iMac 24" external drives stopped working

Discussion in 'iMac' started by snowmaan, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. snowmaan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #1
    Brought them out of storage on a very, very careful move and now some don't work which used to days ago.

    - 320 GB lacie - works
    - 1 TB elements works
    - Samsung 2TB works

    - 1TB firewire 400 WD was working, right up to tonight, and now it doesn't (not even on the USB connection instead of Fire Wire)
    - 1TB WD (used for time machine) stopped working weeks ago

    Got a message about a device or such plugged into USB was drawing too much power earlier, first time ever

    Turned the mac off, disconnected the power, held power button 5 secs and plugged in and restarted, no good

    The working ones seem to work on an unpowered hub but those not working of course don't

    Have searched the internet, nothing seems to be giving an answer of late for this.

    Other issues starting to arise:
    - DVD's won't eject from the iMac now
    - Internet (Wireless lan connected to iinet DSL wireless router (BOB) drops out a lot and have to run network diagnostic all the time)

    These are less important, need to fix this HDD issue so I can back up with time machine and install snow leopard then develop my app)

    Thanks
     
  2. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #2
    Ahhh good old WD drives.... I've had my share of "what the heck is going on now" with them. I think the FW chipset on some WD drives is touchy.

    * Can you see the (non-functioning) drives in Disk Utility at all?

    * Have you tried plugging them in one at a time, or are they chained?
    - FW has a limit to the number of chained connections AND a length limit

    Recommend you try them one at a time without anything else chained.

    Also recommend that you open Console (should be in Utilities in the Apps folder) and watch the "All Messages" and see if anything pops up when you connect the drives.

    I've had some small luck with "resetting the FW bus" which is essentially disconnecting everything and powering everything off (drives, Mac) for a time. Google it and you'll probably find a procedure out there.

    Your drives may not be dead - but that possibility does exist.
     
  3. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #3
    Excellent thanks smithrh

    * Can you see the (non-functioning) drives in Disk Utility at all?
    ---- Some yes some no believe it or not
    * Have you tried plugging them in one at a time, or are they chained?
    - FW has a limit to the number of chained connections AND a length limit
    Yup, did that
    ---- Some of the drives not working are USB and 1 is FW, which doesn't make sense.
    And a few, or at least one, worked fine until just before I started unplugging etc...

    They were daisy chained on a un powered USB hub, so then I disconnected them and even plugged them into my machine direct, to no avail
     
  4. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #4
    For the disks you can see in Disk Utility, try to mount them. Just highlight the drive then press the Mount button.

    Did you see anything in Console? Watch the console while you plug in the drive and also when you mount it.
     
  5. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #5
    Unfortunately the drives that work are the only ones which can be seen in disc utility

    In console, I can't see any action when I power off one of the non - visible drives and reload it.

    Partial Success
    One drive I got to work, the firewire one.
    Did it by:

    1. Disconnect all cables connected to the drive.
    2. Connect the power cable to the drive.
    3. Connect the USB-cable. First to the drive. Then to the computer.

    Phew.

    Now for the second one.
    I followed the same principle with a little success.
    It showed up in disc utility, but not so that I could mount, unmount, repair etc.

    I went to the Apple store and paid $65 for an overpriced powered belkin USB hub. But then sometimes it's just best to not try and cut corners, and pay a premium for a product which "should" work better

    I also bought a powerless 500GB HDD for my time machine, which is backup up to it as we speak, but I still want to get my other 1TB one working if I can.

    "Did you see anything in Console? "
    Hmmm, not at the time, looking back and refreshing there's a bit

    3/12/10 10:17:16 PM Disk Utility[181] Name : Time Machine Backups
    Type : Volume

    Disk Identifier : disk1s2
    Mount Point : Not mounted
    File System : Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)
    Connection Bus : USB
    Device Tree : IODeviceTree:/PCI0/EHC2@1A,7
    Writable : Yes
    Universal Unique Identifier : F41540DA-9C81-32A9-9E67-ADCA31921E53
    Capacity : 931.2 GB (999,860,912,128 Bytes)
    Owners Enabled : No
    Can Turn Owners Off : Yes
    Can Be Formatted : Yes
    Bootable : Yes
    Supports Journaling : Yes
    Journaled : No
    Disk Number : 1
    Partition Number : 2


    3/12/10 10:17:16 PM Disk Utility[181]

    3/12/10 10:17:49 PM Disk Utility[181] Verify and Repair volume “Time Machine Backups”

    3/12/10 10:17:49 PM Disk Utility[181] Starting repair tool:
    3/12/10 10:17:50 PM Disk Utility[181] /dev/disk1s2: No such file or directory

    3/12/10 10:17:50 PM Disk Utility[181] Can't stat /dev/disk1s2

    3/12/10 10:17:50 PM Disk Utility[181] Can't stat /dev/disk1s2: No such file or directory

    3/12/10 10:17:50 PM Disk Utility[181] Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed.
    3/12/10 10:17:50 PM Disk Utility[181]

    3/12/10 10:17:50 PM Disk Utility[181] Disk Utility stopped repairing “Time Machine Backups” because the following error was encountered:

    Filesystem verify or repair failed.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    "Got a message about a device or such plugged into USB was drawing too much power earlier, first time ever
    Turned the mac off, disconnected the power, held power button 5 secs and plugged in and restarted, no good
    The working ones seem to work on an unpowered hub but those not working of course don't"

    Is the "USB drive" that won't work 2.5" or 3.5", AND, are you trying to run the drive off the USB connection only (that is, without an external power supply)?

    Macs generally supply a relatively low amount of USB "bus power". There are a few exceptions to this (MacBook Air's and certain USB ports on MacBook Pro's), but generally, it's going to be hit-or-miss when trying to get a USB-bus-powered hard drive to spin up and mount when using only the Mac's bus power.

    There's a good chance the drive will only "half-work" -- that is, you may hear the drive itself spin and make noise, but nothing ever appears on the desktop, nor is the drive "seen" by Disk Utility. Again, the problem is simple: not enough USB power to run it.

    SOMEtimes (not always) a "dual-headed" USB cable may help. This cable looks like a "Y" -- you plug the single end into the drive, and BOTH ends of the "Y" into the Mac. This "doubles up" the available port power, and may just get the drive going.

    The BEST way (and sometimes the ONLY way) to try to get the drive to work is to plug in an external power supply (usually a "power block") into the drive itself, so the drive doesn't need USB port power.

    Then again, the USB drive you're trying to connect may have a problem with the drive mechanism itself (even though the connection is ok).
     
  7. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #7
    "Got a message about a device or such plugged into USB was drawing too much power earlier, first time ever
    Turned the mac off, disconnected the power, held power button 5 secs and plugged in and restarted, no good
    The working ones seem to work on an unpowered hub but those not working of course don't"

    Is the "USB drive" that won't work 2.5" or 3.5", AND, are you trying to run the drive off the USB connection only (that is, without an external power supply)?
    --- I think it's 3.5, it's a standard off the shelf external HDD WD 1TB
    --- No, the drive has it's own power

    Macs generally supply a relatively low amount of USB "bus power". There are a few exceptions to this (MacBook Air's and certain USB ports on MacBook Pro's), but generally, it's going to be hit-or-miss when trying to get a USB-bus-powered hard drive to spin up and mount when using only the Mac's bus power.

    There's a good chance the drive will only "half-work" -- that is, you may hear the drive itself spin and make noise, but nothing ever appears on the desktop, nor is the drive "seen" by Disk Utility. Again, the problem is simple: not enough USB power to run it.
    --- A powered USB hub now connects it to the mac, so this shouldn't be an issue now?

    SOMEtimes (not always) a "dual-headed" USB cable may help. This cable looks like a "Y" -- you plug the single end into the drive, and BOTH ends of the "Y" into the Mac. This "doubles up" the available port power, and may just get the drive going.

    The BEST way (and sometimes the ONLY way) to try to get the drive to work is to plug in an external power supply (usually a "power block") into the drive itself, so the drive doesn't need USB port power.

    Then again, the USB drive you're trying to connect may have a problem with the drive mechanism itself (even though the connection is ok).

    Thanks for your help, being that it worked ok until recently, and I now have a powered USB hub plugged in, and it lights up but still doesn't work, I'm baffled still
     

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