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Can't use front USB port for external Hard Drive

486 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 1, 2012 3:12 PM by OGELTHORPE RSS
Event Video Guy Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 1, 2012 7:19 AM

I have had some problems for about the past year with the front USB port on my 2009 13in Macbook Pro 5.5.


As you know, there are 2 USB ports on the left side on a 13inch Macbook pro.  The one closest to me (the front one) works fine when I use it with a flash drive.  But when I connect my external 7200RPM external drive to it, after about a minute, it ejects then re-recognizes the disk. 


I video edit with FCP and use the external as one of my scratch disks. 


At first I thought maybe it was the cord or the drive that was messed up.  But then I connected my other external drive to this port and the same thing happened.


But when I connected it to the back USB port, everything works fine. I haven't had any trouble.  So i make sure it's connected to that port when using the external.


Why would this be happening.  It only screws up when using a standard external drive but not flash drives or any other peripherals.




MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Final Cut Studio 3
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,580 points)

    The USB ports are designed to output a maximum of 500 milliamps. It may be that the HDDs that you are using exceed that threshold.  Try using a powered hub for that port and see if that solves that problem.  If it does not, the the Apple store genius bar should be the place to have the problem diagnosed.



  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 Level 6 (10,265 points)

    Exactly what Ogelthorpe mentioned.


    I bought a Seagate 500GB 7200RPM and bought an external case from Staples that has a big fancy led to show HD activity.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.


    Tested it on my PC and it works all the time so it got me stumped.  Thought it was my MB.


    Decided to try another external drive drive on my MB and everything works.  So I returned the fancy external enclosure and bought the simple $10 one.


    Now everything works fine.


    Maybe changing your external case might help you.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,580 points)

    Take your MBP and the HDDs to an Apple Store genius bar and have them check out your problem.




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