iMac crashes repeatedly while on external SSD

CXK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 19, 2009
9
0
I installed Mac OS on a 512gb T3 Samsung external SSD on my wife's 2013 iMac. It sped it up and was great for a while. A couple months ago it would crash randomly, but were now at a point where its crashing several times a day. We are in the process of backing up everything and about to try a fresh install to see if it stops. I fear the drive is dead and I'm sure were just out of the warranty period.

Does anyone have any tips to fix this? Or experience with running Mac OS on an external SSD?
 

csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,310
1,746
Seattle, WA
The T3 has a 3 year warranty from Samsung, and from what I’ve read, it was released in January of 2016. You should still be covered, if the drive itself happens to be at fault. You can request an rma on the Samsung website. It’s a bit of a hassle, as you have to fill out a form with all of the information, and then they email you asking for all of the exact same information that you have already given them. You’ll then mail it in and they will send you a replacement drive.

There are quite a few people here running their machines from that same drive. I had used mine this way for a a few days (I have a 2017 5k w/ the fusion drive), but ultimately went back to the stock config.

Edit: here is the link to the Samsung support page for the T3. You can request a warranty replacement here (scroll down to repairs and service on the right side):

https://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/portable-t3-ssd-250gb-2tb#warranty
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,692
6,866
Have you tried a different USB3 port on the back of the iMac?

Have you gone to the energy saver pref pane and set computer sleep to "never"?
(display sleep can be set wherever you wish)

Have you gone to the energy saver pref pane and UNCHECKED "put hard disks to sleep when possible" and "enable power nap"? (if you have those options)
 
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CXK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 19, 2009
9
0
The T3 has a 3 year warranty from Samsung, and from what I’ve read, it was released in January of 2016. You should still be covered, if the drive itself happens to be at fault. You can request an rma on the Samsung website. It’s a bit of a hassle, as you have to fill out a form with all of the information, and then they email you asking for all of the exact same information that you have already given them. You’ll then mail it in and they will send you a replacement drive.

There are quite a few people here running their machines from that same drive. I had used mine this way for a a few days (I have a 2017 5k w/ the fusion drive), but ultimately went back to the stock config.

Edit: here is the link to the Samsung support page for the T3. You can request a warranty replacement here (scroll down to repairs and service on the right side):

https://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/portable-t3-ssd-250gb-2tb#warranty
I didnt know that, I assumed it was a 1 year. Thanks!
[doublepost=1525116885][/doublepost]
Have you tried a different USB3 port on the back of the iMac?

Have you gone to the energy saver pref pane and set computer sleep to "never"?
(display sleep can be set wherever you wish)

Have you gone to the energy saver pref pane and UNCHECKED "put hard disks to sleep when possible" and "enable power nap"? (if you have those options)
I tried different ports. The iMac was set to "Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off". I can't remember if Powernap was checked or not. We have restored and set it up as a new computer. So far, no issues other than once when I woke it up, we just got stuck with the beach ball spinning and I had to shut it off.

While running the OS from an SSD, should I not allow the computer to sleep or use power nap ever?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,692
6,866
"While running the OS from an SSD, should I not allow the computer to sleep or use power nap ever?"

My recommendation is that you turn both of those off.
Then, see if the problems you were having just... disappear...
 

CXK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 19, 2009
9
0
"While running the OS from an SSD, should I not allow the computer to sleep or use power nap ever?"

My recommendation is that you turn both of those off.
Then, see if the problems you were having just... disappear...
It crashed again, while my wife was working in Final Cut Pro. Theres really no pattern, its never one application that it happens consistently with. I think I'm going to buy another SSD and see if it stops. If that doesnt fix it, I guess I'll be heading to the Genius Bar.
 

alien3dx

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2017
1,110
223
It crashed again, while my wife was working in Final Cut Pro. Theres really no pattern, its never one application that it happens consistently with. I think I'm going to buy another SSD and see if it stops. If that doesnt fix it, I guess I'll be heading to the Genius Bar.
you on the icloud thing? I'm disable it. As me,the library i put in the internal disk instead of ssd. 256 GB to small for apps.
 

CXK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 19, 2009
9
0
you on the icloud thing? I'm disable it. As me,the library i put in the internal disk instead of ssd. 256 GB to small for apps.
We dont use iCloud for storing files. I guess my next step is to restore to the internal disk while I wait for Samsung to warranty the SSD or just buy a new SSD to avoid waiting forever. If it still does it after that, I assume the next step is visit Apple. It should be interesting to see what they can do to fix it, hopefully its not a RAM issue or my motherboard going out.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,717
3,579
It crashed again, while my wife was working in Final Cut Pro. Theres really no pattern, its never one application that it happens consistently with. I think I'm going to buy another SSD and see if it stops. If that doesnt fix it, I guess I'll be heading to the Genius Bar.
Can you better define "crash" for us? Is it an application (or multiple applications), is it a freeze, or is it a kernel panic?
Have you looked through any log files to see if any information might be there?
 
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CXK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 19, 2009
9
0
Can you better define "crash" for us? Is it an application (or multiple applications), is it a freeze, or is it a kernel panic?
Have you looked through any log files to see if any information might be there?
The screen suddenly goes black, then the message saying "Your computer restarted because of a problem" and it reboots. I'm not sure where to look for the logs. Edit: I just found the logs, but since we've set it up as a new install theres only one Kernel panic log. I set up an appointment with the genius bar for now.
 
Last edited:

alien3dx

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2017
1,110
223
i got few ssd from 2010.. but still undead yet.. It is possible just to remove all other usb connected ? I'm just scare share bandwidth issue..
 

CXK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 19, 2009
9
0
i got few ssd from 2010.. but still undead yet.. It is possible just to remove all other usb connected ? I'm just scare share bandwidth issue..
The only other thing plugged in was the Apple keyboard.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,717
3,579
The only other thing plugged in was the Apple keyboard.
Does the computer run properly from the internal disk? I suspect that Apple will be reluctant to troubleshoot running from an external drive without knowing how the computer behaves when running in a completely stock configuration.
You could post the kernel panic logs here. They may be useful to review.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
8,464
5,832
I had the exact same problem with a FireWire 800 2.5" SSD, running off FireWire power (which is much, much more than USB power). It'd work great and then out of the blue, the computer would get the spinning beachball of death and couldn't recover from that. There was no consistency in the pattern. It could be at any time, and in any application. However, between crashes it would run perfectly fine, for many, many hours continuously.

I then plugged in the FW enclosure into AC power and it worked perfectly after that. Ran it for over a year like that with no crashing issues.

In my case it was absolutely clear that despite the fact that FW can provide quite a bit of bus power, the reliability and/or amount of that power still just wasn't good enough to run that drive + enclosure reliably. While the Samsung T3 is built to run off USB power, there is a possibility in your case it just doesn't. USB power is way less and is pretty borderline for a drive. and the stability of the power may also be an issue. I've recommended in the past to people, ideally if you want an SSD boot drive, having an external power supply takes this potential problem out of the equation.

EDIT:

Here we go. Bus power usage on that drive can spike to well above 3 Watts:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/1016...mption-measurement-using-plugables-usbctkey/3



This can be a problem in some situations, since under usual circumstances, USB 2.0 power should only provide 2.5 Watts (5 V x 0.5 Amps). USB 3 power can be 4.5 Watts though (5 V and 0.9 Amps) and your 2013 is USB 3, but still I have to wonder if this could be a problem.

tl;dr:

My bus powered FireWire 800 SSD gave similar results and would crash randomly, but all the crashes disappeared when I added supplemental power.

For the Samsung T3, its power usage can spike to well above 3 watts, which would be a huge problem for USB 2.0 ports. It should work on USB 3.0 ports, but I still wonder if in some cases it might be a problem with specific hardware, especially since USB power may not always be completely stable.
 
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Gav1n

macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2019
1
0
I had a similar problem and noticed that when I checked Activity Monitor it always said "0 bytes" next to "Swap used". This was causing my Mac to run out of RAM very easily then freeze or crash.

This solution worked for me:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2789831?answerId=27508731022#27508731022

To save you reading that, simply open a Terminal window and enter this:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/autodiskmount AutomountDisksWithoutUserLogin -bool true

It'll ask for your password, and then it's done.
 

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Cruz3LT

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2019
107
25
Seattle, Washington
Open it up and replace the factory drive with a SSD. I don’t know why people don’t just do this instead of using an external drive. There are too many things that can go wrong using an external. On another note, replacing the internal drive gives you the opportunity to clean out all the crap that has collected inside over the years. I am in no way a computer technician and I was able to do it. There are kits and plenty of videos that walk you through the whole process.
[doublepost=1565502736][/doublepost]Open it up and replace the factory drive with a SSD. I don’t know why people don’t just do this instead of using an external drive. There are too many things that can go wrong using an external. On another note, replacing the internal drive gives you the opportunity to clean out all the crap that has collected inside over the years. I am in no way a computer technician and I was able to do it. There are kits and plenty of videos that walk you through the whole process.
 

Cruz3LT

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2019
107
25
Seattle, Washington
Open it up and replace the factory drive with a SSD. I don’t know why people don’t just do this instead of using an external drive. There are too many things that can go wrong using an external. On another note, replacing the internal drive gives you the opportunity to clean out all the crap that has collected inside over the years. I am in no way a computer technician and I was able to do it. There are kits and plenty of videos that walk you through the whole process.
 

Ruggy

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2017
423
244
The screen suddenly goes black, then the message saying "Your computer restarted because of a problem" and it reboots. I'm not sure where to look for the logs. Edit: I just found the logs, but since we've set it up as a new install theres only one Kernel panic log. I set up an appointment with the genius bar for now.
So the computer crashes not just the drive? I realise the OS is on the drive but what makes you think it's the drive that's causing it?
In my experience, random crashes causing the machine to reboot are caused by one of two things:
1. Overheating
2. Power supply problems.

Most commonly, you find this on laptops where the vents have been blocked up with lint and there isn't enough air getting in to cool the machine down. Using an intensive program will exacerbate the program but the result will be almost entirely random and sudden shut downs.
Are the fans working on the iMac most or all of the time?
In any case, you should check the slots, blow through them with something and see if it improves things for a while/see if you can get anything out.

You can also do a search for a tray icon which will keep you informed of internal temperatures. If it's running hot that will give you a good clue as you will see the temperature start to rise just before shut down.

For drive problems the OS usually locks up in my experience. Everything freezes, spinning beachball or it can disconnect.

It's much less likely to be power supply issues (although the suggestion someone made to put the external disk on its own power supply is a really good one). But it does also produce exactly the same result.
 

Ruggy

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2017
423
244
So the computer crashes not just the drive? I realise the OS is on the drive but what makes you think it's the drive that's causing it?
In my experience, random crashes causing the machine to reboot are caused by one of two things:
1. Overheating
2. Power supply problems.

Most commonly, you find this on laptops where the vents have been blocked up with lint and there isn't enough air getting in to cool the machine down. Using an intensive program will exacerbate the program but the result will be almost entirely random and sudden shut downs.
Are the fans working on the iMac most or all of the time?
In any case, you should check the slots, blow through them with something and see if it improves things for a while/see if you can get anything out.

You can also do a search for a tray icon which will keep you informed of internal temperatures. If it's running hot that will give you a good clue as you will see the temperature start to rise just before shut down.

For drive problems the OS usually locks up in my experience. Everything freezes, spinning beachball or it can disconnect.

It's much less likely to be power supply issues (although the suggestion someone made to put the external disk on its own power supply is a really good one). But it does also produce exactly the same result.
I've had another thought to convince you to look at this.
If you disconnect the drive, the machine will still boot up and work but you'll get a message saying it can't find the OS or something. Disconnect the drive the machine stays on with a blank screen it doesn't switch off.
This rebooting is coming from the BIOS and that's from the mother board inside the iMac not the external drive
Overheating 90% sure
 

Ruggy

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2017
423
244
I've had another thought to convince you to look at this.
If you disconnect the drive, the machine will still boot up and work but you'll get a message saying it can't find the OS or something. Disconnect the drive the machine stays on with a blank screen it doesn't switch off.
This rebooting is coming from the BIOS and that's from the mother board inside the iMac not the external drive
Overheating 90% sure
https://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/
 

ashxkillz

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2019
1
0
Open it up and replace the factory drive with a SSD. I don’t know why people don’t just do this instead of using an external drive. There are too many things that can go wrong using an external. On another note, replacing the internal drive gives you the opportunity to clean out all the crap that has collected inside over the years. I am in no way a computer technician and I was able to do it. There are kits and plenty of videos that walk you through the whole process.


So this is happening on my 2019 MacBook Pro
Brand new out the box, I plugged in a fresh new SSD from Sandisk.
Im not able to internal change the drive on this new model.
Nothing is on the External hard drive, yet my computer will randomly shut off out of no where. Will not turn back on unless I plug in to the power unit. (the computer is not dead. it had a full charge. )
 
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