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External Drive mounting issues.
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
2010-10-23, 16:21

Recently I have noticed that my quad-interface external hard drive sometimes does not mount to my mac pro when I turn it on. The drive will spin up and seem like it is working, but nothing will happen. This is somewhat of a cause for alarm because this is my only backup drive(1TB, has backups from a few different computers as well as several GB of projects). But, the drive does not fail to mount on my macbook ever. The Mac Pro is connected via firewire 800 and the macbook via firewire 400.

Okay, that's one issue, and I'm not really sure what that is about but the second issue is the weirder one.

I got the external to mount on the mac pro, and I was doing some work, when I decided to plug it into the macbook to transfer some files. So I dragged it to the trash to eject it and left the room briefly. I came back about 5 minutes later, and the drive is still on the desktop, but it has a white sheen over it as though it is thinking about ejecting itself. As I type this, it has been about 10 minutes since I pulled it to the trash can, and it has not properly dismounted, or at least it seems that way.

Furthermore, the mac pro's hard drive was making a lot of noise(more than usual) as though it was performing some substantial activity.

Anyone have any idea what this is about?
Fishhead Family Reunited
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
2010-10-23, 23:47

You might be having a problem with specific ports on your Mac Pro. They seem to have flakier FW 800 ports than other Macs for some reason.

Have you tried using a different FW 800 port (switching from front to back ports, even)? Or switching ports on the drive if it has two 800s? And try a different cable, if you have one.

Also try using FW 400.

Eventually you should be able to narrow it down to a specific port on the Pro, or a specific port on the drive, or a specific cable. The odds of all FW ports on the Pro having problems are somewhat slim.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
2010-11-01, 19:40

Thanks for the input. I have had a few more issues where the external will appear to be mounted but if I try and open it to view the files on it, it will freeze and I have to force-restart Finder(which sometimes causes Finder to freeze and I have to force restart the computer).

I tried switching from the fw800 port in the back to the one in the front and the same thing happened again. So I have switched to fw400 for now and I will see if anything goes wrong with it, then I'll try USB 2.0. Unfortunately I do not have any other fw800 devices to further troubleshoot the Mac Pro's ports.

I kind of wonder if I shouldn't just go ahead and take the thing into the store again, it is under applecare for another year and I sort of feel like I shouldn't take any chances with these sorts of things. The whole justification for getting this mac pro was that it was supposed to be reliable and long lasting, and even little issues like this are enough to make it seem like a lemon.

But, just the same, I don't have any specific dependency on FW800 save for the transfer speeds, and with any luck there will be future PCIe expansions for USB 3.0 and/or eSata and/or lightpeak and/or whatever else that will make up for whatever weirdness I am having now.
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