

    When you get the drive connected to one of these, connect it to the Mac.

    Then ....
    - See if the drive will "spin up"
    - If it spins up, what kind of reaction do you get on the Mac

    I can think of several possible "reactions":
    a. Nothing -- no response from the Mac that a drive has been connected. In this case, it might suggest a controller board failure, or a physical hardware failure inside the drive itself. If the drive has an actual hardware failure, a data recovery firm may be the only way to recover the data from the drive.
    b. Drive spins up and Mac reports that the disk is "unreadable" and asks if you wish to initialize it. This suggests a "software failure" -- directory or perhaps disk drivers have gone bad on you. BUT -- the actual DATA on the drive may still be intact and recoverable (see comments below).
    c. Drive spins up and icon mounts on the desktop. In this case, best thing to do is to copy what you need from the drive to ANOTHER DRIVE right away. You want to preserve your data FIRST. Then, you might consider re-initializing the drive and testing it to see if it's still well (Problem may have been enclosure and NOT localized in the drive itself).

    Additional comments:
    If the problem points towards "b" above -- corrupted directory or disk drivers -- you MIGHT be able to do repair/recovery yourself.

    Many people report very good results using Alsoft's "Disk Warrior" to repair corrupted directories. But be aware that DW may not work in all cases. It's great at what it does, but "what it does" is quite limited in scope.

    Another thing to try is data recovery software such as "DataRescue4", "Disk Drill", "Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery", etc. (there are other apps out there as well). DR4 is a good bet.

    A data recovery app may first be able to repair a bad volume. But if it can't, it may be possible to "go right around the bad directory", and "go right to the platters" and recover and re-assemble the data onto a "scratch disk" (yes, you'll need ANOTHER external drive).

    If the drive spins, but won't mount up, there is a last-ditch effort you can try:
    1. Re-initialize the drive (yes, re-initialize), but DO NOT choose to "zero out" the data (DO NOT choose Disk Utility's option to "secure erase")
    2. This will put a "clean" (but empty) directory on the drive, but it will also LEAVE THE DATA ON THE DRIVE UNTOUCHED.
    3. Now, the drive will mount in the finder as if it were "empty", but you can use the data recovery app to scavenge the drive, and locate and re-assemble and save the data elsewhere.
    4. You will lose all previous folder hierarchies and you may lose most or all the file names, but you will get the DATA itself back. This can be par for the course for data recovery.

    This worked for me on a bad partition when nothing else would.

    Try a, b and c above and get back to us....
  10. rockyduderino thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2015

    Thank you so much fishrrman! So helpful.

    Will this work with a WD my cloud mirror, which I just ordered, as well? From what I read it's meant to be able to open so you can switch disks.
    I mean can I try my old hard drive in this new enclosure?

    However, thank you so much!

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