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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: New York
Send a message via AIM to spiff  
2004-07-10, 19:28

I'm using a first generation flat panel iMac, 700 mhz, 256 RAM, OS 10.3.4. I have hooked up to it an external hard drive from Fantom via firewire 400.

The problem is that the drive keeps coming unmounted when I'm using it. Copying files to and from it in the finder usually doesn't give me any problems, but when working in iDVD with files on the external drive it keeps unmounting and giving me an error message saying the device was not properly removed.

Besides that, it's performance is a bit glitchy, some times it doesn't mount the first time it's turned on and I have to turn it off and then on again to get it to work. It's a 120 gig drive and I have about 80 gig worth of important files on it.

I have run a full test with a program called Drive 10 which said everything was fine. It did a random read and write and checked the power supply and almost a dozen other things. I have also checked for any sort of firmware update from Fantom and there is none. I have also just completely wiped my hard drive and done a clean install of OS X. I've had the drive for maybe 8 months now and have been using it only with OS 10.3, through all 4 minor updates and it's always given me problems.

Any help would be very appreciated.
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: New York
Send a message via AIM to spiff  
2004-07-12, 20:48

I guess this one sorta stumped you guys a bit or you just don't care, but you seem like nice people so I'll assume the first.

I started thinking the other day whether or not having other things plugged into the firewire ports could cause problems. I usually have either my iPod or iSight plugged in. I remember hearing or reading something a while back that said not to have anything else plugged in while using an external hard drive. Not sure though. Worth a shot if no one else has any ideas. Any thoughts would still be appreciated though.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
2004-07-12, 21:25

The problem with pre-made external hard drives is that you don't know if the problem lies in the case, the hard drive itself, or in the connection between them. I would NEVER recommend buying a pre-made one, if not for the higher price, then for the problems (like this) that are harder to fix.

However, it could be the IDE cable connecting the drive to the IDE-Firewire bridge. If you can open up the case and make sure both the IDE cable and the power cable are plugged into the hard drive securely, it eliminates that much of the problem. Another possibility is that the hard drive itself is somehow in bad shape, and since you bought it through Fantom, you'll have to talk to them about getting it fixed/replaced (another reason why I prefer making my own; you deal directly with the drive manufacturer instead of going through a third party).

It sounds like a hardware problem to me, not something that will necessarily be fixed by merely reformatting the drive. However, I'd still recommend backing up all the data that is stored on the drive to CDs or DVDs or whatever you can. If you don't, you'll likely lose all of it.
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