Problems reading external HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AGBecker, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. AGBecker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Location:
    Cambodia
    #1
    So all my music is on an external drive. It's the only thing on this drive. Here's my problem:

    About two or three months ago, all of a sudden my MacBook couldn't read the drive. I tried it on other computers and it again couldn't be read, so the problem can't be my computer, right? I found another firewire cable, and the drive worked with that, so I figured the problem was the cable. Problem solved, right?

    No. Now, it again can't be read by my MacBook. Again, I try it in friends' computers, and it can't be read. So I go to a store to buy a new one. I test the cable there in the store, and it works. The drive is there on the desktop. I get to my office, and it's back to not being read. I try it in a few Mac Minis around the office, still can't be read. I try it on an old iMac (OS 9.2!) and it works. I copy like two albums off that I want to listen to, then try it again in my computer. It still won't work. I go back and try it in the same iMac again, and now the iMac can't read it.

    Any idea what the problem is?

    EDIT: Also, when I plug in the drive, a green light indicating it has power lights up; so the computer knows it's there, it just doesn't read it. And I bought this drive at the Apple Store.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Can the drive be seen in Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities)?

    The green light on the hard drive enclosure does only indicate that the power is on, but not that the computer knows it's there.

    Have you tried the following (Apple) procedure with the iMac?

    1. Turn the iMac off.

    2. Pull all cables including power.

    3. Wait fifteen seconds (or more if you feel to).

    4. Plug the power back in and the keyboard + mouse.

    5. Start the iMac.

    6. Wait for the login process to be completed.

    7. Plug in the external drive.



    For the MacBook.

    1. Turn off the MacBook.

    2. Pull all cables including power.

    3. Remove the battery.

    4. Press and hold down the power button for at least five seconds.

    5. Put the battery back in and plug the ac adapter.

    6. Start the MacBook and wait for the login process to be completed.

    7. Plug in the external hard drive.


    If that doesn't help, you should look for the receipt and bring it to the Apple Store (if possible, warranty and location wise).
     
  3. AGBecker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Location:
    Cambodia
    #3
    Thanks for the response.

    No, the disk cannot be seen in Disk Utility.

    I followed the steps for restarting the MacBook and the disk still did not show up. Sometimes - like twice in about 50 attempts today - the disk will actually show up on the desktop. The most recent time, I tried to access its contents, but it said it couldn't be read. So I used a program called DiskWarrior to repair it, and I could then see the contents. So I unplugged the drive to see if the problem had been solved, and now it is back to not being read.

    Unfortunately, going to the Apple Store isn't an option for me. For one thing, I don't have a receipt or any idea when I bought the drive; for another, I'm in Cambodia. I haven't dealt much with Apple customer service, so if there's some way I can get some advice for free from them that I'm unaware of, please let me know.
     
  4. AGBecker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Location:
    Cambodia
    #4
    Oh yeah, one other detail: This problem has been going on for a few days, but it wasn't until today that the drive was altogether unreadable. While the disk was in use playing music in iTunes, it would all of a sudden - without being moved or touched - be removed from the computer, with the error about improper device removal appearing.

    Oh yeah (2), one more awful detail: Sometimes when I plug in the drive, not only can it not be read, but I get an ominous black-background warning telling me I must restart my computer in four different languages.
     
  5. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #5
    The ominous black image is a KERNEL PANIC. It's like the blue screen of death on the Mac OS X side.

    It seems that the controller of the external hard drive enclosure is dysfunctional.

    Can you put the hard drive in to another external hard drive enclosure?

    What brand is the hard drive/enclosure anyway?

    And how do you connect the drive to your Mac?
     

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