Kernel Panic every time I plug in external drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by philmo, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. philmo macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2005
    I'm getting kernel panics every time I plug in an external drive. This is happening on a MacBook Pro as well as on a Mac Mini (G4). Both are running 10.5.6.

    The drive is one of the Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB drives that are having all sorts of other problems. I have it in a CoolMax USB 2.0 enclosure (this one: I've been using this setup for a couple of weeks and didn't have any problems until this morning when I consistently get this kernel panic.

    Obviously I can't run Disk Utility on it, unless there's a way to plug it in without it automounting. I could boot my MBP to XP, but the drive has two partitions and both are HFS+. Ideally I would like to preserve the data on the drive. They're only backups, but I don't have access to the originals at the moment, as my main machine is out of commission. Lots of hardware problems lately.

    Any ideas?
  2. wesg macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Wow, I was going to post something just like this thread.

    Something similar is happening to my MacBook. When I plug my MB into my hub with a 300GB USB drive, iPod Touch, aluminum keyboard with mouse and Logitech headset, I get a KP. I'm wondering if it is the iPod, like the computer doesn't like it when it gets plugged in after sleeping.

    Anyone else have a MacBook with kernel panics?
  3. Macbookpronewb macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2009
    I have the same problem with kernel panics!Happens whenever plugging any USB dev.Any ideas?
  4. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    More likely, there is an error or damaged/corrupt file associated with the drivers for those of you having problems with every device.

    The easiest method would be to do an Archive and Install to ensure that it's not a hardware problem, if not performing a clean install if you have proper backups.

    It's also quite possible that one of you have a bad enclosure/device that is sending out a bad signal to your machine. After that it could be the hard drive, though that is less likely, and then the cable itself, which a far less likely, but still in the realm of slim chances.

    Not sure what those bad Seagate drives do, other than die, but that could be what happens with it and a Mac. I would google that and see what others are experiencing with those drives and Macs as I'm sure thousands are experiencing issues with them.
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Two things to try for starters:

    1. Connect this drive to another Mac and see what happens.
    2. Connect another USB device to your Mac and see what happens.

    I would strongly advise against any kind of reinstall at this point since quite a few diagnostic steps are still ahead, and a reinstall is disruptive and unlikely to solve the problem.
  6. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    Does your external drive have a separate power supply or is it USB powered?

    I had a similar problem when I tried to use the eGo Helium USB powered external Hard Drive on my MacBook 1.1 through a powered hub. I kept getting kernel panics.

    I eventually used a Dual Inputs USB power cable:

    and have not had any problems since.

    The eGo instructions tell you that the drive must be connected directly to the computer's USB port and not run through a hub, but this Dual Inputs USB power cable solves the powered hub issue.

    I used superduper to create a bootable clone of the MacBook's drive onto the eGo Helium and it boots without a hitch.
  7. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    My archive and install was more geared toward the other comments who said every USB device they are plugging in is causing problems.

    It might be me, though it's not like I automatically do it for any problem, but I absolutely love reinstalling an OS on any computer, especially Windows.

    It always makes me feel so fresh and so clean clean.

    Honestly, I love it in some sick and twisted way. Every computer I ever get is automatically wiped and reinstalled with my own needs and customizations in mind, and not the manufacturers. How could one not? You've got the time to test out something for an hour or troubleshoot, and a reinstall doesn't take as long on a Mac.

    Just talking about it seriously makes me want to do one this weekend. It's been a whole year since my last one!!
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    When I want to feel fresh and clean, I take a shower.

    Seriously, it's not great advice to suggest this for other people just because it makes you feel good. Reinstalls are almost never necessary, and I don't see it as a troubleshooting step for the OP's problem. I mean, wouldn't it be a bad suggestion if it turned out the problem was caused by a bad USB cable?

    FWIW, I did an archive and install on one of our iMacs this week -- the first reinstall of OSX on any Mac I've owned, ever. It was not fun. I don't recommend it.
  9. BinkleyBloom macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    one solution - for iPhone jailbreakers

    I had the exact same problem this morning on a drive that has been working perfectly. When I read this post, I smacked myself in the head: I jail-broke my iphone this weekend, and had to downgrade the USB drivers since I'm on 10.5.6!

    I went to the Apple Developer site and downloaded the correct USB drivers for 10.5.6, installed and restarted. Problem solved.

    Anyone else, you can find the usb drivers here for the various releases - try just installing a fresh copy of them (free apple dev account required)
  10. drummerboy03 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Philmo: I am having the exact same problem with the exact same external HD (Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB). did you figure out a solution? anyway to save what is on the external?
  11. machewcoy macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2010

    I just recently started having this problem. I have a 1TB Western Digital external with it's own power supply (not powered through USB).. It seems as though every OTHER time I plug it in, I have a kernel panic on my 2010 MacBook Pro 15'' (specs in sig).. The external drive seems to be fine itself - I'm able to run disk verify and what not through the Disk Utilities program, and everything checks out.. When plugging in the external to my other MacBook and my old PowerMac G4, and my Windows desktop, everything seems to run fine, and no kernel panics whatsoever from my other macs.. Any ideas as to what can be happening? I've even went so far as to do a fresh install of Snow Leopard on my MBP, and even reformatted the external drive, but the same thing still occurs. :( Bad USB ports on my MBP maybe?

    I should also note that I've tried it with different USB cables as well, and the outcome is the same.
  12. Nerdtantra, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011

    Nerdtantra macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2011
    Kernel Panic every time I plug in external drive Reply to Thread

    I had the same problem w/ my macbook. but the difference is that i know what is causing the error.

    for those that do not know what is causing them you may want to check this site for kernel panics information and causes. though the info their is very technical the reason how i knew what causes my kernel panic was when my macbook crashed and wont boot after restarting from a successful lion os x 10.7 upgrade.

    I placed a new hard drive on my macbook and installed snow leopard os x 10.6 and got my macbook running again since there's totally no way to fix what happened w/o replacing the HD.
    now i wanted to recover my files on the crashed HD, i placed the corrupted drive to an enclosure and plugged it to my macbook and the kernel error appears every time i plugged it in.

    so basically its not just an enclosure or cable problem but more on the corrupted drive check again here for kern panic causes

    I haven't tried resolving procedure given in since i just got my macbook working that took me whole night restoring it and is now very sleepy. i just want to share my experience and also was hoping theres a shorter and direct solutions to the problem here on how to connect the damage hard drive w/o letting it read or activate the extensions to cause the kernel panic and freeze my macbook so i can recover my files.

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