problems with external hard drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sossity, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    In the last few days, my dual bay external hard drives have been acting weird.

    they will mount, but when I try to click on a folder of contents, I get a spinning beach ball, and finder freezes.

    It has music on it, and I am also using this hard drive through parallels running windows xp.

    it is an icydock enclosure, with one hard drive formatted to ntfs, and the other ihard drive is for itunes formatted as hfs.

    I have the music hard drive formatted to ntfs because the software I am using to manage it is windows only.

    I have it open in disk utility to verify, but it seems to have frozen up, I tried to quit disk utility, but it told me it may make the disk inoperable.

    I dont know what to do.
  2. rigormortis, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    we need a lot more information to help you.

    do you see any signs of beach balling on a windows machine?

    do you see any signs of beach balling on other computers?

    is this enclosure usb? firewire? thunderbolt?

    are you using any hubs? usb hubs cannot provide extra power. like if you connect a iPhone 6+ to a usb hub, even a powered one, it won't charge at its full capacity, it probably won't charge at all. unless its turned off

    are the hard disks 3.5" or 2.5 " ? 3.5 require more USB current then 2.5

    i believe os x and windows have dns , samba, or apple AFP caches you can clear

    if you are using mixed windows and macs, it is recommended that you use EXFAT. it allows reading and writing on both machines, however, windows will refuse to backup to anything but NTFS. time machine probably won't like EXFAT either

    have you tried holding the drive to your ear to listen for any clock or ticking sounds?

    can the windows machine access the drives?

    is it limited to one drive??

    is it limited to one computer?

    have you tried clearing the SMC and PRAM ?

    one thing you can try is to check the drives with the manufacturer's official test program.
    what you need to do is take the drives out of the enclosure, connect them to a real computer's internal SATA connector, and then boot their diagnostic CDs. to test the disk, this checks the disk for any failures, like a hard disk crash
    they have names like "hitachi DFT" , "SeaTools", "Western Digital Data Lifeguard", this won't erase the disks.
    if the short or long tests fail, write down your serial # and see if these drives are still covered under warranty
    these programs and boot cd images are available freely from the manufacture's website and won't cost you anything to get copies of

    hold the disk to your ear to verify its spinning up

    can you use a different enclosure?

    have you tried rebooting the router ?

    have you ever considered getting a real NAS?

    maybe windows needs new ethernet drivers or its ethernet settings can be adjusted??

    it is quite possible that the enclosure or its power supply has failed. if your pushing 2 hard disks connected to USB and your power supply is bad, then you can forget about using usb to power both drives. its just not going to have enough current. maybe if the enclosure was USB 3 and you were using 2.5 " dual then it would be ok

    another possibility is your drives are just too hot in your enclosure, and are trying to compensate.

    are the disks you using ' hybrid ' ??? hybrid drives should not be used in usb enclosures because they require 5v 700 ma which is more then usb 2 can give it.
  3. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    tried to do multiquote, but could not get it to work, so I will try to answer

    these are 3.5 inch hard drives in a dual bay icydock enclosure, the enclosure is connected to my mac mini via a firewire connection to a firewire hub attached to my mac mini, (not enough ports to connect all my stuff directly.) The enclosure is not a nas, it is a dual bay raid, I have it set to JABOD. They are also not connected to any router, it is a free standing multiport enclosure.

    never tried a nas, they seem a bit complicated, and do not serve my need for an offsite backup.

    hard drives spin up normally when I listen to them, although there is a little delay.

    the windows virtual machine initially has trouble connecting to the drives, when I am using the windows app mp3 tag, and try to open some music files off the hard drive, the app freezes, and then windows freezes, it also freezes up on the mac side, cannot access folder contents in finder, sometimes crashes finder.

    I have to power down the enclosure a few times, and then power them up for to get both mac and windows to be able to access them without locking up.
  4. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    test them in a different enclosure

    yeah i have problems too with mac and windows a lot of times ill click on network drives and it will freeze until the drive responds. i don't know how to fix that either

    the drives are firewire. which shouldn't happen.

    yeah i would probably test the drives in a different enclosure

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