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davidcafor

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 2, 2014
70
9
Spain
I have noticed that every time I connect an external HDD to my brand new MacBook Pro via usb-c conector the 2.4Ghz wifi shut down.
Is this a software problem or it's a hardware problem? am I the only one who noticed that?
 

maka344

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2009
1,886
1,072
London, UK
I have noticed that every time I connect an external HDD to my brand new MacBook Pro via usb-c conector the 2.4Ghz wifi shut down.
Is this a software problem or it's a hardware problem? am I the only one who noticed that?

My 2016 (defective screen) mac did that but my replacement doesn't.
 

curmudgeonette

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2016
583
494
California
I have noticed that every time I connect an external HDD to my brand new MacBook Pro via usb-c conector the 2.4Ghz wifi shut down.
Is this a software problem or it's a hardware problem?

Hardware problem: It is RF interference between USB3 and Wifi - both using about the same frequency. You need better shielding on the HDD or cable.
 

davidcafor

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 2, 2014
70
9
Spain
Hardware problem: It is RF interference between USB3 and Wifi - both using about the same frequency. You need better shielding on the HDD or cable.

So it is a "hardware" problem with the usbc to usb adaptor, or with the macbook pro?
When I connect an old pen drive it works and with the iPhone connected too.
It only disables the wifi with the WD usb 3.0 HDD
 

maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
69,097
36,962
There was a video floating around here, showing someone else having the very same issue. They'd plug in a USB device and wifi would cut out.

I'm not sold its the cables, because if that was the case, it would affect other laptops, but that video (I'll try to dig it up), showed them plugging the same peripheral into different computers and working, only when it was on the new MBP did it cut out
[doublepost=1481109831][/doublepost]Here is is, its a long video, but thankfully you don't have to watch the entire thing to see the problem.

 

npreq

macrumors member
Nov 23, 2016
81
37
I have noticed that every time I connect an external HDD to my brand new MacBook Pro via usb-c conector the 2.4Ghz wifi shut down.
Is this a software problem or it's a hardware problem? am I the only one who noticed that?
Wrap the cable and the drive in aluminum foil. If it works, then wrap only the cable or the drive to troubleshoot which one of them causes the interference.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
8,817
3,160
192.168.1.1
There was a video floating around here, showing someone else having the very same issue. They'd plug in a USB device and wifi would cut out.

I'm not sold its the cables, because if that was the case, it would affect other laptops, but that video (I'll try to dig it up), showed them plugging the same peripheral into different computers and working, only when it was on the new MBP did it cut out
[doublepost=1481109831][/doublepost]Here is is, its a long video, but thankfully you don't have to watch the entire thing to see the problem.

There's strong documentation that USB 3 will interfere with 802.11 2.4GHz wifi. Happens on many machines, not just Macs. High quality shielded cables and hard drive enclosures will help. And consider buying a good quality USB-C cable for the hard drive instead of using a USB-C to USB-A adapter.

The reason why it may be exacerbated in the new MacBooks is possibly due to positioning of the wifi antennae and/or chips on the motherboard, but I'm not certain that the new Macs are more effected than other machines. Just because the particular Dell model in the video (which I've seen before) isn't effected doesn't mean that it only happens to the new MacBook Pros.

But, if swapping cables doesn't help, then unfortunately a different model hard drive may be necessary to alleviate the issues.
 

leman

macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
16,084
13,209
Its a well documented issue. Your HDD or cable are of poor quality, most likely.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us...al-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html
[doublepost=1481117270][/doublepost]
I'm not sold its the cables, because if that was the case, it would affect other laptops, but that video (I'll try to dig it up),

It does affect other laptops. Of course, different laptops have different antenna positioning so the circumstances will be different. But when you google a bit, you will find plenty of XPS and other laptop owners complaining about the very same issue.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,723
2,890
Shropshire, UK
There was a video floating around here, showing someone else having the very same issue. They'd plug in a USB device and wifi would cut out.

I'm not sold its the cables, because if that was the case, it would affect other laptops, but that video (I'll try to dig it up), showed them plugging the same peripheral into different computers and working, only when it was on the new MBP did it cut out
[doublepost=1481109831][/doublepost]Here is is, its a long video, but thankfully you don't have to watch the entire thing to see the problem.

USB 3 can cause issues with 2.4ghz wifi and it's certainly not an Apple only issue. My router has an option to downgrade the USB port to USB 2 if there are inteference issues and a quick google search showed up this support note from Asus
The best first option would be to try a different port (so the drive is located elsewhere) followed by better shielded cables (and using a USB-C to whatever cable rather than an adapter) and enclosures
 
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