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MacBook Air M1 and Samsung T5 external SSD issue

adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
Hey folks! I picked up the new MacBook Air and was planning on using it in conjunction with a 2TB Samsung T5 SSD external drive. However, whenever I plug the drive in, the LED on it randomly toggles between blue and red and the drive doesn't seem to mount. It also generally does not show up in Disk Utility, but occasionally it will by only showing the raw device but none of the partitions. If I try to manually mount it at this point, I get "Could not mount “disk4s1”. (com.apple.DiskManagement.disenter error -119930868.)"

I've tried the drive in my iMac Pro and my iPad Pro, both of which can read it just fine. Here is what I've tried so far to debug the issue, none of which helps:
  1. Wiping the drive and starting fresh
  2. Different cables
  3. Formatting it with MBR and also GUID partition map, both with APFS and MacOS Journaled
  4. Both ports in the MacBook Air
Has anyone else run into a similar situation with this (or any) external drive?

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

dborod

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
137
59
Hi, I have a new air as well as a 2 TB T5. Works fine for me. Sorry yours isn’t.
 

nobackup

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2008
148
20
Have you tried updating the firmware on the T5 on another computer. I had a similar issue with Bigsur earlier this year
 

adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
Have you tried updating the firmware on the T5 on another computer. I had a similar issue with Bigsur earlier this year

Good idea, it did need a firmware update, but unfortunately it didn't fix the issue.

I tried a different and much older WD MyPassport external hard drive and it also behaved the same way. Then I tried a thumb drive which worked fine. I'm starting to think it's either an OS installation issue or a Big Sur bug, given that the USB ports do seem to work for other things.
 

colday

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
98
44
Hey folks! I picked up the new MacBook Air and was planning on using it in conjunction with a 2TB Samsung T5 SSD external drive. However, whenever I plug the drive in, the LED on it randomly toggles between blue and red and the drive doesn't seem to mount. It also generally does not show up in Disk Utility, but occasionally it will by only showing the raw device but none of the partitions. If I try to manually mount it at this point, I get "Could not mount “disk4s1”. (com.apple.DiskManagement.disenter error -119930868.)"

I've tried the drive in my iMac Pro and my iPad Pro, both of which can read it just fine. Here is what I've tried so far to debug the issue, none of which helps:
  1. Wiping the drive and starting fresh
  2. Different cables
  3. Formatting it with MBR and also GUID partition map, both with APFS and MacOS Journaled
  4. Both ports in the MacBook Air
Has anyone else run into a similar situation with this (or any) external drive?

Thanks in advance!
I have the exact same issue! I have two T5 1TB SSD drives, neither works on my M1 MBA, but both work on my 27" iMac. I have updated the firmware on the drives with no effect. I did plug in a 1TB Seagate SSD and it worked fine.
 

mikethebigo

macrumors 68020
May 25, 2009
2,130
566
I have a T5 500GB that I use for time machine, I will report back later when I try to set it up.
 

adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
If you have issues, is your drive by any chance password protected by Samsung's software?
I never used the Samsung software before today, just to update the firmware. The drive is not locked in any way, and has been working fine on several other computers.
 

mj_

macrumors 65816
May 18, 2017
1,097
686
Austin, TX
I think the USB ports on that M1 Air are either severely underpowered. My external 2.5-inch backup drive works great on my iMac and 12” MacBook but not the M1 Air. I have to plug it into an active USB hub (aka one with a dedicated power supply and not one powered via the USB host device) to get it to show up and mount. Without the hub I see the exact same behavior as described above: it will blink and spin up and down but won’t mount and is listed as uninitialized in Disk Utility
 

adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
I think the USB ports on that M1 Air are either severely underpowered. My external 2.5-inch backup drive works great on my iMac and 12” MacBook but not the M1 Air. I have to plug it into an active USB hub (aka one with a dedicated power supply and not one powered via the USB host device) to get it to show up and mount. Without the hub I see the exact same behavior as described above: it will blink and spin up and down but won’t mount and is listed as uninitialized in Disk Utility
This is a very good theory. I hope Apple is able to increase power draw via software, would be a bummer if this was a hardware limitation...
 

colday

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
98
44
I think you are correct, I also believe they are under powered. I have a dock that plugs into both ports, I plugged in both drives that were unreadable and they both come up right away. So for now I have a work around.

Anker usb hub
 

adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
I think you are correct, I also believe they are under powered. I have a dock that plugs into both ports, I plugged in both drives that were unreadable and they both come up right away. So for now I have a work around.

Thanks for confirming and for the recommendation! Sounds like we got to the bottom of it.
 

mikethebigo

macrumors 68020
May 25, 2009
2,130
566
I just plugged in my 500GB T5. I've never updated the firmware on it... I didn't even know you could! The M1 MBA recognized it and unlocked it just fine. Disk utility successfully wiped it, and now time machine is backing up to it. As far as I can tell, it's working totally normally. Not sure what to tell you!

EDIT: by the way, holy hell time machine is fast on these things lol
 
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adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
Just for fun I tried connecting an unpowered USB hub and then connecting the drive to that, and it works! This kinda makes the power theory a bit more questionable... Glad this works though!
 

flowave

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2014
95
40
Just for fun I tried connecting an unpowered USB hub and then connecting the drive to that, and it works! This kinda makes the power theory a bit more questionable... Glad this works though!
Yes, I use USB hub, and no issues. I think it has enough power.... have not tried directly to M1.
 

colday

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
98
44
I just tried using the heavy black cable supplied with the drive, and they both worked without any problems! Switch back to the whit Apple cables and no joy, even tried using the heavy duty charging cable supplied with the MBA.

The Apple cables work with an un-powered hub, but not alone. The heavy duty Samsung cable works without a hub.
 

adams4piece

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2015
11
0
I just tried using the heavy black cable supplied with the drive, and they both worked without any problems! Switch back to the whit Apple cables and no joy, even tried using the heavy duty charging cable supplied with the MBA.

The Apple cables work with an un-powered hub, but not alone. The heavy duty Samsung cable works without a hub.

Interesting, for me the included Samsung cable doesn't work without the hub (no cables do).
 

colday

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
98
44
Yeah, I still think the ports are low power. As for me it is not a big issue as I will mostly use an external for backup. If I needed it for real work, I don’t think it’s much of a pain to plug in a hub, after all you get more ports with the hub. Pretty unlikely to be much walking around with an external plugged in, with or without a hub.
 

Ghost_User

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
10
2
So I seem to have same issue
I have a Samsung T7 (2Tb size) worked dandy on my MBP 13" since day one
today I get my MBA M1, and everything is fine until I get to this window .


and samsung software keeps saying that "no Samsung portable SSD is connected" :(
tried to update Big Sur to version 11.0.1 (20B29)
thought that would help, but - no luck

what can we do ?
 

Ghost_User

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
10
2

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
7,325
4,585
how is this related to the issue we are discussing here in this thread?
The original post was about problems with Samsung T5s on Macs. I related my successful use of T5 on Macs, and pointed to some other sites that confirm some problems.
 

Ghost_User

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
10
2
you seem to be talking about using Samsung SSD as a bootable drive
I was under impression that the main issue we were discussing here was that the M1 Macs don't seem to be able to recognise the SSD. or that the Samsung provided software does not seem to be able to see it.
 

mikethebigo

macrumors 68020
May 25, 2009
2,130
566
you seem to be talking about using Samsung SSD as a bootable drive
I was under impression that the main issue we were discussing here was that the M1 Macs don't seem to be able to recognise the SSD. or that the Samsung provided software does not seem to be able to see it.
He clearly wrote "They work reliably for me as data drives on my Intel Macbook Pro and my M1 Mac Mini." What's the confusion here? I have to imagine you missed the "data drive" and "M1 Mac Mini" parts of the sentence.
 
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