Seatgate HDD only works upside down??

rayjay86

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2011
279
17
I posted here a while ago about my 2TB portable WD Passport HDD (sorry about the title, I forgot which HDD I was complaining about...) that was giving me an error everytime I plugged it in. In the end I ended up reformatting it from FAT32 to HFS Journaled and performance seemed to improve; it loaded faster on my mac and seemed a bit smoother.

Recently however I plugged it in and it made this really high-pitched buzzing sound, almost as though the disk was grinding against something, not the smooth buzz it normally makes. Disk utility was unable to unmount the drive and it would freeze finder.

In the end I turned it upside down on the desk and the sound went away and to my surprise it loaded and I was able to use it as though nothing happened. Disk utility recognized and said everything was fine.

Now that I know its a hardware issue, is there any way to fix it?
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,576
281
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
I would probably just "turn it upside down" so it was working ... then copy everything off of it onto a new drive that doesn't make that noise ... then toss the Passport.

You might check to see if the Passport enclosure is a standard SATA enclosure, as you might put a new disk drive in it. However, often the external drives are cheaper than the drives they enclose.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobr1952

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,110
6,552
I have to agree with hfg above.

Turn the drive upside down so it runs, then copy anything "of importance" from it to another drive.

At this point, since the drive is "less than trustworthy", I would re-initialize it, run Disk Utility's "repair drive" function on it about 5 times in succession, and, if there were no reported errors, I'd just use it for "scratch storage".

By "scratch storage" I mean stuff that I'd like to save but CAN AFFORD TO LOSE if the drive goes completely bad.
Might be a good place to keep copies of apps you download from the net, movies that would normally consume space on your "main drive", etc. ...
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,045
172
Florida
Sounds like a bearing may be going bad. Turning it upside down takes the stress off that bearing so it spins properly.

As stated, copy everything off that drive ASAP. It is not going to get better.
 

bobr1952

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2008
2,040
39
Melbourne, FL
I would probably just "turn it upside down" so it was working ... then copy everything off of it onto a new drive that doesn't make that noise ... then toss the Passport.

You might check to see if the Passport enclosure is a standard SATA enclosure, as you might put a new disk drive in it. However, often the external drives are cheaper than the drives they enclose.
Absolutely--this is the way to go. I've had drives do similar things and always felt lucky that at least the drive warned me about failing--transfer your files and trash the drive.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.