Help! External hard drive has become invisible.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nightsky971, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. nightsky971 macrumors member


    Jul 23, 2010
    Mid 2012 rMBP + LaCie Minimus external drive.

    I've used this drive with no issues for 2 years (it is now 3 weeks out of warranty). Starting this morning it is invisible to the mac. I unmounted and disconnected the drive last night. Did my normal routine this morning and it is nowhere to be found.

    The drive appears to be acting normally. When I connect it to the computer it starts up, the blue led remains lit, and I can hear the disc spinning. Just as always. However, it does not appear in finder or disc utility. The only place I can see it is when I run a system report.

    I've looked everywhere for a solution. I've also unplugged it and let it sit, and shut down the mac with it connected. Nothing.

    Please help! Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Since you can't see it in disk utility, it sounds like the disk failed. Have you tried a different cable and USB port on the rMBP
  3. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    Maybe you can send it to a lab to retrieve the data
  4. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    If you had Disk Warrior, you could run the app and see whats what. Other than that, I would agree with ColdCase.

    Strong argument for 2 backups here.
  5. nightsky971 thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 23, 2010
    Thank you guys for the help.

    I don't have another cable, however I did try another USB port. Same.

    I also plugged it into a windows machine. It started to install the device driver, failed, and could not be "seen" anywhere on that machine.

    Finally, I bought a drive enclosure tonight, thinking I could check for a cable or controller card issue. Same behavior. It will spin up and continue to spin. But it cannot be seen anywhere on the Mac or the windows machine.

    Is it safe to say the drive is toast?

    I do have a 2nd backup of the data on another drive at my office. I haven't backed that up in a couple of months, but it could have been much worse.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    One thing to try:
    (do in exact order presented)

    Shut down the Mac -- power all the way off.

    Disconnect the problem drive.

    Reboot Mac.

    When you get to the finder, RE-connect the drive.

    If it doesn't mount on the desktop, just..... wait a few minutes.

    Reason: sometimes when the finder tries to mount a just-connected drive, and it won't mount, the OS may attempt to do some "behind the scenes" repairs.

    If after a few minutes, still nothing -- and if Disk Utility can't even "see" the drive any more to re-initialize it -- probably a good conclusion that the drive itself has failed....

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