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Macbook Air usb3 not working!

32677 Views 81 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2013 5:59 AM by SCM73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Rick600 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 17, 2012 11:54 AM (in response to karthikfromcharlotte)

    Regarding the problems with USB 3 and external storage: Is there something weird going on with USB 3 on-board interfaces?

     

    I was able to fiddle with an ASUS 1225B 11.6" notebook with the AMD CPU. I could not get the front left-side USB 3 port to recognize any of 6 different Kensington or HP USB thumb drives of different models and capacity. The rear USB 3 port was fine. The front port had no problem with a Logitech wired USB mouse.

     

    Has anybody had problems with any of the USB 3 ports recognizing an external thumb drive?

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)
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    Jul 17, 2012 1:11 PM (in response to Rick600)

    I have a USB 3 thumb drive - Kingston Digital Data Traveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 - which works just fine on my MacBook Air mid-2012 13" 8GB machine.  The USB ports on the MacBook Air support both USB 2 and USB 3, but I can tell from the transfer speed to the thumb drive that it's working as a USB 3.

  • Rick600 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 17, 2012 2:16 PM (in response to sberman)

    I was wondering about USB 2 drives, i don't have any USB 3 devices.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)
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    Jul 17, 2012 4:36 PM (in response to Rick600)

    I've used several USB 2 thumb drives as well as the Kingston USB 3 drive I mentioned on my mid-2012 MacBook Air, all with no problem.

  • juliemeikle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 18, 2012 9:25 AM (in response to karthikfromcharlotte)

    I have just bought a MBA and a Lexar 64Gb USB3.....and the MBA doesn't recognise the drive. It is fine with usb2 devices. Very annoying as I am away and want to save a load of photos on to the stick.

  • victorinsh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 22, 2012 7:44 PM (in response to charlesfromessex)

    I have the exact same issue!

     

    I have a 2012 MBA and a Toshiba Canvio USB 3.0 external drive that's partitioned for Time Machine and misc. files.

     

    - The drive gets mounted most of the time.  But sometimes it either does not mount, or the icons show up but the drives are inaccessible.

    - The dive often disappears on the Mac, then Mac complians to me for not ejecting it properly.

     

    I would love to see a solution soon!

  • wuc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 14, 2012 1:49 PM (in response to victorinsh)

    Same issue here. My external drive keeps randomly disconnecting.

     

    Actually it seems that the problem is related to external driver power consumption. The MBA just doesn't deliver enough current to power the drive. However the ports on 2012 MBA are able to provide some extra power (as verified by connecting the iPad to the USB port). When I connect the external drive to my MBA I'm getting the following values in System Information:

    Current Available (mA): 900

    Current Required (mA): 224

     

    Obviously that's not enough to power the external drive (WD passport 1 TB USB 3.0). However when connecting the iPad I'm getting:

    Current Available (mA): 500

    Current Required (mA): 500

    Extra Operating Current (mA): 1600

     

    That's exactly 2.1 A of current - sufficient to power any external device. If I only knew how to force the port to supply more current to the external drive, my problem would be solved. Anyone has any idea how to fiddle with the power values on the USB bus ?

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)
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    Aug 14, 2012 2:09 PM (in response to wuc)

    Just to double check ... are you all running current software?  This article discusses the fact that a software update came out last month addressing this issue: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5384

  • wuc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 14, 2012 2:15 PM (in response to sberman)

    All the updates installed - running the latest version of Mountain Lion. I was hoping that "...and it improves compatibility with some USB devices." was related to my external drive issues, but apparently not.

  • bugboi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 12:11 AM (in response to wuc)

    Strangely enough I had the same problem with a Toshiba drive BUT if I plug it into a USB2 hub my MBA recognizes the drive... Directly,... no dice.

  • juliemeikle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 12:49 AM (in response to sberman)

    I have installed all updates and now run Mountain Lion, but it still does not work. :))

  • GerryJames Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 1:44 AM (in response to karthikfromcharlotte)

    I used to have the same problem: the WD Passport would mount on all other computers, except on the new MBA. As discussed already, it's probably caused by a lower power throughput. I then tried replacing the original USB3 cable with another (longer) one which I use for a large external HDD drive. It did the trick - it now works without problems.

    My assumption is that the connection to the drive might not be that "tight" (I've had connection issues with my MBP and USB 2 WD Passport drives in the past as well). As soon as the power goes beneath a certain threshold, the bad connection isn't able to overcome its resistance. The better connection of another cable/plug decreases that resistance, therefore solving the problem.

    Give it a try.

  • wuc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 10:42 AM (in response to GerryJames)

    Thanks for your advice. I tried it with my USB 3.0 hub cable - the MBA wouldn't detect the drive at all. Will try tomorrow with a premium Lindy USB cable, maybe that will work. Strangely enough the WD Passport works through the USB 3.0 hub without issues using the WD provided cable.

  • EJW Tas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 23, 2012 10:49 PM (in response to karthikfromcharlotte)

    so has anyone seen an improvement with 10.8.1? better USB 3 support? external HDs staying connected??? please post any results/observations here to share your experiences and insights re 10.8.1!!

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