Growing pile of dead external drives. Help!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Soundhound, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Soundhound macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2006
    #1
    I've got several drives that have died over the last year or so. I've got six or seven drives hooked up to my iMac that I use for storage, backing up etc, and it seems like one just dies every six months or so. Maybe one a year. What happens is it suddenly doesn't show up on the desktop anymore, and it never stops churning. I try connecting any of these dead drives to another one of our macs, macbook pro, etc, but it behaves the same way.

    Is there anything to be done about this? I'm thinking of getting a Drobo system, rather than buying new drives so often.

    Is there any special software for dealing with drives in a state like this? Or a place you can take them to to see if they can be fixed? (I have all the data backed up, so that's not an issue. I've called the manufacturer (lacie) but I think they're all out of warrantee, though they're only a couple of years old.

    Help! And thanks.
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    Have you tried Disk Utility's First Aid repair?

    As to why it's happening so often? Do you have power failures and/or are the drives unmounted and powered down properly? Sudden power down while mounted can sometimes cause data corruption, though it's usually repairable by Disk Utility.

    If Disk Utility fails to repair the drive, I suggest giving Disk Warrior a try. Many times, when Disk Utility fails, Disk Warrior has been able to repair/recover a drive,
     
  3. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I don't think there's a power problem. Though I realize I may not be leaving them in the right state. I think there's an on position, off position, and maybe standby ( I think it says Auto, is that standby perhaps, and if so what does that mean)? Not sure.

    I can't use Disk Utility, because the disks won't mount. Can Disk Utility find an unmounted disk? Same question regarding Disk Warrior I guess...??

     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    I don't think the switch "state" will matter, as long as you unmount (eject) the volume before powering it down or disconnecting it from the Mac.

    Disk Utility will show all the partitions for a given drive - even if it's not mounted. They should show up in the device list on the left side of Disk Utility's window. Disk Warrior can also show unmounted partitions.
     
  5. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Unfortunately nothing shows up, the disks just churn and churn and churn, but no part shows up in Disk Utility. Should I get/try Disk Warrior?

     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    If the device itself doesn't show up, then no, it sounds like hardware (either the external drive enclosure/drive or even cabling.

    If you go to System Preferences, then to Firewire or USB (depending on which you're using), see if the device shows up (i.e. the enclosure). If it doesn't, then it could even be as simple as a bad cable. Usually, if a drive inside a case dies, the interface itself will still show up.
     
  7. SomeSwede macrumors member

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    #7
    Try placing the "dead" drives inside an enclosure you know is working to see whether the drives or the enclosures are malfunctioning.
     
  8. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    that's all far beyond my knowledge/capabilities, I'm afraid...


     
  9. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Where do I find Firewire and USB in Preferences?

     
  10. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #10
    i think he is talking about " about this mac " ( click on the top left menu button that looks like an apple) > "more info" > usb, firewire or w/e
     
  11. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2006
    #11
    I don't think it's a cable, this is happening with any number of cables. Once I see whether it's showing up under About This Mac, under firewire or usb, what are the next steps if a) it shows up there or b) it doesn't?



     
  12. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #12
    If it does, the case probably is good and you might be able to just replace the drive inside - sometimes cheaper than a new enclosure w/ drive.
     
  13. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    May 6, 2004
    #13
    If they are LaCie brand drives then it is probably a power supply problem.
     
  14. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    The dead ones are Lacie. What is the power supply problem you speak of?

     
  15. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Hmmm, so some of those reports say the power supply with the d2 drives are bad/don't supply enough power. Is that what you meant by posting that search??

    If so, do you know what power supplies I should get to rectify the problem?


     
  16. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #17
    Sorry, was thinking about System Profiler (hey, they both start with "p" ;) ). As someone already surmised, that's what I meant - and, you get to it (easiest) through About this Mac > More Info...
     
  17. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

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    #18
    Make sure the drives are actually not working before going to any drastic measures: connect one, open up Terminal.app (in /Applications/Utilities/) and type
    Code:
    ps ax | grep fsck | grep -v grep
    and hit return. If there are any results, wait 10 minutes and try again. Keep doing this until you get no results. If the disk doesn't show up after that, then you have a problem and should try one of the solutions above.
     
  18. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    (Central) NY State of mind
    #19
    I don't own any LaCie drives...I posted that search because you asked "The dead ones are Lacie. What is the power supply problem you speak of?" to show you that with 5 seconds of searching you could find info about the issue. If you read some of those sites you'll see that LaCie could replace the supply for you depending on model/warranty etc. Since you don't give the models you're having issues with, it's pretty tough for anyone to recommend a replacement - even if they had the same problem.
     

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