Plugging in external HDD causes finder to stop responding

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by th3g1z, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. th3g1z macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    Hopefully someone can shed some light on this for me, basically I was just surfing the net (on mac mini 10.6.1) with my external hdd connected (via firewire).. and if it matters I have another USB external hdd also plugged in.

    Well Finder decided to stop responding (thats what it says in activity monitor)
    I rebooted the computer and finder wouldn't respond at all, rebooted a few more times. And since the software update button popped up I figured ok I will let it go to 10.6.3 and maybe that will solve my issue.

    Well after that did not help, I unplugged the external drives one by one to see if that was causing the problem, and sure enough it is the external connected via firewire that is causing Finder to hang.

    If i unplug that drive my computer works just fine, I plug it back in and Finder stops responding. So I am guessing there is something wrong with my external drive?

    I saw this thread
    and tried to follow some of the steps in it.. from resetting pram and such. No such luck.. and unlike some of the others in that thread I cannot access my drive via terminal. When I try to, the system hangs.

    So is my hdd just going bad? or can anyone shed light on how I can get it back working.. I need the data off the drive.

    Currently in the process of formatting my laptop (different computer) so that I can test the external on that machine and see if I can see the files

    Oh and its a 750gb drive with two partitions both are formatted NTFS

    edit: and for what its worth.. if I plug the drive in, I cant even get any apps to open including disk utility so I cant use disk util to identify the problem
    thank you
  2. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    For starters I would say try another firewire cable, i know it's obvious but sometimes that's all it takes.

    I would suggest troubleshooting the drive on another Mac if you can. This will help to isolate if its the firewire bus on the computer or the drive causing things to hang up.

    You can also see if you can plug another firewire drive in without it locking up to see the same thing.

    Lastly, if you have a drive that is bootable, try it in an external OS rather than the OS on your internal drive. This will help you see if it's your hardware or software.
  3. th3g1z thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    Yea, I actually did try another firewire cable and no such luck.. the drive is also capable of USB, so I tried it that way as well and no luck there either.

    I don't have another Mac, but I did just finish installing windows on my laptop and when I plug the drive in there I can see the data and it all seems to be in tact. I suppose I could try coping the data to the laptop and then reformat the drive, but the laptop hd is a bit too small.. or perhaps I can try to copy it over the network.

    Oh and I don't have any other firewire drives so I am unable to check if its my firewire bus. Hmm thank you though for your ideas

    edit: oh and a seperate question for anyone.. my other external drive the usb one is formatted HFS+ .. I was thinking of plugging both my affected drive and that drive into my windows laptop and copying the data over so I can salvage what I can. Any reccomended software to interface my HFS+ external to windows 7? thank you
  4. th3g1z thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    LMFAO.. so as I mentioned earlier in the OP I was in the process of formating my laptop to windows 7 so I could try the affected drive in it.. well I plugged it in, and it popped up a dialog box saying would you like to scan for errors, I clicked yes.. 2 minutes later it was done I ejected it and plugged back into my Mac.. and all is good.. lmao.. good stuff. For anyone else who comes across this thread, maybe this will help your case

    edit: btw if anyone has any advice what I can I use in Snow Leo to run diagnostics on my HDD in the event that it may actually be going bad.. is there some sort of software I can use to figure that out.. or just to tell me everything is ok?

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