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ChrisKil

Problem with External HDs

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[ Sorry this is so long. If you like the first and last paragraphs will give you the gist of my question. ]

 

So, I'm currently on my fourth external hard drive since I purchased my current Macbook. They generally do not function properly. For example.

 

When I try to manually backup files in finder, sometimes folders will copy over and other times not. I've never successfully backed-up my entire user folder at once, but sometimes I can copy files one folder at a time. Yesterday I was able to copy about 80% of my files one folder at a time (i.e. pics, design work, docs, etc). When I went to copy my music folder (largest file size of the folders) to the external not only did it not copy the files, the hard drive completely stopped responding. It wouldn't eject, and after several shutdowns and restarts I still couldn't get my computer to read/write to it properly. My trash even stopped working as a result of this.

 

That is just the most recent example. That doesn't even touch the problems using the drives with Final Cut Pro. This has been happening on this macbook since I got it. I've tried four different hardrives and enclosures. I am currently using a Seagate Barracuda 500GB drive in a NexStar 3 enclosure (via firewire) and a Western Digital Caviar 640 GB in a NextStar 3 enclosure (via USB). Both are SATA. The firewire drive sometimes works and the usb one almost never does.

 

I'll be in Houston this weekend and was thinking about taking my mac by a genius bar since I still have a year or two left on my applecare. Is this the kind of issue they would help me with? Does anyone else have any experience with MacBook external HD issues and/or getting Apple to help you with them? Given that it happens with different drives and cases, I assume my Macbook is to blame.

 

ChrisKil

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MacBook | OS X 10.4.11 | 2 GHZ Core Duo | 1 GB RAM

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Edited by ChrisKil

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Both the drives you mention have the same enclosure. If that's true, it might be a problem with the chipset used on the enclosure. Do you ever get an error message?

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No message. The drive I had before these two was in a different brand enclosure and had the same problems. I took it by the genius bar yesterday, but they could not figure out what was wrong.

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I can remember having problems copying massive amounts of data with Finder many years ago, under much older Mac OS and with a lot less RAM. I always attributed it to bad RAM management by Finder, though I think that was mere conjecture on my part. These days I regularly copy 50+ GB of files among internal and external firewire and USB hard drives without problem.

 

You might check the system.log ( sudo tail -100 /var/log/system.log ) when the copy hangs, just to see if there's a clue there. Sometimes it'll have an obscure error that suggests what the problem is.

 

As a work-around, you could try the copy with the Terminal. cp -R ~username /Volumes/"HD Name"/ ought to do it. (Be careful with pathnames containing spaces or other unusual characters; Unix can be unforgiving.) At least if that fails, there'll probably be an error message.

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Just for the record I also have lots ofproblem swith external harddrives.

They are all Western Digital.

The USB once sometimes get really slow and they are all connected via a 7-USB Powered HUB.

But I think that might have something to do with USB 2.0, not sure.

 

And I very often have problem s with exernal harddrives if they use, FireWire, and I am in BootCamp.

 

Then they sometimes don't show up in Windows at all, (even thow they are formated in FAT 32, or NTFS,), or when I return to Mac OS X, they have some other errors where Mac OSX cannot read them anymore, or they don't show up at all anymore.

 

I don't know who to hate, Apple, or Western Digital, but I do hate somebody, over all this crap.

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Certain WD drives, some 10K Raptors, for example, don't play nicely with select Mac models. Have you checked the WD site for any such issues?

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I don't know who to hate, Apple, or Western Digital, but I do hate somebody, over all this crap.

 

That's what I want to know. I want someone to fix it. I just don't know who's problem it is.

 

Certain WD drives, some 10K Raptors, for example, don't play nicely with select Mac models. Have you checked the WD site for any such issues?

 

Not yet, I'll try that.

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